*** Aimee Teegarden:
“Recent polls have shown that a fifth of Americans can’t locate the US on a world map. Why do you think this is?”
Miss South Carolina Lauren Caitlin Upton:
“I personally believe, that U.S. Americans, are unable to do so, because uh, some, people out there, in our nation don’t have maps. and uh… I believe that our education like such as in South Africa, and the Iraq, everywhere like such as… and, I believe they should uh, our education over here, in the U.S. should help the U.S. or should help South Africa, and should help the Iraq and Asian countries so we will be able to build up our future, for us.”
It amazes me how many people don't know where they are. This isn't a judgement, more of an observation. There have been several times in the first four weeks of my trip that gas station clerks and innocent bystanders were unable to lead me where I wanted to go, much less know what the nearest intersection is.
When a bridge has been out, lacking cellphone service, I've had to rely on the detours or available fragments of my map to get me back on track (the maps I'm using aren't normal state maps, more like 30 mile sections with 5-10 miles displayed on either side of the route).
I've found that with my bicycle I'm able to navigate almost any active or inactive construction zone. It's only happened once that the deck span over an interstate was out, forcing me to follow the detour. But sometimes these detours are unnecessarily out of the way. In Kentucky, a road closing created a 20 mile detour. I was able to get around using country roads in probably 8 miles. I wonder, do the people that make detours have maps? That is a question that may be unfit for a pageant queen.
By lunch I had banked 50 miles. The Golden Arches of McDonalds have never as closely resembled the Gates of Heaven. I hopefully inspired the man I ate next to, to get out there and ride before life passes him by. I hear a lot of "I want to"s out here. If even one pans out, they'll have my lifelong respect.
Maybe it was the flat tire, or maybe it was the cool rainy morning transforming into a hot and sunny afternoon. After lunch I just didn't have "it". Twenty miles later I found myself on the west end of Yates Center, KS. I checked into the Townsman Motel. Call it a mental health evening. A motel bed and a TV will go a long way to rejuvenating a man who's been sleeping on concrete.
The bonus mission for tomorrow is to surpass 100 miles. It's Kansas we're talking about. The forecast is 91 F (550.67 degrees Rankine) and sunny. Because I'm avoiding the triple digit heat this should be a good opportunity.
I'll end with a shout out to the Cleveland Indians who started the hour (Sports Center) with a walk-off Grand Slam by Travis Hafner. #Believeland