He Asked Me If I'd Seen a Road with So Much Dust and Sand. And I Said...

It was a full 100 mile ride, on a day I would later find out hit 107 F (in the shade). The distance was more out of necessity than out of determination. Just after noon I made it to Nickerson. The next 58 miles had no services on route. The closest place to get food and water turned out to be Mom's Bar & Grill, 40 miles from where I ate lunch.

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The restaurant was only a mile off route, but the town sure didn't seem like there'd be a restaurant there. The last quarter mile was a road with portions of sand as deep as maybe an inch. It was unridable, pickup trucks only. Out of the town of 63, I'd say I saw 30 of them during my time there.

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The Bar & Grill was my rescue from the heat. The 40 miles to get there were brutal, and I was low on water. Thirty miles in, I came across an artesian well. Before this I had planned to jump into a creek or run across a sprinkler watering some crops. Neither could be found, the land was barren (explaining why nothing could be found out here).

The well felt like the spring of eternal life. Fifty-four degree water will make you feel that way on a 100+ degree day. A couple had seen me practically bathing in the water so they stopped and handed me a bottle of water. When they found out I was riding cross country the woman gave me the one she'd been drinking (germs were the least of my worries).

I can't say enough good about the Kansans. One of the days when I had a flat, two separate Kansans pulled up to offer help. Today's roadside water delivery put them over the top.

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More heat, more Kansas, and more pedaling tomorrow. I'm cutting my writing short tonight. I've got to go find the park before the sun sets.

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