Before I begin to tell of my adventures or maybe lack thereof, I will leave that up to you, I want to first talk about where I am and why I am here. Currently I reside at The Giddy Goat, a coffeehouse down the road from the local hospital I have been spending some time at. Everything is ok!!!...actually better than ok. My brother and sister in law are adopting a baby in Rolla, MO....Missouri....just in case one doesn't know state abbreviations....I know I have a hard time. As I was making my way through KS towards the KATY trail which is 252mi bicycle path through MO, I learned that Marybeth, my sister in law was going to be staying in MO until she got the go ahead to take the baby out of the state. "Come to Rolla!!!", was the plea that I recieved. My reply without hesitation was an uber-enthusiastic "Hell yeah!!"
Since arriving, I have seen such beauty in the child, a baby boy they have named Owen and the deep love that Marybeth and my brother Devin have for him. Having witnessed what their life has been like the past week, sitting in a hospital room with no windows and on the phone with lawyers, senators, judges, friends, and family to try and make this adoption happen has been inspiring. To see such love and dedication in hopes of enriching their lives and the life of Owen is remarkably touching. All my love!!
Now onto Kansas. Man Kansas is a special place filled with special people. Much of what I had heard before riding through was that it was flat and boring. Flat is a myth and well boring....how one chooses to perceive things is what you are going to get. I for one, saw immense beauty in the not so changing landscape.
Before arrivng in KS I was met by a fella and his wife that invited me in for some lunch. Free food and good conversation, how could I pass that up. Had I known that it was going to be bologna and american cheese (I detest american cheese and bologna for that matter), I would have politely moved on. Thankfully he put some salad stuff out and chips and told me to fix my own, so I was able to skirt around the meat of unknown substance.
Moving on, my experince through Kansas was one filled with early morning rides (430am) to beat the heat of the day, homestays with folks that didn't even know me, Elaine's Bicycle Oasis-a B&B for cyclists with home cooked meals right from the garden and community swimming pools to cool down from the mid-day sun.
Waking up at 3 or 4 am to get on the road was a challenge at times, but well worth it on many levels. One being the shear beauty and peace that is present at that time of day. It's quiet and the world is sleeping. I got to experience the part of the world that is waking up with the rising of the sun. Getting 30 miles in by 8 am is not a bad accomplishment either.
Arriving at Elaine's Bicycle Oasis in Bizene, KS was like going to your grandmothers house. A great sense of comfort and love in the middle of no-where Kansas with Dan and Elaine was certainly a blessing. Dan showed me his tractor and we picked corn while Elaine busied herslef in the kitchen preparing dinner and baking apricot cobbler.
A thing I have learned about Kansas towns, they can be seen for miles away which is indicated by a cluster of trees and a grain elevator which looks like you are approaching some big city with the way it towers towards the sky. However, just because it is a "town" does by no means mean their is a gas station, store, post office or a working bathroom....it just means that maybe someone lives there or at least used to.
Another beautiful blessing was a quaint grove looking town, although most towns had a mystical grovesque feel to it, called Marquette. Here I met Sharon Barber and her cute son along with his stunning Honduras decent girlfriend. Upon seeing my fully loaded bicycle, they quickly began asking question, nothing I am not used to by this time....and most welcome the onslaught of questions and in this case an invitation to stay at their lovely home. I happily obliged and after swimming at yet another town pool, I pushed on 8 miles to Lindsborg, KS where I ate fresh tomatoes and cukes and sandwiches and slept peacefully.
The final hurrah, just to let me know how cool the people are in KS, a breakfast was bought for me and $40 was left on bicycle when I returned to it. 3miles later and I was in Missouri where the roads quickly lost favor to any cyclist as the shoulders became non-existant and the roads themselves seemingly don't get paved often or well to say the very least.
The Ozarks.....oh the Ozarks...I think I would have more fun if hadn't/wasn't so freakin' hot. 110 with the heat index has had me take a couple of rides...I have however felt a bit cheated out of the glory of riding through a profile elevation that I kid you not looks like a heart monitor.
Due to such heat and every pore on my body sweating just as quickly as I am injesting the liquids, a beautifully generous woman offered me a ride first then a place to stay at her lake house on Lake Ozark. Again....obliged I did. Little did I know that I would be bombarded with marriage proposals by the retiree neighbors to according to them their very available sons and grandsons. If only I stayed, I would be all set with a vacation home and a husband. Sorry folks.
So here I am, randomly in Rolla, MO....having just met my new nephew Owen and keepping my sister in law company through a trying adoption process.
My adventures continue on in the next day or two. Heading up towards Erie, PA before I hit NY and the Northeast. I must say, I am excited to be heading back to not only familiar territory but friends and family. 2,000 more miles to go!!!
All my love.
Peace, Light and Love,