After a fine Mexican dinner, we retired to the somewhat shabby Derrick Inn. The hotels heyday was at least 20 years ago by the looks of things.
No breakfast was in the offing so I snarfed a PB and Nutella burrito. Sweet T and Fedya left early in pursuit of a 100 mile day. Mark, Corey, and I had more modest plans.
Scott City was 56 miles west. If we felt good, we’d continue on another 24 miles to Leoti,
The day began with calm winds which quickly switched to a strong tailwind. We were riding due west on Highway 93.
I left a bit early and was caught by the dynamic duo after 7 1/2 miles. We then went at our own speeds. Mark hammering, Corey stopping to take pictures, me just cruising along. Depending on the wind I was going 14 to 17 miles per hour. I didn’t even notice that the road was trending uphill ever so slightly.
We stopped for breakfast in Dighton at a bowling alley with a diner. As we rolled into town we could see flags flapping in the wind.
Off we road to Scott City. Wind at our backs. Trucking along. Gradually climbing. On Highway 93.
Scott City had a gas station convenience store so we stopped for drinks and snacks. We decided to keep rolling west even though the wind was now a crosswind from the south.
24 miles. Up. West. Wheat. Fallow fields. Oil pumps. Grain elevators. Wind turbines. (There were few wind turbines in eastern Kansas. Many more out west.) The White line on the road hypnotizing The Mule and me.
We passed a few feed lots. Thousands of cattle gathered for fattening before slaughter. So depressing.
We rolled into Leoti after 80 miles. We simply could not have asked for a better riding day. Tired but not exhausted. After a stop at Dollar General for snacks and supplies (more peanut butter!), we found the town park and set up our tents in the wind. I struggled a bit with my new tent but Mark helped me. (Setting it up sideways into a 15 mph wind isn’t such a good idea.)
We have access to the rest rooms and showers at the hospital next door. So we cleaned up and ate a fine dinner of whatever we had stashed in our panniers. (For me, you guessed it, PB and Nutella on tortilla.)
I am 24 miles ahead of schedule but will be taking shorter days in the next 3 or 4 days to take advantage of free shelter.
We are not seeing any eastbound cyclist. Mark’s friend in Utah says the mountain passes on the western side of the Rockies are still snowed in. In a few days I’ll have to decide whether to chance taking my route west along the Western Express from Pueblo or call an audible and ride north along the TransAm.
We are now at 3,300 feet. Tomorrow we leave the Central Time zone, kiss Kansas goodbye, and enter Colorado.
Miles today: 80
Trip miles: 1,167