September 5, Day 65 of TheHopeLine Tour of 2014
Sleeping until 8:30 was a mistake. We checked the forecast last night, and the chance of rain was lowest in the morning and would increase throughout the day. We ventured out of our motel room for a short ride to breakfast just five minutes too late. Lightning lit up the sky while thunder clapped and cracked, so we ducked for cover while we watched it pass. The manager even offered us a return to our room as she wasn’t going to clean it until tomorrow. We decided to wait under the eave in anticipation of a quick getaway.
Soon, we rode about a mile down the road to a breakfast stop and found more cover for our bikes as well as the laundry I had hanging out to dry. The storm intensified as we ate breakfast. We overheard several conflicting conversations among the patrons. In one corner, two pastors were having a graceful conversation about God and prayer. In the other corner, a rough-looking woman was bragging about her winnings at the White Cloud Casino down the road. She had won $2,800, but had to pay $1,000 in taxes. Her friend at the next table told her she shouldn’t have paid the tax.
Their conversation soon moved to nude men walking around at a motorcycle rally and another nude guy walking around the Topeka Zoo. Did you know it is not illegal to walk around naked in Topeka, Kansas? But it is illegal to spit on the sidewalk there. The banter of the two women prompted me to investigate the unusual Kansas law. The latest news is that the Topeka city council is considering a ban on public nudity this month. Check out what weird laws your state might enforce at http://www.dumblaws.com/.
As we left our breakfast stop, we shared TheHopeLine with the two pastors, who told us they would pray for us. Meanwhile, the storm had eased to drizzle and rain, so we decided to take the plunge. Nebraska was replaced by Kansas just a few miles down the road. Visiting Kansas again so many years removed from going to school at Kansas State reminded me of the friends I had met way back when. Somehow, I can’t believe we’re in Kansas, but then again it’s hard to believe we’ll be in Missouri tomorrow.
Tim asked if I preferred the rain, tailwind, and 66-degree weather over yesterday’s 96-degree heat into a headwind. I’ll take the a happy medium….80 degrees with a tailwind would be the perfect cycling conditions for me…but it didn’t happen today. We had clouds and light rain most of the day, and I discovered why my Gore-Tex jacket was on sale. They must have forgotten the Gore-Tex, because I got soaked! Tim didn’t!
Eventually, my shoes soaked through and my glasses were covered with raindrops. Yet, there’s always a silver lining. We had a gorgeous forecast to look forward to for tomorrow; the happy medium is about to arrive! Besides, we were much better off than the young man who was hiking with his dog from Arkansas to Colorado. At least we could make it to motels in the rain. He was preparing for another night in a city park.
Despite the rain, today’s blessing was the tailwind. We’ve had too few of them on this trip. It is amazing what a difference wind direction makes when you are riding a bicycle, especially a heavily loaded one. One woman we spoke to today said it makes a huge difference in fuel costs when you are hauling heavy equipment, too. Logging miles today was relatively easy, as was the end-of-day ride across route 7’s rolling hills into Atchison. As the skies began to clear in preparation for tomorrow, the beauty of the Kansas landscape shone forth.
A day like today reminds me of one of my favorite verses in the Bible, Lamentations 3:22-23.
“The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is His faithfulness, his mercies begin afresh each morning.”
I am so looking forward to sunny skies tomorrow. In the meantime, I’ll figure out what to do with the wet laundry.