Day 22, yet more Kansas

This was a day of ups and downs on flat land. I had a wonderful breakfast with Pastor John, who I called Bob through the entire meal, after he gave me his card (all I saw was a 16 letter surname), and when we said goodbye. I would hate myself for this for hours, but Johnbob did say that Christ was put here to save us from our sins and to remind us that we were fallible. I'll tell you what is infallible: Johnbob's fresh and strong coffee and his tremendous homemade biscuits with pumpkin jam. Plus, real butter in margarine country.

I left and biked west into the wind. I almost never stopped biking west. The wind almost never stopped blowing at me.

The land here drives you mad. A good working definition of infinity: think of the largest number you can and add 1 to it. And so it goes with Kansas. Think of all the corn you can and add ten miles to that. Ditto hay, yellow dashes in the middle of roads, telephone poles, and grass. There is no stillness in this. You move down a straight road with the worst feeling that you're going in circles.

But, with nothing in between, I made it to Eureka. I paused for milkbreaks and to tape down another popped spoke. I could have gone on for another 100 miles, but the bike shop in Hutchinson is closed on Sundays so I will have to wait them out and only go 77 miles tomorrow.

I am at the new pool. I went swimming earlier. My new friends and I -- Cody, Earl, and Cody's sister, all 11 -- had a couple of handstand contests, underwater races, and biggest splash conversation.

"So you're a biker huh?"
"That's right."
"I have a bike. It's one of those bikes from Wisconsin --"
"I farted, haHa."
"I ride it a lot now. But I crashed once. Schwin, it's a Schwin, but my Uncle Eric has another kind and he's a real biker."
"I can make my stomach fat."
"That's nothing," I said, "I saw a woman in Kentucky who couldn't fit in this entire pool."

Closing time at the swimming pool is one of young life's great sadnesses. It can't be explained. The other is dropped ice-cream cones.

I am cooking for myself for the first time in a small while. It's rice fro WalMart. The instructions ask for margarine. I'll try and find some when I hit up the bowling alley.


Pool closing

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