Day 29, Sunday, July 03, 2005

Topeka, KS to St. Joseph, MO

(2,800 feet of climbing)
88 miles, 114.7 mph, 5hr 59min 3sec
Max speed 37.9 mph

Up at 5:45; 6:30 breakfast at Holiday Inn: buffet - scrambled eggs, hash browns, sausage links, cold cereal, muffins, juice and coffee. 7:00 load luggage, 7:30 on the road.

The weather channel today was showing a severe thunderstorm watch for all of Kansas and most of Missouri. The day started off a little cool, but warmed up quickly. There was no sign of bad weather anywhere around us. Topeka is in the northeast corner of KS, and we crossed into MO at noon time. We had a tail wind most of the day. I was riding with George when we stopped for lunch at a Subway. While we were there, it was a pleasant surprise when Kathryn and Tina's mom and dad showed up. They live in California and came out to join their girls for a few days. Their dad Brooks is a runner and had just completed a 20-mile run in the area.

Today was turning out to be very pleasant, slightly overcast, mild temperatures and a tail wind. This was my final day of cycling, and I was enjoying it very much. I was riding alone most of today, quietly thinking and enjoying the rolling Kansas countryside. The day passed quickly. My thoughts were of home - Donna, our dog Foxy Lady, our home and all the unfinished projects I'll soon get back to. It will be great to see our children and their families again.

When we were passing through the town of DeKalb, I noticed several fields of plants I didn't recognize. I stopped a pickup truck on the road and inquired - it was tobacco. (see pic). The crop is sown as transplants and will be full grown by mid-August when it is 5 - 6 feet tall. The harvested crop is hung in sheds to dry. Sometimes it is rolled, sometimes chopped locally and also sold as full leafs. The finished seasoned tobacco is mixed with Kentucky tobacco for cigarettes. This tobacco operation has been going on here for many years - very interesting to hear about.

There were 3 SAGs today and they were all a very welcome opportunity to stop, replenish our water, have a snack and chat a bit.

I very much enjoyed the ride today, but was quite anxious for it to end. My thoughts were of going home. I arrived at our hotel, the Drury Inn, at 4:00 p.m.

We went to dinner at the Village Steak House. I sat with Kathryn, Tina and their parents. Also my roommate Jay, Mel and Neil and his wife. There were several cyclists' family members joining us here. I had the salad bar, steak and baked potato.

When I got back to the hotel, I inquired about the shuttle service schedule and was very surprised to find out there wasn't any! The airport is in Kansas City, a 45 minute drive. My only option was a taxi - probably about $100. ABB doesn't provide transportation. Well, I got bailed out: I asked Kathryn and Tina's dad if he would shuttle me - He said 'sure!' Thank you so much Brooks Reid!

Jim disassembled my bike and packed it in my hard shell case. I stayed up till midnight organizing and finishing journals.

Steve and Jack

Diesel fuel? For my bike?


SAG 2, resting with Vivian

John and Vivian - we like corn!

Town of Dekalb. That's a sidewalk. I wonder if everyone walks crooked?

Tobacco plants

Rolling Kansas countryside

ABB message board with our map

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