Wednesday, July 8, 2009

the train from hell - earthquake strikes

Total Distance Traveled: 1880 miles
Total distance traveled in the last 24 hours: 175 miles

Well quite a bit has happened since David dropped us off in Monroe City, Missouri at 4 pm on July 5th. We picked up our bikes that we had left there and realized that we had to ride about 245 miles to Lawrence, Kansas in 36 hours to be back on schedule. Child’s play we said to each other. David rode about 30 miles down the road with us, which was fun because we had some nice drafting for a while and could make sweet bike formations. After David leaves Wyatt and I are exhausted since we really didn’t sleep at all while we were in Chicago, so we get to a small town and lean our bikes against a small church right on the main road. We lie down on the ground and fall asleep. I wake up an hour later and I’m cold so I get into my sleeping bag. It’s still light outside and we’re sleeping next to a church like hoboes right where hundreds of cars pass by and look at us. We wake up refreshed around 8 pm and start back off on our journey. We go another 40 miles and get to another small town around 11 pm. We’re dead tired and know we need to sleep. So we ride to the outskirts and try to find a nice place to camp.

This is where the worst night of our lives occurs. We have a lot of trouble finding adequate bushes to camouflage our tent when we see something that is beside the train tracks and about 30 feet from the highway. We head up there and put our tent up behind some bushes about 15 feet from the train tracks. We didn’t think a train would go by since we’ve been on this road all day and had yet to see a train. How wrong we were.

About an hour later we wake up to what sounds and feels like the biggest earthquake known to man. The ground is shaking and Wyatt and I our screaming when we realize a train is coming by. It lasts for about 10 minutes and it feels like our world has gone upside down. We eventually fall back asleep, when a few hours later TWO TRAINS come by in opposite directions and the earthquake has become a 9.0 on the Richter scale. Wyatt and I again wake up screaming and then in all the commotion we head butt each other since we can’t see anything and so now not only are we in the worst earthquake in history in the state of Missouri, we now have throbbing headaches. Word of advice never sleep anywhere near train tracks.

We wake up at dawn and are sad to realize we still have about 175 miles to go since we only went 70 miles the night before. This is where we learn what our bodies are made of. We have turned into machines. We slowly cross the 100 mile mark around 5 pm. We enter Kansas City, Missouri and get lost in the ghetto and still we continue. By the way the people were very nice there. Then tragedy strikes as we are on the outskirts of the city around 9 pm. I’m fishing through my bag and I realize my wallet is lost. All day looking at directions and the wallet fell out of my bag! I’m screwed, but I try to take it in stride and realize I can’t do anything about it in the dark still about 50 miles away from Lawrence, Kansas. I’m now without any form of ID more than halfway across the country.

We arrive at our final destination in Lawrence after riding about 50 miles in the dark, which was okay, we now prefer riding at night since the heat during the day is getting ridiculous and will only get worse. The only thing we’re sad about besides the wallet going missing is that we didn’t see a welcome to Kansas sign, so we’ll have to take a picture of one when we leave Kansas.

We arrive at Karly and Valisha’s house in Lawrence at 2 am and we’re welcomed with hot showers, beds, and Valisha’s Lasagna specialty. She was being modest, but it was delicious. I sleep with Karly’s dog Presley, who is quite the cuddler.

I figure out my wallet situation and it turns out I can have a debit card sent to me by tomorrow, but I won’t have an ID for a while because it takes 10 business days in the state of North Carolina to process my request and send it out to where I am. So I won’t receive it until I walk into a post office in Bloomfield, New Mexico. I’m truly off the grid right now.

The next day is our rest day and we head off to KU and see the campus and all the sports complexes there. We had a sweet tour and after headed to the beach about 15 minutes away. The girls proceeded to bury me in the sand and turned me into a sandy monster. The girls are nothing but nice and generous to us. They take care of us, cook for us, take us out to eat, and Valisha even sewed for me! It’ll be sad to go since we know we’re heading back into the wild. Thank you ladies!

In front of Allen Fieldhouse house at KU

We’ll be in Kansas for a long time and we’re a little scared about what we’re going to see. Apparently western Kansas is a scary sight compared with the east. We’re off to find out if the legends are true. I have a feeling we'll survive.

Only 25 days until we plunge into the Pacific Ocean!!

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