Another long ride, going east, east, east. This time I stocked up plenty of water for another empty stretch of land. Kansas now looks more and more likes the plains around Paris.
I left early as planned, and avoided the heat of early afternoon. It was a good move as I went way slower than before. I may be getting tired, but mostly I felt the very slight downhill curve didn’t exist today. The road, for the most part, was also much older and not as good. At some point the main road went south and the trail pressed straight forward.
This is where it starts to look more like the Paris region : small patches of trees, a few forests even, a road that used to be maintained, fields of course, but not stretching to the horizon anymore. Or at least, the horizon is now much closer, a smaller world.
The trail also goes through a natural preserve, where the noticeable change is being bitten by tons of different insects ! I didn’t stick around. And another dog chase, the first since California. He didn’t seem particularly aggressive, but he certainly wasn’t playing. I should have sprayed him to teach him the limits of his territory.
Nickerson is the first town on the way after 60 miles / 96 kms. I crossed the Arkansas river twice before arriving there. Standard small American town, but the only hotel around is far from standard.
The Hedrick bed and breakfast is mostly an exotic animal farm : ostriches, giraffes, zebras, kangaroos, etc. A large building south of town that also offers very expensive rooms (and a collection of VHS tapes). I was of a mind to go a bit off trail to the nearest city, Hutchinson, but they offer special rates for cyclists ! So I stayed there and was joined by the Chinese team. I wonder how they can ride fully clothed under 35-40C/95-100F temperatures 🙂
The Bible Belt strikes again :p
To this I say :