Storms had been threatening for the last several days, and there was a severe storm warning for the morning. I needed to make it to civilization so I could watch the World Cup opener, and there wasn’t anywhere to watch it for at least 50 miles. The first game was at 2pm so, in theory, I had time.
When I woke up, it immediately started to storm. It rained and was super windy for about an hour, then nothing. I quickly packed, paid the park attendant, and moved on. Anytime I try to get somewhere in a hurry, there will inevitably be some sort of set back. After riding 30 miles on a highway (it had a 8 ft shoulder, but traffic was still moving at 70+mph), I was forced to pull over by another flat. There was no shade to be found so I did my best to quickly change it and get to town.
Around 1:30, I got really serious about finding a sports bar. As I passed a Kroger, I saw a dude wearing a football jersey. Surely this guy would know where a sports bar is, I thought. And he did; it was two miles away. I kicked it into gear and made it just in time for kick off.
The game was mostly brilliant, and I was able to try five different Boulevard beers. The local next me gave me some great advice on how to get to Mission, KS, where my two friends live. The way both Garmin and Google routed me made no sense to him (or me), and according to him were actually not that safe.
The game ended and I hit the road, following my new friend’s directions, and feeling slightly elated. The roads are mostly parallel and numbered sequentially, so it’s pretty easy to navigate. Eventually I road across State Line Rd, which I assumed meant I was in Kansas. As I went uphill, I hollered at a guy walking down to ask if I was in fact in Kansas. He rolled his eyes, but the woman behind him confirmed my suspicion. I had made it to Kansas.
A couple of miles later and I was at the home of John and Amanda Frey. Hugs were exchanged, and I was given a tour of their new house, and my bachelor pad upstairs. Once we settled in, I got to meet my other house mates, three dogs and a bird. We opened several beers, caught up and discussed our future plans. I was too tired to want to go out, so we stayed in, anticipating the long days coming up.