Slight change in plans. As it turns out, we are dead broke. We thought about just staying in Ohio, ending the route there. But, we decided that is a sissy way to end a massively bad ass trip. After several motel pow wows, we concluded that we will send even more stuff home. You know, like this hair dryer and these hand weights I have been carrying around. What? I've got to keep my biceps toned and my hair shiny.
No, seriously folks, it's time to send home the mess kit, sleeping bags and shoes. We are going to lightweight it with Matty and Johnny and sprint it to the coast.
Two little hitches: The Ozarks, The Appalachians. Sprinting may be out of the question. The elevation map for the coming states looks like a heart monitor for a person overdosing on meth. It doesn't look easy. But, in retrospect, nothing has been easy. Mountains, headwinds, hailstorms, heat advisory, more heat. We have not yet encountered an easy day. I suppose that is the point of the trip.
I can't really pat myself on the back too much. Whenever I am feeling like, 'Alright, man. Check you out. You are doing something truly difficult and monumental', here comes a 90 year old man from Germany with 8 panniers, sixteen bottles of Koolaide and flippin' sandles on. He is peddling about six miles per hour, but he also looks like he'd be exerting more energy reading the morning paper. We have learned that Europeans are built for endurance. And they do it all with a smile.
Today we are in Chanute, Kansas. We have been in cheap motels for the last several nights for safety reasons. (People have been dying even at night from this heat.) We got milkshakes and fruit and went to see Harry Potter.
Mario is right, the people here are wonderful. They are kind to a point that almost makes you wonder if you're about to be sold into Amway or forced to join a cult. They want your website and your life's story. They are also very concerned about your sunburn. SIX DAYS IN A ROW, women in grocery stores across Kansas, strangers, have approached me with this one,: "Ohhhhhh, sweeetheart. You are sooo bunrrrnt. Did you use sunnnnscreeeeen?". Yes. 85 SPF. Every hour. On the hour. Now, move. You're in the way of my trail mix.
So, we will not be home to visit for one night at the end of July, which makes me cry the tears of a thousand angels. But, we will be home about two and a half weeks early for good, which makes me dance like Balki Bortokomous from Perfect Strangers.
Thank you for your love and support. Send the good and cold vibes our way.