Day 32 – 87 miles to Pratt, Kansas

Welp.  I woke up to Erica kicking me today.  It was 5:30 am and I overslept.  Good news – I fell asleep last night at 8.  Sooo, nine and a half hours of sleep?  I think they were much needed.

I’m pretty quick at rolling my sleeping bag, deflating my mattress pad, and packing up, so it shouldn’t have been a big deal.  However, with all the snacks and presents from yesterday, it took me a while to shove everything into my duffel and backpack and then get them zippered.  I’d say a good problem to have.

Today is dedicated to Patrick McCormick, a cousin of my mother, who had colon cancer, but had a surgery in 2012 to remove it.  I’m happy to say he is doing very well.  During dedication circle, Tyler shared a letter his dad wrote, praising our halfway accomplishment and giving us a little motivation for the second half!  Thanks Mark!

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day32dedication

Today, Emma is leaving us for a few days, attending her best friend’s wedding in New York, and returning on the 5th.  Erica, Tyler, Sarah, Sluder, and I made up Team Blue.

day32team

We set off at 7:30 and made pretty good time.  It was strangely chilly this morning, with the temperature peaking around 80 degrees.  At the first water stop, I was pleasantly surprised with an iced mocha (I love my team).  And from there, I felt ready for the day.

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We spent much of our flat, headwind-filled day playing games and chatting about recent team gossip.  Right before lunch, we encountered a plane that kept sweeping down just above the corn fields.  At a certain point, we were sure the pilot was playing games with us, as he kept flying over the road, maybe 40 feet from our heads.  After a few passes, he dropped what resembled a white ribbon, and flew away.  It landed just off the street on a harvested field.  Sarah ran and got it, thinking it was some sort of message or present… but it was just a small piece of cardboard with a long string of white paper attached.  Perhaps it was some sort of field marker?  We weren’t really sure, but it was fun to see fall from the sky and play around with.

day32planeday32plane2Day32groupie day32team2

After lunch, we ran into packed gravel/sand road.  It was apparently the quickest way to our host (and all other reroutes were the same packed sand).  We caught up to Draper’s group (Rachel W, Carissa, Carolina, and Casey) and super-grouped it from there.  At times, the sand was loose and people fell.  Everyone was okay, but it was a bit challenging a road and frustrating to be on for so long.  We encountered a flooded road and instead of rerouting and increasing our mileage, we bit the bullet and walked straight through it (Evan tried to ride through the shallow part, but about 3 feet in, got stuck, and fell over into the water).

day32puddleWe stopped for a little bit next to an overhead crop duster.  We climbed it and took pictures until another group caught up.

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Which was when we got a text that the water van got stuck in a ditch on the side of the road (the host van got stuck earlier in the morning, but got out with the help of our team pushing).  But this was a much bigger ditch.  As in, the back bumper and bottom of the van was touching the ground.  Nathalia and Harshini are  never driving again.  After we got a local in a pick-up truck to help pull us out, the riders continued on, finally on pavement.

We traveled about 10 more miles until we reached Pratt High School.  Tonight, Lauren and I are doing some prom preparations!  Stay tuned!

Michael

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