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Uphill and Against the Wind - TransAm E-W
By Dave T

Day 37: Eureka to Newton - The rain, the wind and another small Kansas town

Sunday June 22, 1986, 78 miles (126 km) - Total so far: 1,854 miles (2,984 km)

My tent was shaking so I knew it was time to get up. It was about 5:45am I got packed up and we all hit the café for breakfast. As soon as we all hit the road, the sky just opened up and it just poured. It was already steaming hot so I didn't really care, and continued on.

Head winds made the day extremely difficult, and I rode the first 16 miles in 2 hours. The terrain was a little hillier than yesterday as we are in the heart of the Kansas mountains, or the Flint Hills as the rest of the world calls them. Today is the first day I rode with Gene in a long time (for any distance), it was nice to have someone to beat into the wind with. The weather cleared about 11am and it started to get even hotter and the wind kicked up even higher. There was one long 40 mile stretch into Newton without any services or cover. That last 40 miles was almost unbearable, with the wind, the rain, the humidity, and the sun. It probably was some of the toughest 40 miles I've ever ridden on a bike.

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Kansas Scenery.. No, it isn't the same picture as yesterday.

Gene and I arrived in town and got some lunch and headed for the city park. Another night in Kansas, another city park to camp in. I was glad to see a pool to cool off in again today. Everyone was dead tired from the heat so most of us used the pool for a few hours. I always attract a lot of attention when I'm at the pool. I don't think these local girls see a lot of new guys in these small towns. I usually end up talking to all these girls and they all ask the same questions, "are you moving here?", "what school do you go to?", "how old are you?", "do you have a girlfriend?", blah blah blah. Of course, I mess with them and tell them all kinds of crazy stuff... Actually, it becomes a game and I look forward to meeting the girls in each town. It keeps my mind of the wind atleast.

After getting setup in the park we all decided to go get all you can eat Chinese. The dinner was pretty good but we were looking to have a beer. Newton is one of those crazy dry cities or counties or what ever, we couldn't get a beer anywhere. We walked thru town and Clay spotted an AmVets(?) Post so we went over and rang the bell. A little door opened and Clay said he was a Vietnam Vet, and we were looking to have a beer. This was a private club but Clay being a Veteran already kinda was a member, so they let us in, but not before signing some guest member log book. Gene was in heaven because he could get a Jack Daniels Black on the rocks. We really had a great time talking to all these old Veterans, and they wouldn't even let us pay. I think they enjoyed our company as much as we enjoyed theirs. Many of these guys really reminded me of my Uncle Adam.

Tomorrow plans to be another long, hot, windy day, so I'll get some sleep now. G.N.~~


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