With our shortest day and flattest roads ahead of us, we figured we had time for one last meal at Cooky's before we left Golden City. There was a stained glass window next to our booth that read: "Cooky's: Since 1942." While looking around, I began wondering how much has changed since Cooky's first opened. The men were wearing overalls, the conversations revolved around farm life, and the faces in the booths had kind of a weathered American look to them. It felt like I was looking at a photo that had been taken in black and white decades ago but was recently colorized. When I see a black and white photo, it appears so distant and long ago that it's hardly relatable. When an artist colorizes a black and white photo, the time doesn't feel as extreme; it becomes easier for me to empathize with the scene, but I can still tell that the people in the photo lived in a different time in a different world. I had a slight understanding of the people in Cooky's, but mostly they seemed like remnants of a community that was left unchanged as the world spun on.
Despite it being 8am when we finished our meal, we felt no shame in asking what pies they had. They were in the process of baking the day's supply, but I was able to snag a slice of the Dutch Peach. This will probably be the only time in my life that I can unabashedly eat pie at 8am, so I'm going to enjoy it while I can. After loading up on calories, we were ready to roll. We stepped outside and Chris looked at the map; we had a straight shot to Pittsburgh, Kansas. All we had to do was turn our bikes around and follow the road that Cooky's was on and we'd be in Kansas.
The only clue that we had that we had crossed into Kansas after 25 miles was the "Welcome to Missouri" sign on the eastbound side of the road. We've looked forward to Kansas for so long, so we were disappointed that we were unable to take touristy photos in front of a "Welcome to Kansas" sign. The trip was quiet, flat, and slightly boring- it was just the kind of change that we were looking forward to. We continued into Kansas a bit further and arrived in Pittsburgh. The city limits sign claimed there to be 20,000 residents, but I think that the census may have been a little liberal with that count. The bike shop is closed tomorrow, so we will be taking a rest day. I'd say that maybe I'll get out and explore to find where those 20,000 people were hiding when we rode through, but the chance of me going more than a city block away on a day off is doubtful.