We fought the urge to snooze the 5am alarm and began to get ready for the day. It still takes us a while to gather our belongings and eat, so we needed the extra time. The First Lady of Nickerson was already up and preparing breakfast, so we sat with the Mayor and watched Sportcenter. We had pancakes, peaches, and eggs and were ready to start out on our 60 miles by 6:15am.
There's something special about rolling through a neighborhood as the sun rises. The cool air, morning fog, and quiet streets help create a positive attitude that carries through the whole day. We weaved through the corn fields and arrived in Larned, KS by 10:30am. Crossing the train tracks into town, we were surrounded by huge grain silos. The smell was reminiscent of the bourbon town, Bardstown. While scanning the businesses we passed by, we saw more boarded up windows than not. Tumbleweed wasn't blowing around, but the winds were filled with excess grains from the silos. We found a diner that we thought would be a good spot, but they were closing up. They gave us some biscuits on the house, which we really appreciated. It was only 10:40am at this point, but the heat was already intensifying. We continued our search for a hideout and came across a boutique/home decor/cafe combo store. I was able to have a few espressos and read while Chris was able to nap on one of the couches, so it was perfect. After a few hours, we left in search of food. We had forgotten that we left so early because of a heat wave and were greeted by the most intense heat and thickest air of the trip. Camping was no longer an option, so we found the cheapest motel that the town had to offer. Our neighbors are a bit more... weathered? than we've seen, but there's an AC, shower, beds, and a TV. We've been joining all of the single ladies watching ABC family's incredible Saturday movie line up (Parent Trap, Matilda, and Mean Girls), so I think we're a little happy that the weather forced us into the motel.
Tomorrow we have a bit over 60 miles to get to Ness City. Our friends on the tandem bike texted us that there's an ice cream shop that gives discounts to bikers, so we have our eyes on the ice cream.