• Robert Henning

Day 45: A Whole Lot to Love's

Lakin, KS to Lamar, CO

85 miles, 840 ft gain, 125 ft descent

Hello! This is Robert again with another post on an inter-state trip!

We awoke at our motel in Lakin with a mission. With 85 miles for the day, we left as early as we could. The heat this week has been brutal; hovering around 102 degrees, the heat has pushed us to start our days earlier to maximize time in the cooler morning hours. We are racing the sun. And while the day brought many challenges, with the heat and a headwind, we also had a few new milestones on our journey west.

For one, we rode into a time zone change.

We also entered Colorado!

We are not the only ones experiencing the brutal heat, because around us are ranches that have herds of cattle. With thick black fur, I have found a new appreciation for my performance clothing, paired with the wind brushing past my body.

The cows have a distinctive presence in the area, and we smell the breeze off of the trucks that bring them to different destinations in the area.

Among the endless fields of staple crops are countless grasshoppers, and we see them when they jump as our bikes approach. The locals say that this is usual for this time of the year, but it’s a fascinating phenomenon to see on a bike.

Today I learned locusts are grasshoppers that are in drought mode. The word “locust” sounds apocalyptic and devastating; “grasshopper” sounds middle-American and peachy.

Reflecting on my own experiences with road trips in the area, in the past, you miss so much when you travel by car. I could do without the scent of the cow trucks, though.

As the heat bared down on us, we neared the end of our ride. Into the AC we went, shedding BTU’s, as a group split off for picking up dinner items. After our meal, which combined a classic rotisserie chicken with General Tso’s chicken, a potential new mainstay, we read in the same shared space then got ready for bed.

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