Continuing with the pain of riding after trying out being a race horse jockey….
So in true Kansas style, our previous hosts made some phone calls to friends who made phone calls to their friends who made more calls… until they found us another host at the right distance and proximity to our route. Pete, a generous hearted bachelor, invited us to his home. He offered us a corral, grain, and hay and “no way are you camping outside- you can stay in my spare bedroom!” A true Kansan. I think I could write a book on hospitality alone just from what I’ve learned on this trip. Hmmm, anyone interested? If so, I might be willing to share a blog on that.
Pete took us to his favorite restaurant for dinner, which I hobbled into, and where we were joined by some of his friends. We had a fun time and set up a date with Tarah, a high school student, who was dying to skip a class in school so she could come take pictures of us when we got into her town. We all decided to make it a date.
In the morning, Pete offered to lend us his digital camera as long as we needed, since, ummm, Tiska stepped on ours and broke the screen. It was still taking pictures but we were aiming blind. We had one ready for us in Wichita, but we had to get closer in order to pick it up. Another one bites the dust (now we are on #5 camera! Yikes!) Good thing we got the warranty! We were pretty grateful for Pete’s generosity since it just kills me to pass up any picture opportunity! We arranged to give it to his daughter in Hutchinson after we picked up our camera (via a borrowed vehicle) so he could get it back. We visited the restaurant in Kinsley again for breakfast.. which was covered by the owner… and got to packin’ up. As we rode out the driveway (I managed to get on my horse without help this time), we were entertained by Pete’s athletic horse who was bucking, rearing, galloping, doing sliding stops and spins, and overall going crazy as our horses rode away. That looked like a fun horse to train… but perhaps the first rides would be best saved for a 20 year old who still bounces well!
We followed a dirt road parallel to 50 into Kinsley, where we then met Tarah at the town park for an exciting milestone.
WE ARE NOW GEOGRAPHICALLY HALF WAY ACROSS AMERICA!
YeeeeHaaaa! Now we have been claiming we are more than half way mileage wise for a little while. But now no one can disagree that we are for sure half way! We are now geographically closer to the Atlantic than to the Pacific! Yippeee!
We had a blast playing in the park- I checked out the old train engine, the original grass hut made by a pioneer that was now protected by a building over top of it, the playground toys, and even scored with a real bathroom! It was quite a blast and an exciting milestone to reach. Now I know we’ve been gone for 10 months, but we are hoping to be to the Atlantic by May. Our eastward movement as drastically increased, as our route is much straighter and easier now. Kansas is the widest state we will cross on the whole trip, and even with Christmas and New Years slowing us down, we will still get across it faster than any state to date. So maybe we WILL get there before the next President is elected!