As we said goodbye to the Cross family, we rode east knowing that we had no idea where we would stop that cold night. You see, we have discovered that Kansans are highly enthusiastic about their local sports teams- be it pro, college, or high school- they don’t miss a game. They probably don’t have much else to do for fun (just kidding, just kidding!) We love our new Kansas friends and have learned that there are always interesting and fun things to do anywhere if you look- but it’s fun to tease on occasion! So as we rode towards Macksville on dirt rode J and then 50 again, we were informed that the ENTIRE town was going to the high school away basketball game. The Cross’s had made bunches of phone calls, as had several other people, and no one was going to be home that night. I mean the WHOLE town was literally GONE! As we rode into Macksville, there were a few people around who hadn’t left yet (even the sheriff was leaving for the game), but it was nearly void of activity. Bazarre we thought. Well, at least we have discovered what Kansans are passionate about!
The best we could come up with was a contact of a contact of a contact from a local journalist who had called us and wanted to make sure we were taken care of. He had done some long distance biking and was sympathetic to our needs. A local family (out of town for the game) was willing to let us put our horses in their round pen and sleep in their barn. We were grateful for a place to stop as well as a place to stay to get out of the wind- even if it wasn’t heated. We appreciated their trust in letting us stay on their property when they weren’t home. We did though, have to laugh at the directions. “The yellow house on the hill.” Wow, we thought, we’re gonna get to see something other than flat! Good thing the house was yellow and unique or we’d have ridden right by the 10 foot “hill!” We have learned that anything that is even slightly raised is considered a hill in Kansas!
We got the horses taken care of, spent some time trimming hooves, comforted the horses when some people came by to sight in some really loud guns, and were about ready to start setting up camp in the barn when someone stopped by. It was Neri, the brother of our host, coming to see what was going on. He told us “I know it sounds weird, but why don’t you come to my house? I’ll feed you steak and you can sleep in my son’s room. I’ll even leave a vehicle here for you so you can drive over in warmth!” That didn’t seem weird to us- it sounded GREAT! We couldn’t believe, well yes we could, how God put all the pieces together for us. We started the day with no idea where we were going other than east, and ended with feed for our horses, a warm bed, and fantastic company! I am so glad God has taught us to be ok with the unknown, for he takes care of the details every time. I only pray that I can carry that peace back to “real life” with me when we are done.
We had a most amazing time with Neri and friends. We really ‘clicked’ and ended up staying up way too late. We really wanted to stay another day and hang out, but we were determined to stick to our schedule. It’s hard now that we are in civilization, meeting cool people all the time, not to want to stay longer. After all, we do want to get to the Atlantic sometime in the near future!