Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Toronto, KS

current location: Toronto, KS
total mileage: 1449
longest day: 105 miles!!
servings of ice cream consumed: 51
% of riding days during which I've cried: 43%
# of types of identifiable roadkill: 22
level of seat comfort (on a scale of 1 to 11): 9.5

Wow. So much to say. TOO much to say. Marritt Cafarchia has taken over the "safety escort" position and because we are practically twins, both good and bad comes of it. Good things include laughing, yelling at objects (i.e. hills, towns, hunger, etc) when they make us angry, yelling at things for no reason, singing, mid-day power-naps, camping behind a dumpster (true bums), intensity, and the reminder I received from her one morning: "That's the point of life: to kick your own @$$." Bad things include coming up with lofty plans to maximize mileage and minimize sleep, annnnd... that's about it.

Since I last wrote, I've completed a 105-mile day, which was the best thing I could have done to relieve the mileage pressure I've been putting on myself. I did this even before we entered Kansas, so I'm hoping to get one or two more in before entering Colorado. Speaking of Kansas, hooray for being in my 5th state!! If western Kansas is as flat as all the Kansans say it is, this might be my favorite state of the trip, despite relentless sun and unpredictable winds. I mean, I might even have to send my book home, as I won't be able to read while focusing on balancing in the winds. I've remained pretty much unsunburnt thanks to the BPOTT (best purchase of the trip): a thin, white, long-sleeved shirt.

A lot of the past week or so has been full of personal growth and self-realizations. They're never fun, but always worth it. I won't get into details, but I'll just sum it up by saying that my decision-making motto has become: "In the name of Happiness." The Ozark Mountains made me cry, but mostly because of the pain I experienced due to worn out chamois shorts; hills are no fun, but holes are worse.

When I was little, armadillos used to be my favorite animal. Clearly I had never smelled one. Just when I thought possums were the stupidest animals alive (or dead on the side of the road), along came armadillos, "possums in shells." Send an address if you want a piece of one in the mail. Caution: 90% of armadillos in the southern Missouri region have leprosy. The turtles like to sit in the middle of the road too. What they are thinking, or not thinking, beats me. Another animal that has died on the trip is my "platypus" (my h2o-carrier), which fell and got demolished by a truck. Until further notice, I'm fueling this machine on a 1-liter soda bottle, often having to stop at houses in the middle of nowhere to refill.

I am not riding a ukulele.
I am not doing a marathon.
FedEx drivers are the coolest.
Laura Ingalls Wilder's house is not on a prairie.

one wheel for One.

Four-wheeling on a rest day in Seymour, MO. Felt kinda bad passing the Amish families on their farms, but someone's gotta enjoy technology, so we did... with a wave and a smile, of course. I mean, gimme a break, at least I'm not DRIVING cross-country, right?

Riverview Motel in Mammoth Spring, AR
Spring Dipper Ice Cream in Mammoth Spring, AR
Wendell Bailey, Jill Bailey, and Sarah Sido of Willow Springs, MO
Ray and Allene Howell of Seymour, MO!!!
Marritt, for picking up my new tire and chamois shorts at the out-of-the-way P.O.

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Coker unicycle product info.


Lars Clausen said...

Go Gracie go. Kansas! I'm thrilled for you. 105 miles. YOu're amazing! Keep on keeping on. Lars Clausen

templarbond said...

Keep going, I feel somewhat choked by the experience you must be having, wish it was me, good work.

Aunt Robin said...

Yay you. But the chamois shorts issue made me wince and go "oooh, ouch." You are an inspiration to us all, dearheart. Good luck on the rest of your journey through Kansas. And Marritt too? And Marritt too.
Love, Auntie Robin

Anonymous said...

Keep it up, Chiquita... my schedule is insane right now (have to grade 30 final exam finals today before we head to Nicaragua in the morning), but I'll try and call tonight. By the way, what is this "dearheart" that Aunt Robin cites. I've heard of people being called "dear" and others "sweetheart," but never "dearheart." Is that like a jackalope? I'm going to have to steal that term and use it on Sam. Okay... enough rambling. Stay safe, dearheart. :) And say hi to Marritt for us!

Shiloh said...

that was me, by the way.