Day 33: Quiet cent to Lamar

by James

I’m abbreviating these posts so I can get onto the more interesting days while they’re still fresh in my head.

We woke up June 19th from an uninterrupted sleep in a single at the Flamingo Motel, Dodge City, KS. We plowed through the typical morning routine quickly, packed our bikes, then went to cash in on the continental breakfast offered beside the check-in desk.

Mike and I wandered in and began loading up on discount pastry, despite the absence of anyone else in the windowed room. Eventually, an Indian guy poked his head out from a room behind the desk, and decided after a moment’s thought that we weren’t just vagrants and had some probability of being real customers. After we passed his sniff-test, he receded into the room and we didn’t see him again.

After I finished the warm coffee, we hit the road for Holly, Colorado.

Clouds, trains, and wind
Clouds, trains, and wind.

Other than a few mechanical failures, we plowed through the countryside without anything particularly interesting happening; just gray fields, idle farm equipment, and telephone poles.

I enjoyed a leftover Modelo while Mike was changing a flat.
Roadside getdown
Kickin' it on the roadside.

We decided midway through the day to crank a century to Lamar, a town larger than Holly, because the wind was with us. As we found out the next day, this turned out to be a good decision.

Pretty good epitomization of Kansas. Except you can't actually see the wind.
We passed a cropduster. I think the dude piloting tried to divebomb us a few times.

We crossed over the Colorado border, and thirty miles or so down the road we got into Lamar. We ate at a burger shack called BJ’s. The burger joint was odd; all orders were to be made via telephone from booths. The man on the other line had a booming, deep voice and you could hear your own responses resonating over a loudspeaker in a kitchen hidden by papered glass. About ten minutes after you got done with the booming voice, an unenthusiastic teenager would saunter out with a plate of food and take your currency into the veiled kitchen.

After dinner, we set up our tent in the city park. We did a thorough search for sprinklers and realized we were in a minefield of manmade hydration. We did our best to set up the tent at an angle to each sprinkler we found, and did a fair job of that.

Lamar city park
Setting up in the park.

The sprinklers tried to antagonize us, but we’d put the rain-cover on the tent. Instead of having us soaked, the night was punctuated with blasts of water hitting taut plastic. Better the plastic than us.

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