A crude warning we passed on our way to Watonga. After reading it, all we wanted to do was hunt snakes
After three whole nights in Oklahoma City, it was time for us to head out. The morning was warm before the sun had even risen and we sweat as we packed up the trailer and got out stuff together to leave. We would be traveling 74 miles to Watonga, OK, a 5,000 person town in the middle of nowhere.
The morning started off with a flat. Josh got his first flat tire so we pulled off on the side of the road to fix it.
I think everyone on the team has had at least one flat by now and everyone knows how annoying it is to stop and fix them (some people know more than others!) Getting flats is all part of riding a bike.
After first lunch, we enjoyed an amazing tailwind. The wind was blowing hard and Nyx, Austin, and I were able to hold 30 mph for 10 miles while we cruised with the wind directly on our backs. We could barely believe our speedometers. The sound of wind in our ears was broken occasionally by a whoop of joy or by a shout of "This is AWESOME!" by one of the members of our group. I have never covered 10 miles faster than how we raced through them today!!
Of course, all tailwinds must eventually work against you. After a blissful 10 miles, the road turned and our friendly tailwind became an enemy cross wind. We tried to keep our bikes in a straight line as the wind pushed us sideways, and we were buffeted by the turbulence from speeding semi trucks.
The Great Plains welcomed us with heat and wind, which we expected. The sweat on our bodies evaporated almost instantly and my arms and legs quickly turned gray with salt. We had to fight for 27 miles in the insane cross wind. Luckily, second lunch was located at mile 60 to break up the monotony. Austin, Nyx, and I felt so goofy from exhaustion that we spent a while just hanging out and being silly. We passed around one apple between the three of us and the leader driving the van today, each of us taking a turn to hold the apple while another bit off a piece. Eventually, we decided to devour the entire apple, Austin ate the stem, I ate the seeds, and Nyx ate a piece that fell on the ground into the dirt. Don't worry, we washed it off.
After we were finished horsing around, we got back on our bikes and finished the ride which ended with a few surprise hills long enough to make our legs burn. We were very happy to finally see the Baptist church where we would be spending the night.
Tonight was all about fun Bike and Build antics. We played "Around the World Ping Pong" which is where you take turn with a couple paddles hitting the ball to the other side and then running around the ping pong table to pick up the other paddle. It was a fun game and we got pretty intense of course.
Kat, Amanda, and I walked around little Watonga to see what it offered and we didn't find much. Most of the shops were closed on Saturday evening. We did find a cute wine shop where we ate some delicious local cheese and talked to some enthusiastic locals while they wined and painted.
Afterwards, we came back to the host site and found a piano and a few books and Amanda played the Star-Spangled Banner while attempting to harmonize with Kat and me as we "sang." Note the quotation marks. I'm pretty sure dogs could howl the song better than we sang it. But it was funny and we sang it loud and proud! Seeing the country and the people who live in it by bike has made us more patriotic and really proud to live in the U.S.
We have a tough week coming up and we are sure the wind will only get worse and the heat will definitely not let up. But we are confident in our abilities and we have so many people from home praying for us! Thank you all for your support!!