I woke up at seven this morning to the sound of Tim, Bernie, Brendon and Gary making extremely crass innuendo (and some rather blatantly unwholesome statements besides) at each other. This is actually one of the best parts of this trip; even though I wake up tired, I wake up laughing.
I can't speak for everyone, but I feel like I've gotten more into the swing of this. Like there's an actual pattern, so that even when we're still tweaking the details, we're not all feeling clueless or anxious.
We had our Pratt, KS stop last night. Pratt was the town with the McDonald's giving out free food to the RAAM participants (crew and cyclists!), and since none of us turn our noses up at free food, we all got a meal. Even Kristy, who hadn't touched McDonald's in four years. It was appreciated by everyone.
Warren Fairleigh is the fellow who set up the McDonald's stop. He is currently serving in the army over in the Middle East. He couldn't even be here to receive our gratitude in person. The people working at that particular McD's gave out loads of cookies with tags featuring Warren's name and his email address; if those of you reading would also send him an email to thank him for caring about your loved ones, we would appreciate it. He's Warren.Fairleigh@usarmy.mil or WFairleigh@yahoo.com. Thanks, everyone.
The sunsets in Kansas are beautiful, for the record. Also, Kansas is full of fireflies.
There was a route alteration in Wichita last night that no one knew about until Gary and I turned onto 119th and encountered a road block. I called in, got the right directions, returned to the course… and discovered the GPS was playing silly-buggers with us. Cue ten minutes of confusion, followed by shutting off the laptop completely and relying solely on the 'RAAM Bible' for directions.
It figures that the GPS would act up when I'm the only one using it. Everyone else was going out of the book.
At some point while I was sleeping this morning, we crossed into Missouri. Missouri -- at least, in this part -- is significantly less flat than Kansas is, and has more trees and water, and bright orange lilies growing wild along the side of the road.
I don't really have much else to observe right now. Everyone in the RV is sleeping except for Brendon (who is driving) and me (who is navigating and, at the moment, taking the time out to blog).
Oh, a good thing to note: Team Strong Heart is definitely in third place right now, after some back-and-forth "Are we, or aren't we?" "By a lot" is all I know about the specifics (check the RAAM website for details). We're slowly gaining on second, though I think we'll all be thrilled just to keep third.
Ooh, breaking news! A photographer fellow by the name of Eric who appears to be from Team Donate Life (Team 605) just came over to visit and request an email address. He and his group saw Team Strong Heart burnin' rubber last night, and he got some pictures. The race will probably be over before we can post any photos, but he's got my email.
We're currently stopped at Time Station 32, over halfway across the country. They're offering free food here, too, so I'm off to dig in!
EDIT: Huge thanks to Lena and Eric (I hope I spelled his name correctly) for providing food for us. The home made beef brisket and chili was delicious!