Day 4 - Crosswinds - CycleBlaze

Day 4

Today was more crosswinds and a bit of heat in the afternoon.  If anything, the wind was sharper today than in the last two. Surprise!  You are still in Kansas, Paul!  I left Newton about 8:15 and headed east on Highway 50.  Just east of Walton, barely 4 miles down the road, I came across what appeared to be the aftermath of a train derailment.  Looks like a stack train came to grief at some point.  What a mess!  The frog haven in the ditch along a two mile stretch of the highway got turned into a quagmire. Near as I coud tell, the railcars and containers that could be repaired had been removed, and the ones that were totaled were stacked up along the roadway in the ditch.  Some were in the process of being cut up, with something that looked like a giant cutting claw on a backhoe.  Not something you see every day.  

Train mess just southwest of Walton.
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Starting to see some rolling hills.
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I got to Florence at about 10:30 and stopped at a local restaurant for a second breakfast.  When you are burning lots of calories, you gotta eat every so often. From Florence to Elmdale, I had a sometimes quartering tailwind, and at other times, a direct tail wind.  Tailwinds are nice in the morning when it is cool, but in the afternoon, make things a bit warm, cuz you don't have any wind blowing in your face to help cool you off.  At one point, I stopped for a rest break right across from Clover Cliff Ranch Bed and Breakfast.  I had no idea what I was looking at until I saw a sign about a mile farther down the road that said something like:  "You just missed us, the Clover Cliff Ranch Bed and Breakfast".

Clover Cliff Ranch Bed and Breakfast.
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One of the cow critters at the bed and breakfast, who I would not like to meet in a dark alley.
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By the time I got to Strong City, the road had changed to mostly due east, and I had a crosswind once again.  I also noticed after leaving Newton I was out of the flat prairie and into the rolling prairie.  There were also quite a few several mile long gentle downhill stretches in several places.  In places, the shoulder was paved concrete that had the rumble strips all the way across the 8 foot span.  Not much fun getting your gizzard vibrated every 5th pedal stroke over the course of several miles.  My 2 inch wide tires helped soften the rattling.  Whoever came up with that idea was not a bicycle tourist.  There was no rhyme or reason to when there were the little "zipper" rumble strips and the 8 foot wide versions.  

Between the hills and the wind, I put a big dent in the charge on the two main batteries.  I had been wondering if I had too much battery reserve for this trip, and after today, I am thinking maybe I have just the right amount.  As in the old saying:  "If a little is good, more is better, and too much is just right".  I will find out for sure after I get to Missouri.  I made fairly good time today, but on reflection about the return trip, some of the stretches I was on today will be a lot slower going on the homeward trip.........uphill and into the wind.  Once I got to Emporia (at 2:30 pm) and got checked into a motel (where, after unloading my bike I neglected to point it into the wind, which blew it over and scratched the 1/2 gallon water bottle cage and RH mirror mount), I rode over to Eclectic Bikes in downtown and visited the folks there.  I will be spending the day here in Emporia to look around and also to hide from the cold front that is supposed to be headed this way and bringing with it the chance of some thunderboomers tomorrow afternoon.

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My reflection in the window is about as close as I will get to a selfie.
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Two chargers going at the same time. All the plugs in the motel room were taken up with all the appliances. The orange extension cord I brought along for such contingencies, is plugged into a plug strip on the other side of the room.
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Today's ride: 77 miles (124 km)
Total: 262 miles (422 km)

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