Day 45. July 28
I woke up feeling awful on this particular morning and was not at all excited to get back on my bike. I think Ethan felt fine, but we were both sore and exhausted. Getting back into biking all day, every day was going to be harder than we thought. We ate PopTarts and headed out around 8.
It was already way too hot and humid that early in the morning and we knew it was only going to get worse. We also had the wind in our face, which always makes things frustrating. By the time we got to our first break, I was in tears. I just had no idea how I was going to get through the rest of the trip or even the rest of that day. As usual, Ethan was able to talk me down and get me back on my bike. Bless his soul.
The morning dragged on and on and I just could not get myself going. It was the slowest I had biked since we were going up mountains. It felt like every mile was really 5 miles and every time I asked Ethan how much farther, I was dissapointed by the answer. We were riding on or next to Highway 30, along the Old Lincoln Highway route. It was the first transcontinental road, which is cool, but the traffic is really heavy and there are lots of big trucks. This did not make the day any better, but it did pretty much guarantee that we would have places to stop for food and water.
We stopped at a less than spectacular truck stop to get water, but I was starving so we decided to eat lunch there too. The food helped my mood a little, but having to go back out into the heat of the afternoon was awful. It was one of those days where you sweat so much that you barely have to use the bathroom. It’s incredibly difficult to stay hydrated in this kind of heat. The afternoon dragged and dragged. I would get tired and need to stop and I would think “ok we must have gone at least 8 miles” but we had only gone 4 or 5. It was so frustrating and I just felt defeated.
We stopped for a quick shade break at what appeared to be a nursing home of sorts. I wasn’t sure how they’d feel about us sitting at their picnic table, but figured they couldn’t be mad about a couple of bikers just trying to escape the sun. Turns out it was actually a mental care facility and our presence was making some of the patients nervous. A lady came out to tell us this information and kindly asked us to leave. We apologized profusely and got outta there quickly. Oops!
I had another breakdown at some point after that, but as always, all we could do was keep biking. We stopped in every small town between Plymouth and Warsaw, which was our final destination. I don’t really remember much other than it was hot and exhausting. We also didn’t know for sure where we were going to stay that night. We had a positive response from a Couch Surfing host, but I wasn’t really in the mood for chit chat or the chance that they might not have air conditioning. We decided to spring for a hotel, but weren’t sure which one we’d stay in.
Luckily, they were all located within a 1/2 mile of each other on our route. When we finally got to the area I think it was 7:30 or 8, which meant it took us almost 12 hours to go 60ish miles. Ugh. We decided to split up to check out the prices of the hotels. I went to the Hampton Inn, which we knew would be too much but thought maybe they’d feel bad for us and help us out. Ethan went to the Super 8. The Hampton was completely full, so we didn’t even get the chance to pull the sympathy card. The front desk lady did call almost all the other hotels for us though, which was very helpful and kind of her.
Ethan ended up finding an Economy Inn that was only $35 and got really excited. I did not get excited because there was a very slim chance that $35 was going to get us in a nice, clean place. I was correct. The hotel was a dump and there was no way I was staying there. We had to go back about a 1/2 mile to what used to be the Super 8 and is now the Warsaw Lodge. Ethan was slightly annoyed, but mostly because it was double the price.
The hotel wasn’t the nicest, but it was clean and there was TV. Ethan went back out because he’s the best and got us a pizza and Gatorade. We spent the evening trying to recover from one heck of a tough day. We didn’t really talk about how I was feeling about continuing on and honestly I was too exhausted to even think about having to make that decision. I just hoped and prayed that the next day was easier.