Going to sleep last night I left the blinds open expecting to see a rainstorm and possibly some lightning. I love a good rain storm. Going to bed early trying to catch up on some rest I woke up to the sound of some lightning and rain hitting the window. Nothing out of the ordinary so I went back to bed. When I walk later in the morning I saw that the power in the hotel was completely out. Not thinking much of it I went back to bed and it was something I would look at in the morning. Waking up expecting to get a jump on the day the power was still out. When I pulled up the Kansas City power outage map it looked like the whole city was completely out of power. As I sat contemplating what my next move was I thought I might have to stay again and not move. Twenty five minutes later the power in the hotel came back on. And of course that triggered a whole new set of logistics and possibilities. What did it look like outside? Were there power lines down? Trees down? Could I even get to my destination? I had packed up everything except what I was wearing the night before so I decided to go to breakfast and take a look at outside. The humidity was already rising along with the sun. I decided I needed to do some miles so I plotted a possible interim destination and left the hotel. I was definitely nervous looking at the power outages but I felt like I needed to move forward. Navigating a large city in urban environment is something that I realized was always slower than expected. There are plenty more turns and roads that aren’t so nice. Today I saw the good the bad and the ugly of Kansas City. There’s not a large urban city in America that isn’t representative of what I saw.

But then the first half hour I ran into another road closure and chose to follow my gps route. That turned out to be a mistake as I ran into some more mud that completely stopped my progress. The mud seemingly light but super thick caused me to be unable to pedal forward. On the side of the road I had to completely remove all my bags and the wheels to scoop out the mud between my fenders and wheels. I’d never experienced mud so thick that it caused me to stop peddling. As I was cleaning up and getting ready to put my bike back together, A young lady Julie who was running down the road saw me and asked if I needed help. At first I thought I was good but then I realized she could hold the bike while I put all my bags back together. Typically I lean my bike up against a pole or a wall as I add all the bags. Out in the open it’s doable but definitely more challenging by myself. She provided a much needed assistance. And she asked about the trip in my current route she informed me that I should take a different road to a trail I was looking to connect to. I thanked her for advice she was truly an angel out of nowhere. Fowler her advice I came to the trail much quicker than anticipated. This trail provided some cover and again almost 9 miles with no cars. This trail ended in a parking lot on the outskirts of the Chiefs and the Royals Stadiums. In my route planning this was noted as restricted area. I was happy to see that there was no enclosure that I could not pass.

Moving beyond the stadium I was stopped by an extremely slow moving train. I waited over 10 minutes as the train inched by and many cars turned to go some different way. I didn’t have that option so I just stood there and waited. Continuing on I saw some not so nice areas of Kansas City. I was glad to get through those and move into some other trails and open parks. For anyone who thinks that Missouri is flat they’re clearly wrong. Today was up and down up and down. Heading through the city and moving away from downtown I ended up passing my first option. By the time I realized this there was no turning back I would have to figure something else out. I found a wonderful bike path that led me through a windy hilly park that provided a respite from the heat in the sun. I talked to a family whose dad was taking three of his children to play in the rushing river to cool off. The sound of moving water is something I never get tired of. I then ran into Eric an IT person who worked in the town I was headed to. We talked for about 25 minutes and shared stories back and forth and he asked to review my route. In doing so he recommended some other options to keep me safe along some busy highways. When discussing all my planning he realized that I was moving along the safest route to my destination. The one thing he did was recommend a new option for the end of the day. As it turned out that is where I ended up. Eric my second Angel provided some much needed Intel on the route and just what was ahead. I rolled some through some beautiful neighborhoods and as I began to find a more populated area I finally found a car wash that I was hoping could clean my bike. When I arrived I realized this wasn’t a self car wash and so I was a little apprehensive. I decided to go and pretend I was a car and see if they would spray off my bike and bags to clean off the mud that had now dried all over. As I waited as other cars rolled in one of the workers checked with the manager and they said it was okay. God provided a nice break of cars and allowed me to go in and get everything sprayed off. The car wash attendant laughed as he said

“I can’t say I’ve ever seen a bike come through a car wash”

Spraying all the dirt and grime away I finished my day with about 8 miles of rolling hills of 5-6% grade. A little bit later I was so hot stopping in a gas station to get some fluids I decided to go hang out in the beer cave to cool down . Arriving at the hotel I was pleasantly surprised with a large baseball tournament going on behind the hotel. There were six fields and hundreds of people watching and playing baseball. I was fortunate enough to get a room to overlook the baseball fields. So after taking a much needed shower I sat looking out the window watching young men and teenagers play baseball. I couldn’t hear the play by play but it didn’t matter I was thoroughly enjoying the air conditioning as the temperatures rose over 106 to day. As I am writing this they are still playing baseball and I’m guessing I might be able to watch for the next hour or two.