If this tour had a theme, it would have to-do with the heat. There have been maybe three days where it was actually comfortable to be outside in midday. Today, again, the heat index was well over 100 in the afternoon, and a 38 mile service gap at the end of todays route made for a long day.
In the end, it wasn't so bad. At 5pm, with 30-some miles covered, I left the Cassoday, the last town before the gap. The road was rough, then better, and the rolling hills where peaceful and meditative. I brought out my music player and speakers for the first time, since the radio would use up batteries I needed for my lights. I imagined storylines for songs. I cyclist-eyed potential stealth camping spots(Lots of them in highway-supply dumps). Riding at night in central Kansas is much nicer than Missouri or Iowa, where I emerged at camp covered in cobwebs, caterpillar silk, and bugs. Here it was hot, but dry and clear. No moths and gnats attacked my headlights.
Michelle and Ryan had waited out the heat and wind(Did I mention the wind? It was 20mph+ from the south west, and pretty awful, it was)in Cassoday, as well, but in the church where I never saw them. Nearing Newton, I could see their LED headlights steadily gaining on me. We met up right before the outer sprawl of Newton, piled into a dairy queen, ate, and complained about jellied legs and sore asses. Camping tonight was at the Newton Athletic Park, which one may be tempted to think has showers, on account of being an Athletic Park, but it does not. Oh well.