I’d spent most of the previous night trying to figure out where to stay in Buffalo, OK. I really wanted to get through two legs but there is nothing in Buffalo. It unfortunately was starting to make more sense to stop in Liberal, Kansas; there was plenty of lodging and a Laundromat. What made this unfortunate was that the section was only 117 miles long. However, I could do two sections the next day and stop in Alva, OK which also had a good bit of lodging so I begrudgingly decided to go to Liberal, KS.
This is about the time where the ride report begins to get boring. The map was showing all straight lines:
I got a reasonably early start even though it wasn’t exactly necessary with only 117 miles to cover. The grasshoppers were all over the road and bees and wasps flew across the road between the fields. I don’t particularly care to ride with my face shield down; I prefer just to wear glasses. However, I’d already been hit right in the middle of my forehead by a wasp on my way to Telluride a few days back so the face shield came down at various times during the ride.
The temperature was high too; hovering around 100 degrees and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. I could feel the grasshoppers thumping off of my shins and knees and I continued to be hit in the face by bugs. It was a boring, tough ride; at least it was pretty short trip. I snapped a few pictures:
I’d been wearing the same undershirt while riding everyday since I’d shipped some of my clothes home back in Battle Mountain. The shirt was getting pretty disgusting by this point. I planned on stopping to do laundry before grabbing a motel; so I figured I’d wear the nasty shirt until I got a couple miles outside of Liberal and change it so that I wasn’t taking off my clothes in the Laundromat.
I pulled into Liberal, KS about 2:00 and swung by Walmart to grab a razor because the beard and the heat weren’t co-operating. When I pulled off my helmet this guy was wedged between the face shield and the sun visor:
I smacked it with my phone a few times but instead of killing him I just knocked him loose. For the record I am unreasonably terrified of bees, wasps, hornets and frankly anything that flies and stings. When he got loose he flew up to around eye level about two feet from my face but then just flew off. I was in full panic mode and I was straddling the bike without the kickstand down. I was about 2 seconds from overreacting and dropping the bike trying to get away. Crisis averted.
The air conditioning felt amazing in Walmart; I didn’t want to leave. I decided instead of doing laundry first I’d cruised on down into town and grab cheap motel that was within walking distance of the Laundromat. I threw on my sandals on, grabbed my clothes and took a walk to do some laundry.
As I sat in the laundry place I began to realize that I wasn’t exactly in the best part of town. I kept getting weird looks from people coming and going. Fortunately, I basically looked homeless. I’m pretty sure no one knew what to make of my sandals, dirt bike pants and paint covered Under Armor shirt attire. My hair was a mess and I kind of smelled. I suppose that could have been the reason for all of the looks too…
I only had 12 quarters and the wash took $2.50. It looked like the drier would only cost a quarter. When it was time to dry I threw a quarter in and it gave me 6 minutes. Damn… I threw in a second quarter which took me 12 minutes. The place had a quarter machine but it only took up to $20; I only had hundreds, because obviously, that’s how I roll.
The counter at the Laundromat said “No Change” so I decided I had to take a walk to the super shady gas station a block or two up the street. I kind of assumed that the gas station had an ATM. My plan was to grab a $20, buy a Gatorade and ask for $1’s as change.
The gas station did indeed have an ATM but that ATM was broken that day. Damn again… I grabbed a Gatorade and tried to let as many people go in front of me as possible I approached the checkout line. When the lady behind the counter counted out my 97 dollars and 50 cents worth of change the few people left in the store just stared me down. Damn for a third time… I have to walk back two blocks and sit in a Laundromat for another 30 or so minutes. I am definitely getting robbed…
I made it back to the Laundromat, got some quarters and threw in another 5 to give me an extra half hour of drying. Surprisingly, while the looks still came by way no one tried to get my money. I went back to the motel with the laundry, had a shower and relaxed.
Oh yeah, I forgot the shirt I’d been wearing under my jacket for weeks at the motel. It didn’t get washed…
Mileage: A painfully uneventful 117.