Saturday, May 5, 2007

Day 13 Dodge City, KS to Great Bend, KS 86 miles

We wake to the news that a tornado has struck the town of Greensberg, some 20 miles from Dodge City, killing 8 people. The forecast is for a windy day, with severe weather possible later in the day. Mike calls us together in the morning for a talk about the weather and the plans for the day. The suggested sight-seeing trips for the day are now off the agenda … the idea is now to get from here to there as quickly as possible in order to minimize exposure to the storm. Mike sends us off earlier than planned.

Jerry, Dave, Brian, Logan, and I ride together almost all day. It is a short day and we ride at a solid pace, averaging 18.5 mph in spite of a strong cross wind (15-20 mph) that makes riding a bit tough. We are quicker than normal at the sags – and we’re usually fast. We make it to Great Bend before noon and head to a Brahms (sp?) for ice cream before checking in. After checking in we head to the bike store – which is closed – and then to Subway. When we get back to the hotel, the luggage has arrived, so we take ours to our rooms, shower, and then take our chairs outside and eat our sandwiches. Jerry and Dave head off to Walmart to look at cameras; I head to the local Laundromat to do laundry. I check out e-mail, tomorrow’s route, and tomorrow’s weather as the laundry does its thing. The news is blaring about the tornado, which totally leveled Greensburg, and the current severe weather watches/warnings. I’ll be glad when the next few days are done and we get away from this weather pattern.

At breakfast Pam talks about numbness in her finger, which reminds me that the numbness I have in my arm/hand may be ride related, not necessarily the onset of MS or ALS. Don’t know if I’m being paranoid … as I read through the ALS symptoms I see several that are a possibility, so the idea that the numbness is just ride related is reassuring. Still, I won’t be truly reassured until after talking with Dr. Kita.

At 4:00 PM we get our briefing for tomorrow. With the weather conditions, the outlook for tomorrow is very questionable. Mike says this is the worst set of conditions he’s seen in the 40 odd rides he’s been with. After getting the briefing, we head out to dinner at Applebee’s, right next door. Jerry breaks a tooth and heads out to find a dentist. I take his ribs to his room in case he wants them later on. Hopefully he can find a Dentist on a Saturday evening! Back in my room, I watch the storm warnings on TV as I update the log. It shows a storm headed right at us! The hotel moved guests to shelter three times last night. Wow! There is a Tornado warning for this county for the next half hour.

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