Thursday, May 21, 2009

Day 15

I couldn't believe how tired I was that morning, but somehow we managed to get the camp closed up and on the bike. Chaplain Dean had to leave early to go to the VA hospital in Topeka, Kansas. We left just after he did and, on the way to the morning meeting, fueled up.
We had a breakfast prepared by the army workers there and then we went to the meeting. For the sixth time we prayed and pledged allegiance to the flag of the US. Then we were told that we were all doing better in riding, but that it would also get harder.
We found this to be true as we rode down Interstate 70. It wasn't as windy as before, but there was much more traffic. The growing amount of trees we passed as the day went on helped to break the wind.
We passed through a toll booth and met Chaplain Dean and the rest of his platoon at Topeka, where we stopped for fuel.
Our longest leg of the day took 114 miles to complete and lasted for over two hours. We entered Missouri on the long ride. We were well rewarded for our efforts because we had lunch there at Concordia. While we waited in line an Apache helicopter landed in the field next to us! It was close and loud. I thought it might hit a nearby tree and crash--but it didn't. We had a great lunch, though we wished it could have lasted longer.
The last two legs were short but they seemed to last for a long time. Not much happened besides us all going down the road. One person stopped on the side of the road beside a rail. The bike leaned on him, trapping him between the rail and his seat! Two of the chaplains helped him out and no one was hurt. They were even laughing about it on the end.
We got to the campground, paraded by people with hundreds of flags. One gigantic flag hung over the entrance of the grassy area, held up by two firetrucks. We passed through, parked and got some dinner before the line got too big. Then we set up our tents. We were able to get showers at a GM van manufacturing plant. We hoped to see the plant in work, but it was closed off at the time.
When we got back I had one last thing to do. We stopped by the patch station and I got a red and black patch made with the name "Spidey" (which is my road name) on it. Then I watched it get sewn on my vest!
And after that and a talk with the family at home, we went to sleep.

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