A myriad of loud bugs all around my tent made my alarm clock sound like a kitten purring, as I woke up to the rising sun. I inhaled the breakfast inside the tent, before hurrying to pack up and say goodbye to my hosts. Elaine sent me off with some homemade bread and a banana and by 7:15 I was on the road. I didn't feel my best this morning so I decided to take a second breakfast after 14 km at a nice rest area in Alexander, to get infused with some sugars. The riding from here wasn't much different. Nothing seemed right today and during moments like this I started to feel lonely. Choosing to do the trip in solitude, I was well aware that moments like this would occur but as with anything else in life, I would strive to pursue the rewarding balance - in this case, between being triumphant in solitude and loneliness.
The day took a turn to the worse when the route turned directly south into the relentless wind for a straight stretch of 31 km. I met some very pleasant westbounders who were also in college and decided to take the trip while they still had time. We stood talking for quite some time and we traded inside information about the route each of us had ahead. There was apparently a long stretch of 100 km after Larned with nothing to come by, so they warned me that unless I wanted to do another 180 km day, I better stay in Larned tonight.
After the demoralizing stretch, I got to the junction where the route turned east again. I cruised into Larned and found a spot in the shade to grab another bite to eat. Since it was so early, I decided to get a cheap motel room and got some shelter from the heat. The rest of the day was spent looking over the bike, truing the wheels, washing up and going to bed early.