I woke up to the sound of the other cyclists leaving and by the time I managed to drag myself out of the confines of the tent, they were all gone. I started pedaling at around 7:45 towards the eastern seaboard. The early riding was very pleasant with cool temperatures and no wind. The terrain was starting to get more hilly, but still just gently rolling hills as the ACA took me through the quiet country roads.
After about 50 km of riding, I saw Steve up ahead talking with two westbound cyclists. After the arrival of a fourth cyclist, we were starting to form quite the gathering in the middle of the narrow road that drew the attention of a pick-up driver who joined in.
After a lengthy conversation with the guys, Steve and I teamed up and continued down the road. Steve was a medicine student from Philadelphia who was riding - as previously mentioned - from San Francisco to "Philly". He was also planning on going through D.C to get there so we discussed the unmapped route we would have to take from somewhere in Virginia. After making a wrong turn onto gravel roads and finding our way back, we encountered some wind. We took turns drafting off eachother and before we knew it, we had made it through the worst part of the day. I decided to get something to eat about 30 km from Chanute, so Steve continued into the city.
In Chanute I stopped to catch the last 15 minutes of a pizza buffet and got two 5 slice high plates from the counter. The restaurant had wi-fi so I sat there for quite some time, uploading to the blog and communicating with home. But, eventually I had to get out again.
Feeling tired and wanting to just lie down and sleep somewhere, I abandoned my plan of reaching the end of the current map-section - Girard,KS and went for camping in the city park in Walnut instead. I checked out the park, noticing it had neither water nor a restroom, so I headed to the convenience store to fill up on water. It was advised to notify the police before camping in the park, but since my prepaid sim plan had ran its course, I decided to take a chance. After all, this was a small quiet town.
Apart from the humid heat that persisted way past bedtime keeping me sweating constantly, the evening was pretty ok.