Fun and Free Food on the Fourth!

Blessings awaited us as we approached the town of Yates Center Tuesday (July 3). Our first stop was a grocery store to gather what we needed to cook our dinner.  As we were leaving the store, a man across the street started asking us about our biking adventure. (Our unusual bikes with kids definitely attract attention that just Jerry and I alone would certainly not get!) So, after talking with him for a little while, we carried on to the city park where we cooked our dinner, planning to ride a mile or so to a campground (which had no showers) after eating our dinner. Well, the next thing we know that same man  showed up and invited us to not only camp in his yard, but also to use his shower! Yippee! 

 Denny, our gracious host who let us strangers camp in his yard and use his bathroom/shower. 

Denny, our gracious host who let us strangers camp in his yard and use his bathroom/shower. 

While at the grocery store, Douglas had spotted a flier inviting folks to a 4th of July breakfast (biscuits and gravy) and cornhole tournament to help raise money for a local church youth group. There was no question about where we would have breakfast the next morning!! While at the breakfast, we thoroughly enjoyed talking with many of the people there. We even found out that the family of the event’s organizer does the same homeschool curriculum/method/model that we participate in (Classical Conversations). It’s fun to connect with folks in this way- so organically!

 Mark (the organizer) serving those delicious biscuits and gravy. 

Mark (the organizer) serving those delicious biscuits and gravy. 

 Mmm! Biscuits & gravy at the city park. 

Mmm! Biscuits & gravy at the city park. 

 A sweet new friend, Sharen, whom I enjoyed talking with at the biscuit/gravy breakfast.  

A sweet new friend, Sharen, whom I enjoyed talking with at the biscuit/gravy breakfast.  

 The cornhole tournament after the biscuits & gravy breakfast.  We didn’t participate- we needed to get on the road. 

The cornhole tournament after the biscuits & gravy breakfast.  We didn’t participate- we needed to get on the road. 

We then got on the road to ride the 32 miles to Eureka, KS. You may or may not have heard on the news that Eureka was hit pretty hard a week ago by a tornado. We were actually uncertain until that morning whether we would even be able to stop there. It turns out that the town has really rallied around each other, and they seem to be recovering well. When we arrived at the park that allows cyclists to camp there, we found that there was a family-friendly 4th of July party going on, complete with FREE cookout and fireworks, plus a very fun playground and new friends that the boys enjoyed playing with. We couldn’t have planned that any better! We’re loving being a part of small-town America!  The only drawback was that we needed to wait for the park to clear out before setting up our tent for the night.  We finally got to sleep at 11:00. But it was well worth it!

We arrived today in El Dorado, KS, after a very hot (~95 degrees) day of riding 32 miles. We are again off-route, this time because we are headed to Wichita to meet up with a man whom we had met about a week ago while he and his brother were eating at the same Mexican restaurant and were also biking the Katy Trail (much faster than us!).  

We are all still thoroughly enjoying our adventure- rich with experiences we would never be able to plan or replicate and full of encounters with so many different people whom we’ve been blessed to meet!