Saturday, June 28, 2014

Colorado to Missouri

My next shift was with Kyle again- yay! We took over just outside of Kansas where we found Pippa Middleton (Kate Middleton's, the girl that married Prince William, little sister) who was on an 8 man team. Kelly is a royal fanatic and was too nervous to get a picture with her so she took a picture of Pippa and Troy. 

 And into Kansas we went! Kansas is very flat. Like really really flat. There are just fields as far as you can see and no mountains to break it up. Very pretty farmland, but very flat.
In the midst of the flatness of Kansas it's hard for the riders to find stuff to keep their minds going and give them a little interaction. With mountains there is always stuff to look at and hills to keep them on their toes. Dad finally found something to give his hour pull a little edge- a train! They started racing a bit and Dad totally beat the train. The conductor started hooting the horn for him and waving- he had to give the cyclist props! He beat the train!
 Along with the flatness of Kansas comes not very many turns, which makes the navigators job extremely easy. Example- Right turn in 76 miles. No joke. When we finally got to the next turn we got pretty excited and went and marked it for Troy to make sure he turned at the right time. Here he is almost to the turn.
Right before shift change I turned the page to see what timestation was left and got super excited to see the Halfway point for RAAM! 3020 miles is a LONG time, so it felt great to see that we really were making some progress.
After our shift change we went and stopped at a little grocery store and spotted some yummy Klondike bars. It was just what the doctor ordered after a pretty uneventful day. Here is Kyle with his RAAM Dad enjoying their ice cream on the rocking chairs.
 As we were driving to our hotel we started asking a few questions about where it was at and who had found the hotel. Doug ensured us that he had booked the hotel and it was in the RAAM Hotel Book so it should be a good one. We googled the "Star Motel" and the reviews were a little sketchy, but we weren't took picky so we kind of laughed about the one where the owner had walked into their room in the middle of the night and chalked it up to an accident. A few minutes later Doug got a phone call from the owner asking if we were coming and he reinsured her we were. About an hour later we got another phone call making sure we were coming, and another 30 minutes after that we got another. The description of the lady on the review started making sense but it was all just part of RAAM for us. Kelly chuckled when she saw that on the reviews it only had 1 star and made the comment "I didn't think you could really only have 1 star, I thought that was just for like the really really bad ones". We laughed and laughed even harder as we pulled up to the motel. It was a little sketchy looking and all of us crew members were saying the same thing- are we reaaaallly going to stay here?? It was a typical whole in the wall motel with only about 8 rooms. The lady comes out of the office in full Missouri fashion with no shoes on. Someone mentions that we would like to see the rooms first and she goes inside to get the keys. She comes back out totally dogging me as I get out of the car, she can probably tell I'm really not sure of this place. I tell her that's it's Kelly that wants to see the rooms and motion to Kelly to get out of the van. She laughs and says "Oh okay, the princesses want to see the room. WELL, come on!" Kelly yells out from the van that she's getting her shoes on and she'll be out. The lady lets us know she always walks around barefoot "it don't matter". Kelly laughs and says "well, I'm from California and I don't want tetanus." "Tetanus? We don't have Tetanus, we don't even have the beach!" Ooooh goodness.

Kelly steps out of the car and the lady clearly thinks this won't be a problem. As we are walking up to a room the owner is yelling at one of her employees that she needs to go clean the room "I don't got time for that! I gotta go! I have stuff to do!" she yells back. This is getting better and better the longer we stay here. She tells us that she's giving us the big room, the nice room. "The boys room won't nearly be as nice as the one I'm givin' you". We walk in the room and at first glance it looks okay. Kelly and Doug need to use the rest room so Doug goes in and as he's trying to come back out the pocket door keeps getting stuck- it's hilarious. The room hasn't been dusted/really cleaned in who knows how long, there is dust covering everything. There is no dust ruffle under the bed and the beds have been around for a very very long time. We all just kind of stare at each other because no one wants to be the one to say "Um, I'm not staying here" but we are all thinking the exact same thing. The owner keeps looking at us like "So what do you think?" and we are all just standing there no saying anything. She finally takes the boys over to their room, which really isn't as nice as the girls. It was pretty tiny and very run down. The boys walk over to their bathroom and there is a cockroach dying in the corner and a few smaller bugs around the other corners. By the time we saw the bugs Doug and the owner were talking toward the office to go pay and the rest of the crew members are getting really worried that we're staying here.

Finally, Kyle says "Let's just go somewhere else." DEAL! Everyone starts getting into the van when I realized Doug is paying! I run up to the office and tell Doug to come back- we aren't staying here. The lady runs out of the office and is following us over to the car and just starts saying all kinds of stuff like "I don't have roaches! Those are waterbugs! There aren't any refunds!" I felt so bad for the lady, but we just couldn't stay there. Troy Yost can't stop saying "I'll pay for a Marriott. If we find a Marriott I will pay for it. I have points!" We are all piled in the van and Kyle is about half-way in when Doug puts the van in reverse and we squeal out of there. There is no nicer way to put it than we literally ran from the motel. As we are driving away everyone starts confessing their plans to sleep in the van that night if no one made the move to get out of there.

We found a nice little Mexican restaurant in the next town when we got a phone call from the owner. She was not a happy camper with us and Doug got an ear full. He took it very well and apologized and let her know we were just spoiled California and Arizona people. Poor Doug, he was such a trooper through it all!

Since we were always using Friend of Freedom money we had to get a receipt for everything we spent to show we weren't wasting money. We asked for a receipt from the Mexican Food restaurant and this is what we got. The title says The Iola Register, but it was really called Coronados. Gotta love small town America.

We found a hotel that felt like the Ritz where we all slept safe and sound- with no water bugs!

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