Today has redeemed Kansas, in my eyes. Everything about today worked in our favor. It stayed very cool, the sun stayed away, and (probably the most important), we had a significant tail wind the entire ride. It was so significant, in fact, that we averaged 16.4 MPH and were able to ride just under 70 miles before noon! The threat of storms approaching also had us quicken the pace. It worked and we outran the dark and gloomy clouds. We stopped and talked for a while with a mother son duo, Nina and Spensur. They are riding Eastward for the cause Hairdressers with Heart, in which Nina donates her hairdressing expertise with cancer patients undergoing treatment. They were not thrilled with battling the brutal headwind and later told us that the storms we so stealthfully avoided followed them their entire ride.
We took a nice break in Newton and enjoyed some delicious sticky buns. We then basically flew into Nickerson. My dad gave me a heads up about an exotic animal farm just out of town that has giraffes. In case anyone doesn’t know, aside from Addie, giraffes are my favorite animals on the planet. We stumbled upon a pen of ~7 giraffes (including 2 babies) and spent a decent half hour with them. We could go right up to them and pet them and everything. There was an extremely friendly one who would follow us, pose for pictures, and lick us. It was awesome to be surrounded by them in such an unlikely place! The owner later came out and chased us away, apparently we had to be a part of a tour to see the giraffes. Whoops!
All in all it was a great day and I hope the upward trend continues through KS!