After some miscommunication with our scheduled host for Kansas City, we rolled into Sweet Springs last night and found ourselves host-less for the upcoming two nights since we also have a Service Day. The pastor at the Lutheran church we stayed in graciously offered to make some phone calls to the Kansas City area Lutheran churches and managed to find us a place to stay for the first of our two nights in Kansas. And so we rolled out this morning after a breakfast of biscuits and gravy donated by the local hospital on our way to Blue Springs, KS! Despite all of the generosity he had already shown us, the pastor kept making calls all that morning, and just before lunch time, gave us a call to say he had found a Lutheran church willing to let us stay both nights in Overland Park, a city much closer to our community service location, and our amazing Leg Leaders made a quick mid-day reroute!
Thankfully the ride into Kansas was somewhat cooler than the last few days. Today what got us instead were the almost nonstop, enormous rolling hills! The 85 miles of roller coaster landscape was dotted with some fun sites, though, like the front lawn of a man who makes sculptures from scrap metal…which of course we had to take pictures on. The houses rolling into Kansas were also beautiful! The name City of Fountains is certainly given to Kansas City with good reason. After arriving at our host and getting some nice long showers at the local YMCA, we all headed into the city for a quick bite to eat and to explore.
The next morning we started off our Service Day on the 27th with a quick lesson on the molecular biology of cancer courtesy of the future Dr. Cheema. Our past Service Days have consisted mostly on doing manual work for Hope Lodges or serving dinner to patients. Today, however, we had the privilege of simply sitting and talking with patients at the Kansas City Hope Lodge over ice cream and board games! I spent most of my time with a woman named Karen who had been at the Hope Lodge long enough to have a picture of last year’s 4K for Cancer riders on her cell phone. Tomorrow, several riders will be dedicating their day to her and texting her a picture of their dedications!
Finally, we all took the opportunity to spend some quality time together over as much food as our bank accounts could afford…so we all headed down to the Cheesecake Factory for an awesome night of stuffing our faces. Tony, Leah, and I shared two appetizers and three entrees alone. Now time to hit the sack and get ready for a quick 45 mile day into Lawrence, KS in the morning!