Racoon Attack (or maybe a Beaver or Amidillo even)

Trip Start Sep 05, 2010
Trip End Aug 21, 2011

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Where I stayed
El Dorado National Park

Flag of United States  , Kansas
Thursday, July 21, 2011

The morning started with a thirsty ride to MacDonalds. We decided not to try cooking pancakes for ourselves and instead let Ronald do it. The only problem with MacDonalds at the moment it that the bikes create a circus of concerned and very interested people who surround us and start interrogating us as soon as we arrive. Even the staff usually get in on it, continually encouraging us to fill up with more and more water and ice. It's lovely but doesn’t leave much time for eating and using the wifi to plan the trip. We’ve met some truly lovely people though - Our favourite today was Garry from Augusta, a 70 yr old Landscape Gardener who is still working because he is raising his grandchildren. He gave us his card as he really wants us to send him some photos of our hometown when we get back there. Three days ago we met a very elderly man leaving the MacDonalds in Pratt, just after I’d had a bit of a meltdown, and his enormous smile and encouraging pat on the back got me through the rest of the day.

After breakfast, we decided to aim for El Dorado as it seemed the right distance away and set off. Since halfway through yesterday the scenery has become much greener and we have been cycling past wooded areas and tempting looking rivers and lakes. Wichita was full of some lovely housing and pretty parks, but not much else. Apparently half of the world’s aeroplanes are made there, but we didn’t see any evidence of them. Big cities make very slow cycling and we were constantly stopping for traffic lights and being tempted into buy more cold drinks. When we realised we’d had three breaks in 20 miles we decided to put our heads down and get on with it.

Our first impression of El Dorado was not good. We rode through an enormous oil field and then a high street full of fast food restaurants. The centre of town was quite sweet however with lots of antique shops and best of all, the lady in the supermarket directed us to the swimming pool! It was a really great one and we felt extremely jealous of the high school kids who were obviously having a lovely summer prancing around in being life guards. We even got to see them in action when a chubby little boy got stuck under the slide and we were all ordered to evacuate the water. The poor little boy looked pretty mortified with 100 people watching.

After our cool off we headed out to El Dorado lake where we have found a fantastic campsite and had another wonderful swim and now Mikey is stuck into the new John Grisham I bought him at the supermarket - more days ending like this please.

Later.. We’ve just been attacked by a wild animal of some kind! He forced us to jump up on the picnic table whilst he snuffled around and tried to make off with our cutlery –not sure if it was a racoon or armadillo, but it was BIG. Definitely putting the tent up now rather than sleeping out.

Miles Cycled: 50 dozy unmotivated miles
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