Dighton, KS to Scott City, KS
Linda woke around 3:30am due to an weather alert on her phone. She had downloaded a weather app after Ness City that let her know how close lightening was to the area. It was a yellow alert, lightening was over 20 miles away and to be aware of where you could take shelter. We had let the sheriff know we were camping in the park, so we figured if there was any threat, we would be alerted to it. Linda continued to rest and let Phil sleep. Around 4:00 the lightening alert turned from yellow to orange, indicating lightening between 10-20 miles away. Linda woke Phil to let him know and we tried to decide whether the pavilion was “adequete shelter.” As the wind picked up, Linda checked again and sure enough the alert had gone from orange to red indicating lightening within 10 miles meaning it was time to seek indoor shelter. We packed up quicker than we ever had, but by the time everything was away the bikes packed the storm was right on top of us. Wind was blowing rain through the pavilion and we called the sheriff’s office. They sent a police car to get us. We left all our stuff and he took us to the sheriff’s office which was also the courthouse.
We then realized how hungry we were and had not thought to bring a snack. It was now 5:30 in the morning and we knew the Kwik mart only a couple blocks away was open. We waited for the downpour to stop enough so we could run over to the Kwik Mart to get some food. We stayed there for a while, waiting for the storm to pass.
It finally did and we went and got our bikes at the park. There were large water puddles that were hard to jump over at some intersections. For an area that has been in drought for about 5 years, the locals were thankful. We got a lot of comments from locals about if we had gotten wet in a friendly, teasing manner. Someone also let us know they had just came from Ness City and saw a couple of cyclists with bags coming west and getting very wet. We were hopeful we could meet up with them.
We left Dighton around 9:30am and continued to Scott City, KS. Despite the lack of sleep, we did pretty well and got to Scott City around mid-day. There was an airport right before town and Phil wanted to check it out. We arrived there just in time as they were having a educational session for some kids on flight simulator. We were there for only a little while when Phil spotted two touring cyclists coming up the road. Linda had grabbed some food, so quickly packed up her bag again and raced off after Phil to catch the other touring cyclists. We finally caught up with them midway through town at a convienience store. They were a retired couple that had lived on the east coast for most of their life and had just recently moved to Arizona. They were taking as long as they wanted for this tour; they had the time. They were staying the night at a hotel and prefered to stay at hotels. They had really brought a tent for worst-case-senerios, which we were starting to really appreciate hotels at this point.
We looked around for some motels, but Linda really wanted to stay at the Best Western even though it was more pricey and the farthest off the route. Linda wanted to get sleep and have all the creature comforts. Plus, they were running a special: Stay 3 nights get one free. After getting some lunch, we finally decided to head to the Best Western and got one of their last rooms: the King suite. We weren’t thrilled about the price, but happy to have a nice bed and a place to do our laundry. The hot tub wasn’t bad either.