Saturday, July 08, 2006

Day 47: Part 2

Well, my Independence Day got even better! As I was pulling up to an intersection near Buhler, KS, I looked each way trying to decide where I might find a convenience store that was open. Looked pretty grim. After all, it was the Fourth, and everything closes in small towns on this day.

As I rode through the intersection, a car came up beside me, going so slowly I wondered what was going on. The driver rolled down the window and said, "Looking for a place for lunch?"

"As a matter of fact, I am," I replied.

"OK. Just follow me," she said. I expected her to show me the only place in town that was still open, some obscure hole-in-the-wall that only the locals would know about. Instead, she led me right to her driveway, where all her husband's relatives were congregated for a Fourth of July dinner!

The McIvers (no relation to the Rochester, NY family) were a very friendly bunch. Jim is an experienced cyclist himself, and so his wife knew he'd like the company. He and I swapped war stories, trying, as guys do, to one-up each other, but he's got a few years on me and always had a better story to tell! :-)

Later on I asked about farming and cattle ranching. Learned a lot: wheat is a two-year proposition. Cattle have to be grazed on a pasture for about a year before they go to the feed lot where they get fattened up by several hundred pounds each!

I commented on how these feed lots stink to high heaven, and they replied that, to the cattle farmer, that stench smells like money!

It was a lovely way to spend the afternoon. Mrs. and Mr. McIver, thank you!


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