Kicked the day off with a 7:00am talk at the Concordia Optimists Club. Must remember to get some caffeine in my system before doing early morning talks. Next up was an 8:00am talk to the Chamber of Commerce, both generously lined up by Republican State Representative Elaine Bowers. Was very impressed with the turnout, and deep level of engagement, at both events. Afterwards, did a radio interview with Joe Jindra at Concordia radio station KNCK. To listen, click on the “7:00 Report” at the link below (the interview start at 3:20 and ends at 6:14):
Then pedaled 20 or so miles to Clay Center, where I experienced one of the highlights of the trip. Rolled the bike up to the front of Lincoln Elementary School for some shots by the Clay Center Dispatch, then the entire second grade class (nearly 100 children) streamed out the doors and surrounded the rocket trike. I told them what I was doing and why (for them) and we had a really fun 30-minute Q & A session. My heart melted when afterwards one little girl hugged my leg and looked up at me with a huge smile of gratitude on her face. That fueled me for the rest of the day.
Knocked out a little over 50 more miles to Manhattan, for a total of 78 miles on the day. More hawk sightings today, with fuzzy caterpillars replacing beetles on the shoulder. On the way, did an interview with the Salina Journal:
Found my way to the KSU campus and “Aggieville,” where I want to give a shout out to Tex at Radinas coffee shop for the mocha on the house, and to Austin Graham (Bruce and Michelle’s son), for offering me a couch to sleep on.
Ruth Douglas Miller , Director of the Kansas Wind Application Center, had generously called a number of media outlets for me and had put me in touch with Zack Pistora, president of KSU’s Students for Environmental Action (SEA). More synchronicity: they just happened to be having their organizational meeting tonight, so Zack invited me to speak. Ruth, her son and the foreign exchange student they were hosting walked me over to where the SEA meeting was taking place, where I rolled the trike into the meeting room and spoke for about 45 minutes. KSU is rocking it. That’s the biggest meeting of student environmental activists I’ve ever seen. The energy I received from the students I spoke with afterwards (like Shelley Fritz) almost defies description and will help fuel me the rest of the way to DC.
Afterwards, knocked back a few drinks with my new KSU buddies at the Purple Pig (thanks, Bryce, for the killer marg), where we had some incredibly inspired conversations on the power of embracing life’s positive potential. Crashed at their pad after Kevin, Zack and I stayed up until 2:00am working on a tracking map for my website, but ended up not sleeping a wink (too much racing through my head), so got out of bed at 7:00 and worked some more on my blog.