- This is a picture of the John Wallace Museum. As I have biked across the West and now mid-West I have seen many, many signs for museums with very few cars in the parking lot. My feeling is history buffs have lots of information in little museums just waiting for their attention. If you look carefully you will find a Bison sculpture.
- Many of the roads I traveled have been “Scenic By-Ways” through no overt action on my part. I just kind of end up on them. If you aren’t in a hurry I would strongly recommend you find the state’s scenic by-way and travel down the “path less traveled”. Gives a great sense of what the area looks like when there aren’t a lot of people rearranging everything.
- Yes indeed, I am now in my 11th state on this journey which is Kansas. Previous states include Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Texas, New Mexico (twice), Arizona (twice), California, and Colorado.
- Eastern Colorado looked exactly like I would expect Kansas to look. The heavy earth browns of the desert have given way to the greens of fields, pastures and prairies. This is a picture of Kansas and their lush fields.
Summary: Well the wind has won. I have decided I can’t figure out what it’s going to do so my philosophy now is to go with the flow. Wherever the wind is I will pedal through it and should it get to my back I will fly – “nuff” said. Today was a mixture of wind and sun. My goal was 130 miles to Oakley Kansas (287 N to Kit Carson and then 40 E the rest of the way) which was done at 128 miles according to my device. The transition from CO to KS was smooth with no real noticeable difference. Both have rolling hills and a lot of greenery and open lands. The one difference I noticed from the West other than all the “brown” around was fences. In the fence I biked through thousands of acres of land. All of it had a fence up which must have taken many, many hours to set up and countless hours since to ensure they were in good repair. In Kansas I noticed some of the farms didn’t have fences. You might think this is a minor difference and maybe you’re right but it really looked strange to me. Again, my 128 miles today isn’t by choice. The cities are arranged so that I either have to stop at around 80 miles or continue to 130 or so. My stopping point must have a place to sleep, WiFi, place for dinner and a place for breakfast that is opens around 5:00 or 6:00 p.m. It would also be nice to have a place to do laundry but that is pretty rare these days.
Tonight’s stop is at a “cheap” Knights Inn in Oakley. Visited the Dollar Store next store for Chocolate Milk (for now), Orange Juice (for tonight and breakfast), two types of cereal and milk (also for breakfast). Decided to have breakfast in my room since I didn’t see any fast food places. The McDs and Subway have deserted this part of the world. I have only seen one Subway in the last 400 miles.
- Saw my first badger out in the wild this morning. He was on the other side of the road and when he heard me he was startled. He immediately crouched down and kind of flattened himself. When he evaluated the threat (I wasn’t going to mess with him) he raised back up and retreated to the vegetation.
- Saw my second Road Runner on this trip. I got a good look this times since he didn’t seem to mind me riding past. He was running here and there looking for breakfast. From the Lathrop State Park I learned they are great hunters and one of their favorite foods is snake. I also learned that they are so quick they will also catch hummingbirds on occasion.
- At the Lathrop State Park and again last night as I was walking through the grass there were hundreds of crickets (or grasshoppers as I don’t know the difference) hopping around. I don’t know what makes their numbers so high but I am guessing they help the birds with their meals.
- As I was riding on 40 E today I saw flying grasshoppers for part of the ride. They would fly by spreading and flapping orangeish wings. As they flew they would also emit clicking sounds. It was fun watching them do their thing.
- Another “by the road” animal in Eastern Colorado were the ants. They would build they anthills right up against the road. Either the road provided some extra heat or provided a place that they could put their tunnels underneath.
- You’ve heard me babble about the wind just about every day. Today I had a philosophical revelation. The wind is a part of the universe. I can curse it, love it, ignore it and it really doesn’t make any difference since the wind just is. I liken it to life. Life has many different parameters most of which we can’t change. We rant and rave when things don’t go our way but isn’t that a bit ridiculous. We need to accept life and all those parameters it throws at us (that we can’t change) and control those areas within our power to make the path that we want. This is a lot like riding my bike. When I get on it in the morning I don’t know what is in the towns that I will be passing and am completely clueless about the wind. I load up with water and snacks and set out. Whatever the wind does and whatever towns have rest stops I take advantage of and if things are going my way I keep going to the tide shifts in my direction. Bottom line, enjoy the gifts that life provides and make accommodations when the times aren’t so good.
Rants and Raves:
- Rave: Motels that are “nice” but don’t charge you and arm and a leg.
- Rant: Hate motels that give you a good price and let you find out when you get to your room that WiFi isn’t included.
- Rant: State parks that charge $28 for 1 night of tent camping. Seems pretty steep when you are only going to be on the ground for 10 hours and have no services provided.
- Rant: State parks that charge you $28 for the night and when you go to the showers find out that you need to pay $.50 for 4 minutes of shower water. At a minimum they should give you tokens for 1 shower.
- Rave: Truck drivers that give a friendly honk when they are getting ready to pass you or when they are coming your way and wave. It gives me the feeling that they are looking after their “little” brother.
- Rave: Motels that are pricey and can’t lower their price but then through in dinner and drinks with no charge.
- Rave: People that see me going into or out of a motel doors and hold the doors to help.
- Rave: Motels that understand what I am trying to do and drop the price accordingly.
- Rant: People that come up behind me and as they are passing yell or honk their horns. Haven’t had this happen much but it sure disrupts my internal tranquility.