Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Day 25: Dodge City to Great Bend - Getting out of Dodge to Discover Kansas

Pictures are here.
Miles Today: 87
Total Miles: 1867
Avg Speed: 15.6
Max Speed: 25
Total Time: 5:40
Flats Today: 0; Total flats:8
Weather: Overcast and cool early with sun and high 80's later
Body: Hit a scale tonight and found I lost close to 10 lbs since starting on this trip. Bit of a surprise.

Enjoyable and varied day. Left Dodge with some photo ops and then got into taking lots of pictures of typical Kansas stuff in this land of flat. Silos -- many sizes and configurations sticking above the flat like lone skyscrapers. Collection points for the fall harvest with clumps of trucks parked close by bringing stuff in and out. Windmill farms to leverage the everpresent winds in this flat land. Seems to be from the Southeast most often as it was today. Long freight trains hauling coal to power plants elsewhere. John Deere dealerships displaying equipment of all types. Irrigation systems that stretch on for miles. Small towns like Wright, Spearsville, Kinsley and Larned which always have the silos and sometimes have a gas station and a store and maybe a rest area.
Spent 10 or 15 miles riding with Carole and chatting about her position as special ed teacher and some of the kids and situations she encounters. Very much like what Haide has worked with these many recent years. Quite interesting to hear of Carole's challenges, conscerns and triumphs. It was good riding with her.

Our first SAG stop was at Kinsley, home to Midway USA -- the center point between SF and NYC. It also boasted a park with a retired locomotive put out to pasture. Inside there was steam punk junk to admire while the outside was a great group photo-op. Past the grass, trees, shelters and painted block facilities was a little musem displaying tools of life from 100 years ago. A bike that had been ridden from the Atlantic to Kinsley, collections of small pitchers, period jewelry and clothing, kitchen implements and many other interesting things. A sod house had been built replicating those that sprang up to house incoming settlers. A simple plain church building had been restored. It was all very interesting.

After spending well over an hour there, several of us rolled along and soon I found myself riding with Chuck and Bob. Leigh observed earlier that this group always seems to collect when there is a head wind and we need to put together a pace line to make better progress. Actually, Leigh jumped off at a silo just out of Midway, before we even started to pace -- to inquire about the goings on at silos from those who knew. Her blog tells what she learned.

Chuck, Bob and I then began to move along at an organized 3 man line with 2 minute pulls. Chuck was our conducter and we operated efficiently between 19 - 21 mph. At 62 miles we agreed to stop for Subways. I extracted my wallet and camera from my front bag as usual and walked in with both in hand. Before I could even get to the ordering line a 9 year old approached me and pointed at the camera asking loud enough for all there to hear "Mister, why do you have a PINK camera?" I had to chuckle over that one as I explained that it had everything I wanted at a very cheap demo sale price when I bought it, but since it was the only one Wal*Mart offered like that, I could not choose the color. I said I'd show him that it worked regardless of color by snapping him and his buddies.

The last 22 miles after lunch were pretty quick and uneventful. The motel works well as always with Ed, Zero and me sharing a room. My turn for the roll away. Hope I sleep better on it than I have on the regular beds recently. Tomorrow is a short 60 some miles that we may try to finish before noon.

1 comment:

  1. Love what you did with the silos---I couldn't "picture" it when you described what you wanted to do--I envisioned a "long train" of silos, one after another---this one MUCH more artistic!!:) All your hidden talents coming out--that group pic with you pulling the old engine was pretty good--another side of you that's fun to see emerging:) Can I take one of you walking along the top of our fence sometime??? Oh, stop being so silly!! I could see why you enjoyed that museum--neat bicycle and sign. That band was EXACTLY like the Norwich Civic Band---you captured it well:) I'm going to put together the Journey before I go to bed--gotta get SOMETHING done today. Love you and miss you---YOO