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Kansas!

Tuesday May 31: Eads, CO to Tribune, KS

Today was a much nicer day than yesterday, and we crossed the border into Kansas! The first picture below shows the clounds last night. There were threatening weather reports all around us. I don't know if there was bad weather at night, though, because I slept right through.

We rode on very straight roads for 56 very straight miles, headed due east, ending up in Tribune. We still had a head wind, but it was much less than the winds we experienced yesterday, so they were a relief. We started under a full overcast, but soon there were patches of sun and blue sky showing through. Most of the rest of the day was in and out of sun and shade.

We met Kit on the road, he is a west bound biker who started on April 25 in Yorktown, VA, and is headed for Portland, OR. Mom saw Fred, a biker we had met back near Fry Canyon, UT, and he may catch up to us tonight in Tribune. Also there are 3 women reported to be just ahead of us headed East, we have not caught up with them yet.

Dark skies last night, but this slot opened in the clouds for a few minutes
We met Kipp in Sheridon Lake, he is headed to Oregon
We crossed Big Sandy Creek, where an Indian massacre took place in 1864.
This mule deer ran along beside us for about 1/2 mile, then looked at us carefully from behind the tracks
There were three kit fox standing at the lip of this den when we rode by, but we could only get a picture of two ears
Eric & John hoping the kits will come out to get their picture taken.
Crossing the border into Kansas
The road not taken
Two friendly farm dogs came out to see us when we stopped for a short break
John and Annie trying to estimate the distance of grain silos on the horizon
Folks here in Kansas must know something we don't know, to be tapping telephone poles!

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Wednesday June 1: Tribune to Dighton, KS

Today was a beautiful riding day, although the wind was not yet behind us. The wind was coming from the side most of the day, it started out fairly gentle, but was blowing quite strongly by the end of the day (25 mph?). The weather was sunny, with occasional clouds. The landscape was pure Kansas, with wheat fields, some early corn, stock yards and grain elevators.

Today was also a big day for meeting other bikers. A biker named Rob was at the motel with us last night, although we did not see too much of him. Today during our ride we met Adrian, who is from France. Adrian started in Montrael, came down through New Hampshire to Portsmouth, and then down the coast to Connecticut. He then headed south west, and eventually picked up the TransAmerican path somewhere in Virginia or West Virginia. He is headed for Yellowstone Park. Just at the end of the day we met a group of 4 or 5 bikers from the East Coast, who are doing the whole route, but over some number of years. This year they are going from Missouri to Pueblo, Colorado. At the store where we met them, we also found Erin, Jennifer and Meg, who Mom had met yesterday. They are headed east with us, and we will probably see them again tomorrow or the next day. And lastly, at the same store, we found Fred, who we have been travelling near ever since Utah. Fred came by our motel so Annie could look at a noise he has been experiencing in his rear axel. Pictures of Fred's bike on the Bejing Bike Shop rack can be seen below.

We met Adrian about 10 miles outside of Tribune.
This monster machine was chewing up big bales of hay
One of the feed yards we passed
Sign at the feed yard says it all
A bite to eat in Scott City
This is typical Kansas scenery
This old barn is pretty, but it is not a timber frame. John investigated.
Wildflowers beside the road. Can anyone identify these for us?
Erin, Jennifer and Meg, keeping one day ahead of us
Fred and Annie working on a troubled rear axel.

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Thursday June 2: Dighton to Bezine, KS

We rode a relatively short 30 miles today to Ness City, where we helped them celebrate Old Settlers Days. Then after lunch we rode another 11 miles to Elain's B&B Bicycle Oaisis, in an old farmhouse in Bezine. Much of the riding day we had a strong south wind on our right shoulder, which slows us down considerabily. The skies were cloudy at first, with some clearing later. When the sun hits you here, it really starts to get hot. This evening it was pleasantly cool, and we enjoyed walking around Ness City again after dinner (we drove back to Ness City to eat.)

Mom finds us mid-morning somewhere along Rt. 96
Stopped in Ness City for Old Settlers Days. This young man and I disagree!
The old Mercantile Bldg. and Settlers Days festivities in Ness City
John and Annie inspecting old iron
Annie and an older cousin (Red Power!)
Annie hits a tough spot
Annie considers a career modeling for tractor implements
Elain's B&B Bicycle Oasis where we are spending the night

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Friday June 3: Bezine to Larned, KS

Kansas <=> Wind. We left our B&B at about 10:00 and headed east along Rt. 96. We had a strong south wind which kept trying to knock us off balance. We plowed along with this wind for about 20 miles, and stopped for lunch. Somewhere along the way Mom caught up to us, and just before we moved on, Remo came past in the other direction. Remo is west-bound, because he wanted to follow the direction of the early settlers.

After lunch at a local resturant we headed south on Rt. 183 for 20 miles. This meant of course that we were headed directly into that south wind. The sky was threatening a few times (see picture), and we were pelted with rain a couple of times, although not in great quantities. We never put on rain jackets, and the temperature was quite warm so we were never cold.

Finally we turned onto Rt. 156 and headed east again for 11 miles to get to Larned. It appeared to me that the wind anticipated this move, and swung around to the East so we could continue to experience a head wind. There were a few gusts along this stretch that nearly blew us off the road, they were so strong. We finally dragged into Larned at about 5:30 and slipped into the Best Western Inn.

This has been our route ever since Pueblo, but we turned off today
Mom checks out a stone fence post, made of limestone, quarried in Bazine
We met Remo, from Germany, who will be studing in Leipzieg this fall
Local mailbox
And shortly after, this guy keeps smiling no matter what the weather
This is what we saw for much of the day (and did I mention the head wind?)

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Saturday June 4: Larned to Sterling, KS

We had a short and relatively easy ride today along a quiet county road. Near lunch time we passed through the Quivira National Wildlife Preserve, but we did not see any wildlife other than the bugs which tried to eat us. We rolled into Sterling by 1:30, so we are having a restful, if hot, afternoon.

Big irrigator at work in a local field
A different kind of irrigator driving past us on the road
Lunch break at the Quivira National Wildlife Preserve
John and Annie in front of a wheat field, corn field, and fallow field respectively. The fallow doesn't seem to be up yet, but it may just be early in the year.

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Sunday June 5: Sterling to Newton, KS

Today the weather was beautiful, and WE HAD A TAIL WIND! We left Sterling at about 9:00 and rode south 3 miles to get back on the route, and then turned east with the wind behind us. After a few miles we met Olaf and Hans, who are from Germany, started in Virginia about 5 weeks ago and are headed along the TransAmerican route to Oregon.

The rest of the ride was just as nice, and so we had an easy day. We took a short detour off the documented track to see the farm where Arlen was raised, as we are spending the next two nights with his parents, Orlando and Maxine Fast, in Newton, KS. When we arrived at the Fast's house, we were welcomed with a sign on the tree, so we were sure we were in the right place. We arrived at about 3:10 PM. Nana arrived about a half an hour later, after spending much of the day at the Cosmosphere in Hutchinson, KS.

Olaf and his dad Hans are west bound on the TransAmerica
Old Kansas barns in the wheat field
This field had two different kinds of wheat side by side
A welcoming sign at the Fast's house

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