Always hard to say goodbye, especially after such a relaxing evening! We made it to Oakley yesterday morning and spent the day with friends from the RV Park in Fredericksburg, Gail and Mel. Thanks for the awesome hospitality! A relaxing day by the pond, a little sightseeing, some excitement at the barrel racing then home to a treat of Mel's amazing smoked ribs! Joined by more friends from the Park, Lynn and Pat! So fun to be able to ride in for a visit making this epic trip even more exiting! Thanks for having us!
Kind of an early start to the day. We diverted north from our route to visit our friends and to get back on route we would be heading due south into the wind, so as is our routine ,tried to get an early start. It was the perfect temperature at 63 degrees this morning. Just too bad there is no way to slow the warming trend and I had perspiration trickling down my back within the hour. It is starting to feel a little humid to us, but everyone here thinks its great! We had to travel a main north/south highway. We were warned there would be tons of harvest grain haulers and that certainly was the case along with oil trucks, harvest contractor convoys moving massive machinery, trucks with enormous overstize storage tanks, stock trucks and trucks carrying more trucks!!! Quite unbelievable how many trucks passed us today! But . . .bar none, they all moved over for us and gave us a generous wide berth!
It was a good morning, we kept it short on purpose. Travelled early, faced a slight headwind but found it kept us cooler. We had to go with the wnd for a quick minute when we stopped to read an information kiosk on the side of the road. What we found was no breeze was felt at all and it was really hot! So it all worked out!
It felt and looked like we climbed most of the day! Crazy! Mike's altimeter on his watch indicated very little altitude change at all, but you could tell by the view ahead of us, it was up! We eventually reached the top of something and could see the valley below!
Today was a 55 mile trip from Oakley to Scott City and nothing in between. Not even a tree to provide some shade! Oh wait, we did stop at an information kiosk out in the middle of what seemed nowhere! How did these settlers feel out here all alone? How did they ever find their way? There is barely a landmark visible! But we stopped and read the information available on this sweet little kiosk with all sorts of information! We learned about the rocky outcroppings that were scattered out in the stretches of grassland. Turns out for a period of 79 million years, Kansas was under an ocean during the Crustaceous Period. That is when dinosaurs walked the earth! So now the marine sediment is visible and fossils have been discovered! Really interesting! And I am reading, learning and appreciating the roll of grass in the area. How it holds everything together and without it Kansas would just be a dust bowl! One more little fact, Kansa. . . .the name given to the natives of the area meaning People of the Southeast wind! Well they weren't wrong there! The southeast wind still prevails today!
Just to end the day on another note besides the wind, there was road construction, but once again it worked in our favor! The traffic was held up for a very long time going our direction and the section closed went on for miles! But we were able to ride on the shoulder of the road while the traffic passed us and as we got to the actual construction where the traffic was forced onto the shoulder in our direction, the last truck in line had already passed and we had the road to ourselves all the way until we rode into Scott City where the oncoming traffic was held at a stop! It was great!
We were going to camp in the city park again. It appears all of the towns in Kansas have lovely city parks and are quite ok with cyclists camping there! This park had beautiful large shade trees, nice restrooms but no showers. The city pool was another mile away so we resorted to plan B. An athletic club that advertised as a cyclist hostel. We had a choice of sleeping in the gym, on the now retired racquetball courts or a small room up about a dozen stairs! We chose the court! It is all air conditioned, nice showers, very very friendly staff and hostess! Every day has a new adventure! There is a beautiful pool here as well and that certainly was a welcome way to cool off! So we are happy! The gym closes and we will have it all to ourselves! Did i mention it is air conditioned???? And WiFi! It is a long way across Kansas and mostly the options are city parks, so to find a place with everything is pretty fortunate! It is going to take us a while to get across in this heat and wind! But we are hanging in there!!!!
I always like to say thanks for hanging in there with us! Hope you aren't getting bored!!!!