A Ride Through Very Friendly Kansas

Trip Start Sep 05, 2010
Trip End Aug 21, 2011

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Where I stayed
Holy Trinity Churchyard, Satanta

Flag of United States  , Kansas
Friday, July 15, 2011

The trip feels very different at the moment. Since our change of strategy a week ago we continue to enjoy free camping and ending up wherever 50 or so miles dictates.  We have had such a wonderful day and met so many friendly Americans.  The ride has yet again been flat, typical of Kansas we believe and the wind is generally on our backs which makes life so much easier.  So, if you can be bothered to read entry number 320, sit back and relax!  If you have had enough, there must be an X-Factor or something you can go and watch.

We packed up in Elkhart and headed for the library. Without spelling it out, free camping is great but there is nowhere to go to the toilet.  The librarians were very welcoming.  We spent a good hour in the shade looking at Google maps (we still haven't bought a map for USA) and updating the blog.  Elkhart continued to be one of the most friendly places in the world, I enjoyed a lovely chat with The Elkhart Seniors Minibus who seemed to already know where we were going and what we were doing.  We also cycled past the local mechanics who shouted "Are you the guys going to New York, Safe ride!" Another man in his garden later shouted “Welcome to Elkhart! Don’t get too hot today – stay safe.”

After 15 miles smooth riding we found ourselves in Rolla where again we had a lovely time talking to an old guy in a wheelchair who obviously spends his days parked outside the only drinks stop in town and his sidekick, George.  When a couple of local farmers pulled up and asked George what he was up to he simply replied “I’m sittin’ here on m’arse!”

The next refuelling stop was in Hugoton.  A very American town with yet more lovely people.  We enjoyed a very indulgent lunch followed by excellent coffee.  When we were there it rained and the locals went mad.  There were even small children who had apparently not seen rain before.  A local told us how they have only had an inch in the last year and how the farming is taking a huge hit.  He told us of fires which had spread for miles and wiped out fields of crops.  We got the impression that this part of the US is in tough times but the people remain so pleased to see us.

More than satisfied with lunch we cycled out of Hugoton passing a swimming pool which was hard to ignore.  At 105F we convinced ourselves there would be one later in the day for us to take a dip in.  Although the cycling was favourable, it was still very hot and we found the going tough at times.  We stopped for another drink in Moscow where we met a real comedy duo.  One of them knew it all (describing local Dodge City, a place probably the size of Chichester, as half the size of London) and his much more likeable friend who asked sensible questions.  We were also warned about tornados, apparently we should look out for armoured cars driven by storm chasers, this is the first sign for us to take cover.

The final 15 miles of a 65 mile day found us in Satanta.  This would be our resting place for the night and with our newfound confidence to ask locals for their ideas, within minutes we were on the phone to the local vicars daughter.  She arranged for her son to come down and show us to the town church where we could set up camp for the night.  Andy dropped us off and we put up our tent behind Satanta Holy Trinity.

We are now in the park where yet more lovely people are coming over and checking us out.  Rodney and Letha Williamson have just introduced us to their hilarious and very sweet Grandchildren, Kenny and Marlee.  I hope as we move east across America we continue to meet such lovely people.  We have cooked up far too much bacon for a Caesar salad (far too much but there is nothing left) and Polly has taken another shower under the park tap this time washing and conditioning her hair.  Maybe I should do the same.

Tomorrow we should hit Dodge City where we plan to take a day off.

Miles Cycled:  65, again wind assisted and puncture free
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Jojo on

It's wonderful to think you have a following in the States! It certainly looks veery drought ridden but what lovely people. I think I need to give the Triathalonists a jolly good bikers salad tonight to set them off on their way tomorrow - should fuel them up nicely.

triciagick on

Lack of rain sound good from where we are - poor Dads and Reg and 11 stags are battling over to Cowes in continuous rain and winds gusting to 40mph - I'm at home preparing for 3days starting Monday, when forecast says more rain! Seems amazing that, just yesterday, we had a lovely sunny sail over to Priory Bay where there were swimmers, water skiers and do nutters! Jojo and I cracked the crossword this morning with no help from Amanda Mae and Olaf who were just eating fruit all the time. Mands did try to convince me there's a spare number for the triathalon tomorrow - which clearly she's dreading- but I wasn't convinced. Survived another MRI scan on my back last Thursday - 25 minutes spent just trying not to panic in an undecorated white cell - I coped. I think they should decorate the walls with jokes and word problems to help while away the time.
Long may you continue to surround yourselves with lovely, friendly people with the wind behind you.

Jojo on

AND THEY'RE OFF - banana toasted sandwich under the belt - light high cloud - conditions seem perfect at the moment!

triciagick on

I think it's a bit windy though - let's hope it's behind them all the way xx

Jojo on

AND THEY'RE BACK - but Mikey your's got a PUNCTURE!

auntbymarriage on

We love the locals who are being so kind to you. Had lunch with the new neighbours on Sunday and caught up with the Triathlonists who had done so well in such horrible conditions. And JoJo and I decided that you are discrimating against us. We are the faceless ones. We are the people who have no idea when you're coming back because we don't do facebook. Poor poor us. And we so want to be part of your welcome home. Poor poor us again. Am thinking of you in that heat whilst we have our summer averaging 19 degrees cold. The weather has improved slightly for Alice's 3 day charter and I'm looking forward to my Pa coming to stay for 2 nights. Stay safe. x x x

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