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Grandpa Lost His Mind
A Journal - Crossing America by Bicycle

June 6, 2007      Miles 80      Total miles 2198      Ended at: Tribune, Kansas


Haswell has a population of 84. It is not a very well lighted town. When I rode in to Haswell it was 9:00 and I wanted to find their town park but there was no one to ask. I thought it might storm during the night so I found this place to lay my head. I didn't pitch my tent, I just put down a ground cover, my inflatable mattress, and my sleeping bag. When I woke up this morning, I realized the park was across the street.

When I left Haswell this morning, I stopped in at an old filling station. The man there told me the winds were supposed to be 50 miles per hour out of the south. Since I was heading east, I decided to ride anyway. What a ride it was. The wind was broadsiding me all day long and the winds just kept getting stronger and stronger. This farmer is plowing in the direction of the wind and yet the dust is blowing back over his cab.
The eastern part of Colorado on Highway 96 is flat, flat, flat. You can see in the photos the fields are huge.

This is Paul Sellers from England. I had been fighting the wind for hours and I became very sleepy so I found a shade tree and took a nap in some soft weeds. When Paul came upon me, I expect he thought I was dead. I am sure glad he woke me up to visit because I learned that the highway on my route has been washed out and I need to figure a different route once I pass Larned. The rains last month washed the road out in three places. Paul had to backtrack a long way to make his way around.
When I got to the town of Sheridan Lake, I stopped at a farm supply store to get some more water. I asked the man there if he heard what the wind speed was and he said that some man in town has an anemometer and told him the winds were steady at 60 MPH and gusting to 66 MPH. It was hitting me in the side and was tiring me out because the temperature was 92 degrees. It is hard to tell but in these two pictures you can see the tumbleweeds are constantly blowing across the road.

The wind was blowing so hard I could hardly hold my bike and get a picture. The first thing I noticed about Kansas was the perfect road. It is smooth as a table top and the roads have no trash at all ... at least for the first 20 miles. It is a good impression they leave for people entering the state.

I celebrated my arrival into Kansas with a plate of mountain oysters and french fries.