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Grandpa Lost His Mind
A Journal - Crossing America by Bicycle

June 7, 2007      Miles 102      Total miles 2300      Ended at: Ness City, Kansas


I felt very strong today as I continued through the vast wheat fields of western Kansas. I wanted to continue another 12 miles to Bazine because they have a bed and breakfast there for cyclists only. I called but got no answer. It could be they are no longer in business. It seems that in a town of 300 you are limiting your business by catering to only cyclists.

This is the motel where I stayed last night. It doesn't appear to be much but it was rather nice inside and they have wi-fi so I could update my journal.

The wheat fields continue to amaze me. I can't even guess how large some of the fields are but they go as far as the eye can see. I wonder how many millions of people are fed from these fields. There are some fields of maze, milo, and corn as well. There are no natural barriers which have a moderating effect on the wind patterns. It has been fun to watch the fields of wheat make waves, just like the ocean, in the high winds we have had the last two days. I could put up a lot of pictures of the wheat fields but the ones I saw today look just like the ones I saw a hundred miles back.

Here are a few of the standard fixtures on the Kansas landscape in this area.

I would like to have gone to see the homestead of George Washington Carver but there is no road to get there. Kansas was the first free state. I wonder if that influenced his decision to come here to study.

The man in yellow is Julius from England and he is traveling west across America. He is an elementary school teacher. He met Dean who is from Hillsboro, Kansas while he was in Ness City. Dean had ridden 150 miles before they met and they decided to ride a hundred miles or so together. Dean is going to ride the Bike Across Kansas (BAK) on Saturday which is a 500 mile bike ride. Sponsors expect 800 riders.

Cattle feed lots are starting to pop up here and there.            King of the mountain, anyone?

I ran into Rich, hitchhiking from Ohio to New Mexico. We visited for a minute and when he found out I was coming from Oregon, he asked me if I had any of that good Oregon marijuana. I had to disappoint him. He asked me if I had any food and I shared some left over pizza and part of a cinnamon roll I did not finish. He was grateful. He said, "Man, you got quite a rig there. What do you have wrapped up in it? $50? I said, "Rich, the pedals cost more than $50.

I am surprised when I meet foreigners and they tell me how much less things cost here than in their countries. I am talking about bicycle gear. Paul Sellers, from England, told me yesterday that his touring bike was half the cost he would have to pay in England.

These huge white grain silos are in nearly every town I have come across. You can see them for at least eight or ten miles. The terrain here is still very, very flat.