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Grandpa Lost His Mind
A Journal - Crossing America by Bicycle

June 15, 2007      Miles 69      Total miles 2681      Ended at: Pittsburg, Kansas

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I am in Pittsburg, Kansas and since I got here a couple of hours before dark, I decided to ride around a bit. It is a nice town far to the eastern edge of Kansas. I was going over to their city park to set up my tent but there was so much activity going on there that I decided to find a motel. They are having a baseball tournament which is going to last all weekend and a policeman told me they would be playing until late into the night. The park also has a swimming pool, a concert pavillion, tennis courts, playgrounds, a golf course, and one of those old trains that kids can ride around the park on.
Because one of the roads on my route had been washed out I rode a different route than I originally planned. The traffic was terrible on the state highway and you can see in the picture there is no shoulder. It was pretty scary but there was no other way. I met Ryan Gelzleichter on this rode. He was planning to ride over ninety miles today and asked if I had seen two other riders ahead of him. I had not. Ryan is from Indiana and his father told him about someone riding across country and it intrigued him so much he decided to do it himself. Ryan is 22 years old and is a student majoring in business finance.
When I was in eastern Colorado I saw a train with 140 cars of coal. This train had 150 cars loaded with coal. There were two engines in the front and one in the back. They were all working. Yesterday, I saw another line of railroad tracks which had been pulled up.
As I mentioned, I was on a state road today and I was not impressed with the condition of the road. Where Kansas really shines is on their county roads. They are so, so nice. They don't have much of a shoulder on them but there is so little traffic on them. I am only speaking about the few hundred miles of roads I have traveled. There is a different sense of peacefulness on these back roads. The people are very friendly and the drivers on the back roads just seem to be in no hurry. Except for the wind, I have just loved riding through Kansas. Oh, I got another, "Go Sooners!" shout today.
This is Mary and Jeff. Jeff is retired from the Seattle times and Mary is still working (while not riding across America) as a physician. If I remember right, they are going to San Francisco because they have already done a lot of riding in the northwest. When I see married couples riding together, I miss my wife. There is no way in the world she would do something like this but she did mention that she wouldn't mind supporting me in a motor home as some wives do. She is one ruined woman!
Here are a few interesting shots from today.






The guy on the left is Carl from England. He worked for the post office for 17 years, quit his job, and came to the United States to bicycle across America. He is on a six month visa and says he is just loving every minute of his trip. DJ is from New York and met up with Carl in Virginia. They will ride together until they get to Pueblo, Colorado where they will split up. DJ is an iron worker and wants to go to Arizona, to look for work, after he finishes his ride. I asked them if they were the two guys Ryan was looking for and they said they were. None of the three seemed to know how they got separated. DJ and Carl seemed to be riding more casually than Ryan who was going over ninety miles today.
This picture is so bad it is hardly worth putting up but the hawk has a snake in its talons and some little bird kept attacking the hawk. By the time I got my camera out it was too far away to get a good shot.
This is a middle school here in Pittsburg and it reminds me of a castle. There are several big buildings behind this main building.