Miles Pedaled

Sunday, May 23, 2010


On Wednesday, our wonderful adventure came to an abrupt halt seventy miles short of our Kansas goal.
We lost another day and a half to weather - this time lightening, thunder, and torrential rains. The Memorial Day opening of Camp Tilden necessitated our moving on to Missouri.
Another adventure - fun in a different way!
Highlights of our last Kansas day.

We spent this last day in Girard dodging the local thunder storms.
Catalpa Trees everywhere!

Up close.
Leaves are 10" long and beautiful flowers.

This little pond threatening to become a lake.

Calving season in Kansas.

Martha, Liz, Kathy and Caitlin.
Kathy's the one with the sawed off horns.

Another little lake getting closer and closer to home.

Windshield wipers would have been nice.

Chase, can you read this?

Almost to Missouri and roads and river crossings flooded.

Difficult for biking, but the turtles love it. Before I could get my camera out another six or more turtles abandoned log. Look close. How many turtles do you see?

Now begins the search for a safe road to camp.

Our search was futile and we drove the last seventy miles to C.T.
This little lady greeted us as we drove the river road.

For our kids who have been here,

this is the entrance right by the road.

This is the low water bridge to Sammie's house. We should have brought our surf boards!
We still haven't driven across in the Marmot den.
Five days later, only big Fords dare this crossing.

Because Sammie's house was surrounded,

this was our home for two days. Cozy and dry...
and in a perfect position to clean


paint and organize this,

and ready the favorite mode of transportation in this area.

We ventured out on the River Road with the intention of carrying Marmot where water still covered the road.
Dang!! Marmot wounded and stopped not by water, but by

one sturdy little staple.
I'm married to a patient man. Usually.
(usually patient, always married)

Five days later, the bridge is crossable, but not for the feint of heart.

Poor Marmot! Corralled until after Memorial Day when we will saddle up and venture forth again.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

To Be Continued . . . (Another Short Guest Post)

 Steve and Martha arrived in eastern Kansas a few days ago with only about 140 miles left to ride.

They were still going strong.

Then they tried to find a safe route down to the farm, Camp Tilden, and Sammie 
(she's the ugly one right in the middle).

First they tried the GPS.  It kept giving them Highway 71 as a route to bike on - NOT SAFE!!

They got onto Google Maps and found a different bike route. They rode about 10 miles down it and found that the road was closed.


They had to get in the car and drive the rest of the way to the farm.

But never fear - all is not lost. Steve came up with a 35 mile loop that they will do enough times to get their mileage up to their original goal.

In the meantime, they're safely at Camp Tilden with Sammie trying to get ready for Memorial Day's opening weekend.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Unscheduled Rest Day

Stoker says go -

Captain says no.

It's a good thing one of us has good sense!

You've heard the term 'raining cats and dogs'?

About two inches on the sidewalk.

So we looked for something else to do.

I think Robin and Marian would have ridden anyway.
Then again, I don't think it rained once in Nottingham!

It's not Charlie's, but not bad for Pittsburg.

More thunderstorms forecast for tomorrow.

If it doesn't clear by Friday, we'll be arriving at Camp Tilden in a white Honda.
Here's hoping that doesn't happen and we get to add some miles tomorrow!

Wildflower Ride to Nowhere

What a perfect day! Blue skies, short sleeves, no rain jackets, and lots of sun screen.

We started east on a country road and there were very few cars, but an amazing display of wildflowers! Yellow flowers,

pink flowers,

and a turtle rescued from the road.

We wanted to save him for you Drew, but nowhere to put him!

Queen Ann's Lace (the only one I can identify),

and 6" corn plants.

Well, ok. That stopped us.

and since we couldn't cross this... we turned around and went west.

This is what we saw.

Lavender flowers,

white flowers and so small (3/4") that I would have missed it if I hadn't waded through flowers and bees looking at a different flower.

So worth the chiggers that I'm sure will be killing me by tomorrow!

Happy flowers,

beautiful farms,

purple flowers,

more yellow flowers,

and my favorite that I risked life to photograph. Wish I knew what it was.

All of this in a fifteen mile stretch.

Worth having to double back for.
Even if we did have to ride until 8:30.

New record for one day - 62 miles.

...and we think to ourselves, what a wonderful world.

Good night...

Monday, May 17, 2010

Life Is Good!

We started early this morning in hopes of getting in some extra miles.
We met a lady in this town who invited us to the community dinner that night. She was darling and had curlers in her hair, but I'm sure she had forgotten they were there.
She let me use her bathroom in the Community Center and I was grateful!
Read all the firsts that this town is known for.
BTW, we had some firsts today as well...first single day over 60 miles; first speed over 40 mph; and first day over 400 mile total!

About two miles out of town, we got to use our granny gear for the first time in Kansas.

We've seen two other cross country bikers, but these were the first we were able to talk to.

He started with a friend in Maryland but the friend gave up after 1000 miles and took a train on to Portland. This young guy said his whole family were bikers, but that he left them home with the family business and they sent him out to "live the dream".

He met this young man about a week ago and they've been biking together since then. He's from Taiwan and he came here just to bike across America. Isn't that awesome?

It was nice talking to them and they were thrilled to have someone give them some positive encouragement. After seeing the way they were loaded down with gear, I was more sure than ever that the car is not a hindrance!

The flags are starting to sag. Thank goodness!

This seems to be the symbol of the town. We're not sure if it's a hawk or an eagle.

While at the Toronto Reservoir, we saw these birds soaring over the water. They came out of the trees and wouldn't even need to flap their wings. They just caught the wind and glided.

Up closer...

and closer still. Someone said they were Golden Eagles. Does anyone know?

Standing on the Toronto Reservoir Dam

As we left the park, I started noticing more things that told me we're getting closer to home.

Not clear like our river, but pretty anyway. Now I see what the campers from Kansas mean when they say all of their rivers are muddy.

Judging from the sky, we thought we'd be rained on all day, but only had a few sprinkles.

Pulled into Chanute this evening and saw our first McDonalds since we left. Their food would have been better than the horrible Mexican food we had in Chanute. I guess we shouldn't complain though since every other Mexican restaurant we've been to in Kansas has been great. The minute we walked in and saw the menu and decor, we knew it was run by gringos. Big mistake!
This one's for you Scotty! Congrats on acing your test! Brave guys everywhere putting out fires.
After we got our room for the night, we wanted another 10 miles so we pedaled around a little and found a pretty little lake with ducks and geese. Made me wish I had some of my duck feeding grandchildren with me. Some of them had babies.

One more thrill of the day. Look closely and you'll see my best sign yet of being close to home.

NOT the Pepsi!