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TRIP 2005

Update #11 - April 08th
Manhattan, Kansas - 3635 miles (5818 KM)



The ride across Kansas is almost over. Today is my last full day. I'm taking a late start this morning but I should make up some time this afternoon since there is going to be a brisk tailwind from the south pushing me Northwards through Clay Center, Blue Rapids, to Maryville. My first town in Nebraska will probably be Beatrice tomorrow. Today and tomorrow, I should have good weather but there might be some storms Sunday and Monday.

It has been mostly a good ride here in Kansas. I've been retracing some of the routes that I've taken in the past years. Monday, I rode between Winfield to El Dorado. A brisk tailwind pushed me along. Tuesday, I had to change my route some because there was road construction between El Dorado and Marion. U.S. 77 was being improved. Between Florence and Marion, the highway was completely closed so I had to make a big detour to Council Grove. I got into Council Grove right at the beginning of a fast-moving thunderstorm that was coming from the south. The storm was actually chasing me and I thought that I wouldn't get into town before the storm. The Congregational minister helped me out with a motel room. I met him through a very friendly lady at the sheriff's department.

Because of stiff crosswinds and some drizzle, I had a short day Wednesday between Council Grove and Herington. For most of the way westward, I rode along the historic route of the Santa Fe Trail. Back in 1861, Council Grove was the last town on the plains that trail-goers could get stock-up with supplies and sleep in a bed before heading out to Santa Fe, New Mexico. It was neat seeing spots where there were still wagon ruts from the route takers. I made friends with the Methodist minister in Herington. The people at the library called him up for me. The pastor had some Jewish blood in him from his mother's side. His mother's family were Spanish Jews. The pastor got me a room at the local motel.

Yesterday morning, I had some stiff headwinds to deal with between Herington and Junction City. During the morning, I only rode 14 miles in three hours. I was riding up and over the Flint Hills. Between Junction City and Manhattan yesterday afternoon, I had to get permission to ride across U.S. Army Fort Riley. This was the only way that I could get to Ogden and then on to Manhattan since I was right close to interstate. It didn't take too long for me to get a security clearance from the military police. The ride across the base was about seven miles long. Along the way, I rode passed the first territorial capitol of Kansas. On the fort, there were a lot of buildings from World War I and markers for the first Fort Riley built in the 1860's. I got into the Manhattan area around 7 p.m. so I opted to get a low-cost motel room. I still have a little bit left over from all of the great church donations back in Texas.

I'll try and post and update as often as I can if my plans change.




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