Day 4 (Friday, June 20th)
Total Mileage: 1,428 (256 miles for the day)
Time: 5 hours
Avg MPH: 55
Avg MPG: 48
Song of the day: "Guaranteed" by Eddie Vedder (Into the Wild soundtrack). Kind of a personal song and I heard it twice on the ride (random playing). I love this movie and relate to it on a lot of levels. If you've seen it and now know it is one of my favorites then the solo part of this ride for me should make perfect sense to you.
Pucker Of The Day: Nothing to report! It was a good day to ride!
Surprise(s) of the day:
#1: WARNING: This comment is intended for mature audiences only. Viewer Discretion Is Advised.
I rode by another massive beef processing plant (the first one being near my future hometown of Dodge City). How (you ask) did I know it was a beef processing plant? The first clue was the company's massive logo on the building - a simple square with a picture of a cow's head (simply looking out over the vastness of the Great Plains and thinking happy cow thoughts).
The second clue was the HUNDREDS, and I mean HUNDREDS (and I am not exaggerating) of semis full of cows heading toward the plant. Luckily I was heading the opposite direction (so I wasn't directly behind them breathing in that fresh country air).
I don't care who you are - when you see both of these things, put two and two together and spend a couple of HOURS having these trucks pass on the opposite side you can’t help but think of the cows. This is a one way ticket for them.
This comment is not intended to start any type of debate - it was merely an observation. For me it just amplified the reality of how detached 99.9% of people (myself included) are as to the reality of where their food comes from.
#2: The ride from Liberal to Saint Francis is probably 75% heading North, 25% heading West. The reason this is important is because the wind was behind me, pushing me along. After a few straight days of the wind pushing me from the left it made for a really enjoyable ride. There will be none of that relief on the ride home - it's I-70 all the way (except now the wind will be pushing from my right).
High Temp of the day: 95
Highest MPH: CLASSIFIED
"Performance" Award: No conversations or awards from our men in blue...
#1: I kicked my morning off riding the MSF Course that was painted on the parking lot of the Mid America Air Museum - then I figured I would go inside and check it out.
I won't bore you with details of all the planes inside, but a few key facts:
- it's the 5th largest air museum in the United States
- it houses over 100 aircraft
- Colonel Tom Thomas, Jr. donated 56 aircraft worth over $3.1m dollars
- On his 65th birthday, he flew 65 different planes in 8 hours
#2: Saint Francis, KS - Home of two notable people: my wife and some guy named Ronald Ellwin "Ron" Evans, Jr. (NASA astronaut, one of only 24 people to have flown to the Moon, Command Module pilot aboard Apollo 17 in 1972, the last person to orbit the Moon alone).
But trust me when I say this: my wife is the more famous (or should I say "infamous"?) one around these parts.
What was pretty cool was the fact she arrived a little earlier than I did and could check Spotwalla to see where I was and how close I was getting. So she (and the NSA) could keep an eye out for me so I didn't get lost in this town of 1,329 people (according to the 2010 census).
This was day 1 of their Alumni weekend, so we went out to meet-up with the folks who were able to make it back. To put in perspective how small this small town is, there were 33 students in her graduating class (with 2 of them being exchange students!)
I cannot thank her friends enough for their hospitality over the weekend. We really appreciated them hosting us. I enjoyed meeting her friends and I know she is really glad she came back. Now we just need to duke it out over moving to Dodge City or to Saint Francis!