Saturday, September 19, 2009

Day 61 Drafting Behind Harvesters & Manure in the Morning

Thanks for the great hospitality Lanny and Marcia!

Marcia and Gregory give treats to Lady, Squirt and Dodger. We are loaded and ready to go.

We stopped on the road to say one last goodbye to Lanny and Brandy.

In town out in front of the Leoti Standard

How can I get out of Dodge if the road is closed?

El Dos De Oros in Scott City, Kansas

Having a ball bowling. Check out the ball return.

Ahhhh! Oversized load!

Many more trucks...


Boo! We lost our pace line.

Soybeans are another crop in this area.

Gregory's Favorite Truck....Really smelly...

Days End at the Dighton Kwik Shop

Date: Sept. 18, 2009

From: Leoti (pronounced Leota), Kansas (Wichita County)

To: Dighton, KS

Route: Hwy. 96


Miles Today: 52 miles


Top Speed on this trip: 54.1 mph

Weather: 70s and the usual afternoon wind

License Plates Collected: 5 Montana plates, 8 Wyoming plates (2 motorcycle) and 1 Idaho plate (found in WY), 2 Colorado plates

After a pleasant visit with Lanny and Marcia and a fabulous breakfast including homemade muffins, eggs, sausage and oatmeal with fresh peaches, we said goodbye to Lanny and Brandy who were off for their daily hour walk. We then loaded the bike in the truck and Marcia took us back to town. We were quite a show for all of the Hispanic laborers who were in town repairing 80% of the roofs in Leoti that were damaged by a recent hailstorm. (Let’s pray we don’t get caught in one of these because Marcia said some of the hailstones were as big as softballs and jagged!) We unloaded, reattached the front tire and trailer and hooked on the panniers and all the while the guys stood around at the convenience store pumps watching. It was pretty comical. We exchanged hugs, took pictures and rode off with a ring of Gregory’s bell and arms waving.

Just east of Leoti we were hit with the smell of fermenting grain (in this case milo) from an ethanol plant. Apparently there is a brewery in Kansas City that makes a beer from milo. It was not a pleasant smell and we thought it was the waste disposal site. Ugh! We were just glad that it wasn’t in the midday heat. Poor Gregory doesn’t handle the more unpleasant smells on the bike as well as Mike and I do. Remember we can’t roll up the windshield! We’ve learned to breathe out of our mouths when we pass a feedlot or when a cattle or pig hauler blows by us. Gregory plugs his nose and asks, “Is it (the smell) gone yet?” It is pretty funny. We haven’t had much traffic other than these semis and the occasional truck. Though today some “oversize loads” paid off for us.

We were pulled off on the side of the road for a quick potty break but noticed a pickup was coming slowly towards us along the power lines so I held off. As soon as they got to us they cut over to the rode to chat. As we were talking we noticed a massive oversize load coming towards us. The guys we were chatting with told us they transport the harvesters from field to field on semis via the highway. As several harvesters and other large trucks passed Mike joked that we should hop on the bike and draft. Well, we waited for just a bit until after the last truck passed, said goodbye to the power guys and hopped back on to catch up and draft. (Meanwhile I still haven’t had a chance to go to the bathroom!) At first we didn’t think we could catch the line of harvesters but we were soon drafting behind the diesel pickup pulling up the rear. (We had to draft off the left bumper because of exhaust.) We followed at 15 mph for several miles before they turned off. We were sad to see them go because it was back to fighting the wind.

We’d lunched in Scott City and when we made the decision to go on to Dighton I thought it might be a mistake because it was already pretty late in the day and that is when we tend to get the wind as it heats up and the clouds burn off. We were pretty wiped out when we got to Dighton around 4:00 and that is when we tend to get short with one another and to top it off I wasn’t feeling too well. Once at the park I walked off with Gregory to watch him on the playground equipment and put some space between Mike and I. Later I did the grocery shopping on my own and when I went in the tent to change clothes I put my head down and was out for the night. Mike cooked dinner and asked if I wanted some but I wasn’t budging. This is the second night I’ve gone to bed at 6 P.M. and we think it is just that we’ve been really pushing ourselves against the wind and keeping up an average of about 15 mph without letting up. Whatever it is I’m not quite myself and get frustrated when my patience is thin and I’m not feeling up to par.

On an upbeat note we had a fantastic Mexican lunch at El Dos De Oros next to the Sports Center/The Road Kill Grill in Scott City. Gregory was bugging us to go bowling next door at the Sports Center the second we pulled in for lunch. Mike and I both said no at first but when Mike started looking at the map and making phone calls after lunch Greg and I went to check it out. It was only $2.50 for a lane and no extra cost for shoes so I said what the heck.

Gregory and I had a blast bowling while all of the folks eating lunch at The Road Kill Grill looked on. I’m a pretty terrible bowler so I was happy when Gregory asked to have the bumpers up. It has also been a while since I had to score manually and I had to have a little instruction. The employee quickly pointed out that the directions were on the score sheet! It was a tiny little bowling alley and the balls come back up beside the lanes and up a ramp in full view. I’m used to them popping out of the chute right up by the seats. My ball was probably a little too heavy and I’m sure I didn’t do my back any favors but I didn’t sprain my thumb like I usually do and I made my little man happy.

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