Sunday, September 20, 2009

Day 62 George Washington Carver

Doyle at the Dighton Bowl & Cafe
Great Breakfast!
Doyle claims that Dighton, Kansas is practically smack dab in the middle of the United States...

George Washington Carver, an African American and one of America's great scientists had a homesteaded near here.

Erecting New Telephone Poles and Cable

Oil Pumps - Elaine at the Bicycle Oasis in Bazine told us that one of these pumps near her was producing over $1,000 worth of oil a day. Many Hispanics have moved to her little community to help with the oil business.

What? A curve in Kansas...

Ness County Bank Building known as the "Skyscraper of the Plains"

I just liked the colors and composition here. This was taken in Ness City.

Inside the Derrick Inn Motel in Ness City. The pool and jacuzzi are in the center. Les is on the right with his bike. The owner just let us wheel our bikes right through the lobby and some other guys brought in scooters...

Date: Sept. 19, 2009

From: Dighton, KS (Lane County)

To: Ness City, KS (Ness County)

Route: Hwy. 96


Miles Today: 34 miles


Top Speed on this trip: 54.1 mph

Weather: Low 70’s with wind out of the SE

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

In the evening, all settled in at the Derrick Inn Motel (Derrick as in oil derrick) in Ness City we met Eric and Don as they strolled in on their scooters that they are riding from Robinson, Illinois to Tucson, Arizona. We were soaking in the hot tub and after some brief banter Eric took our picture and soon thereafter made us a business proposition. He is trying to sell his 2 movie theaters in Illinois but we weren’t biting! You can check out their blog at: and there you will find a picture of some scantily clad Californians in a hot tub…

This evening we also met more friendly cyclists, Mary Lou and Les from Portland who are cycling the TransAm in 4 sections over 4 years. They too are eastbound but we may go our separate ways tomorrow as we head further north towards Kansas City and they stay on route to visit friends in Newton.

Our day started with breakfast at the Dighton Bowl & Café. We checked with the locals (as usual) for the best place for breakfast. Doyle, Regina and Pearla made us feel right at home. Owner Doyle even filled our water bottles himself and sent us off with 3 bags of Keebler grahams “Bug Bites” snack crackers. He is definitely a business owner who sees the benefit of cyclists coming through his community and embraces meeting new folks.

We pulled into Ness City around 1:00 P.M. and decided to stay since Mike had the knife in his neck again today and I wasn’t up to par. Gregory was even complaining of pains in his armpit, nether region and left knee and he hardly ever complains. We had a leisurely lunch at the Cactus Club where we enjoyed a salad bar complete with soft serve vanilla and toppings.

After checking in with the Sheriff we made our way to the park where we discovered that there were no bathrooms but plenty of blood-sucking mosquitoes that squarmed our legs the second we crossed the grass and this was at 2 in the afternoon in full sun!! We were out of there so fast it made Gregory’s head spin. He was bummed because they had some pretty cool play equipment.

We considered going on another 11 miles to Elaine’s Bicycle Oasis in Bazine but none of us were really up for it. There were only 2 options for lodging. While Mike waited at this 2 story house “Elite Suites” for the owner to show up (after calling the number posted on the door) Gregory and I went across the street to the Derrick Inn Motel and Restaurant. It didn’t look like much from the outside but we walked in to find an indoor pool and Jacuzzi surrounded by the two stories of motel rooms. For $58.00 we could have two double beds with TV and Wi-Fi and as a bonus the room had a ground floor entrance where we could wheel our bike into the room by an outside access. We hustled back across the street with a post-it in hand and discreetly handed it to Mike while he was talking with the owner of Elite Suites. She wanted over $100 a night and was going to come down when she saw how young Gregory was (and when she knew we were looking across the street I’m sure). I was very pleasant and just explained that Gregory was sold on the pool and we thanked her for her time. It all worked out great and we met all of the friendly folks that I mentioned before.

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