Monday, August 24, 2009

Day 20 Leaving Windy Kansas Seneca, KS – Hamilton, MO 108 miles

Today I left pretty Kansas. Route 36 was a good road for riding, and the motorists were super friendly. I was surprised at how hilly the whole state was. Route 36 does not skirt hills; it cuts right through them. I was fortunate to see another falcon again yesterday.

I got drilled by headwind all day, so the law of averages struck. I was fortunate through Kansas to have side or slight tailwinds. In fact, on the whole ride the wind has been very good to me. Today I cannot remember coasting at all, even on any downhill. The wind just makes a huge difference in cycling. One thing the headwind did for me was kept things cooler than they would have been otherwise. At least the weather has been reasonable; folks keep on saying that normal August temps are typically around 100 F. In the middle of the afternoon I crossed the mighty Missouri River. I have been to the icy clear headwaters of the Missouri up where it starts in Montana. It certainly goes through a lot of landscapes as it winds to the Mississippi.

My progress slowed considerably in Missouri as the shoulder got rough. About 7 PM I had to get serious about finding a place to sleep. I called up a campground well off the main drag and they gave me directions to a place well off my route 36. So I took as very hill country road over broken farmland, which added another 8 miles – a lot when one is tired. It was a very pretty ride on a very quiet farm road. As I made my way closer and closer to the campground, I wondered if I’d ever get there! Then the road turned to dirt and just kept on going as light left the sky. Finally got the small campground at dark, and heard owls and coyotes nearby as I fell asleep in the middle of nowhere in northern Missouri.

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