Heat and humidity are the operative words lately. Actually, for quite a while, but the heat yesterday after leaving Ft. Scott, KS, was intense. To pick up where I left off, I think..
Day 15: El Dorado, KS - Yates Center, KS. Hot, humid, decent ride...about 63 miles. Yates Center is another one of those towns that causes me to wonder how/why the town still exists. My choice of food was a Pizza Hut, a Subway or a local BBQ place. Selected the Pizza Hut. Since they do so much quality (quality????) control with their pizzas, I thought it was worth the try. No matter how they do it, all the chain restaurants suck. Period. They don't hold a candle to a good, local place. I am sad to see the disappearance of all the local Mom & Pop shops that I remember. Replaced by Pizza Hut, Sonic, Subway, garbage, garbage, garbage...!!!
Day 16: Yates Center, KS - Ft. Scott, KS. Good ride despite it being hot, humid, blue sky, etc. Ft. Scott was worth the trip. It is a cool little town with the local Ft. Scott National Park. Stopped at the local Tourist Info center where a woman helped me find a place to stay and they also had a computer that I used. She called the Courtland Hotel, built in 1906, and spoke to Frank. He and his wife, Cheryl, own it. She runs a spa; he runs the hotel. Anyways, it was a block away, in the downtown area, so I stayed there. It's like the Palace Hotel in Silver City...very much a period hotel with all the upgrades, including a/c. Besides visiting the Fort, which, according to Frank, the townspeople are not happy with because the National Parks/Feds came in, tore down a big chunk of downtown buildings to rebuild the Fort. The Park Service/Feds didn't make friends by doing that. Anyways, the best part of Ft. Scott was to finally be in a city that was a good place. Seemed pretty active/vital and lots of shops, mostly catering to tourists, but shops, nonetheless. The real plus was Frank. I truly enjoyed talking about the Civil War and Bleeding Kansas, which is a particular interest of Frank's. Having someone to talk history with was a great joy and we even touched on a little politics. Even though I suspect that Frank and I have differing political views, I thoroughly enjoyed talking with him about many hot button items...and we were civilized about it. Extremely hard to find these days. So, thanks, Frank, you made my visit to Ft. Scott more than it would have been and I appreciate the talking we did. I enjoyed my time there enough to want to come back for a visit in a car so I can do some more Civil War/Bleeding Kansas sight seeing. John Brown lived only about 40 miles from there in Osawattomie, KS.
Day 17: Ft. Scott, KS - El Dorado Springs, MO. Finally out of Kansas into Missouri. The day was VERY hot. I rode 40 miles, talked to some folks at a real estate agency in El Dorado Springs about what services were available over the next 60 miles to Clinton. Nothing. Well, a restaurant in Collins, MO, where I'd pick up Rt. 13 north to Clinton, MO. So, ended the ride for the day there. Found a local pizza place and liked it. No where near as salty as the Pizza Hut pizzas. Other than that, however, there is nothing in El Dorado Springs. Truth be told, I am growing weary of these small towns that have nothing in them. My next ride will include far fewer of these. Don't mean to be arrogant about it, but they are hard to spend time in since there is nothing there of interest. And food options suck.
Day 18: El Dorado Springs, MO - Clinton, MO. Another hot day, but got out of town early. Met a guy at the convenience store in El Dorado Springs who had redone a 1940 Chevy coupe. Beautiful job. He was also a cyclist and has cycled the Katy Trail. Good words about the trail, so I'm looking forward to it. Headed to Collins, MO, where I will pick up Rt. 13, then head north to Clinton. Ate breakfast at a Smith's Restaurant, which is a local chain. I bought a cinnamon roll there..$5.50. It was HUGE...filled up a regular size plate. Managed to eat half of it plus two eggs, two sausage patties, some toast and hashbrowns. Took a picture of the cinnamin roll and will post it asap. Now, I'm only 1/2 mile from the head of the Katy Trail and will head out on it in the a.m. Should be fun.
To all, thanks for following my ride. It means a great deal to me. I enjoy knowing that family and friends are watching me travel across country. Oh, and CONGRATULATIONS to Eileen. She was hired as the new Director of the Town of Silver City Library. She starts on Monday, Aug. 23rd. I'm proud of her!!!! Not to mention that I love her, too.
Time for dinner. Had the worst espresso drink today that I've ever had in my life. Tell you more later....
Cycling Along The Way...
- Patrick Lyford
- Silver City, NM, United States
- Riders of the wheel. Racers, Roadies, Mountain bikers, Touring cyclists, Commuters, and others. Diamond frames, recumbents, trikes, and more. Sharing a web of connections often misunderstood or unappreciated by those who don't ride. Herewith, my attempt to share some of the more rational thoughts that flit around inside my head while bicycling, knocking back a brew or three, or just thinking about life. Reviews of bicycles, gear, touring, and more, plus some unsolicited posts about people, politics, and philosophy. Other things, too. Me: retired, gave up my TV in 1988, avid cyclist, several cross country tours completed with more to come. Your thoughts?