July1, 2001 - Mike and Marilyn's 2001 TransAmerica Bike Trip

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July1, 2001

JOURNAL > KANSAS
 
 
 
 
 
 

Larned to Ness City, Kansas. (66 mi.) Mile 2040

"Straight as a string"

It turns out that the Larned city park is on the Saturday night cruising circuit, and we had forgotten what day of the week it was. After a few hours of revving vehicles and motorcycles cruising past our campsite, we got up in the dark and moved our tent behind a building where it was less conspicuous and quieter. Once we did this, we had a good night.

 
 
 
 

Leaving Larned: we started early in the morning to beat the heat


 
 

On the way out of town, we were distracted by Fort Larned, the original Army outpost built in 1858 to provide protection for commerce traffic along the Sante Fe Trail. We immersed ourselves in the history books in the gift shop and watched a skilled blacksmith using the original coal forge and bellows to make ironworks. It was late and getting hot by the time we hit the road again.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The Fort Larned complex was built of local sandstone. This soft stone has proven irresistible to those who have carved their names in it since the fort was built.


 
 

We are now getting to the part of Kansas where the route becomes "straight as a string". Shade and services are scarce, and the wind can really pick up. It seems that we always meet eastbounders under these conditions, but it is worth it to stop and share stories and advice with cyclists who have just come from where we are going.

 
 
 
 

We stop to catch up on TransAm news with eastbounders from Connecticut


 
 
 
 

Sandstone fence posts, weighing between 250-450 lbs each, were used in the late 1800s where wood was scarce. Miles of fence using these posts are still evident along our route.


 
 

After more delays, it was getting to be the hottest part of the day, up into the 90s. After miles of riding over smooth but hot new asphalt, we were parched and looking for something cold. We stopped and peered into the convenience store in Bazine, but it was closed. Then from across the street, we heard someone calling to us, "We have snow cones and homemade ice cream over here!!" Wow!! It was the Bazine High school (student body of 36) cheerleaders with a fireworks and refreshment stand, trying to earn money for new uniforms. Unable to decide between a snow cone and ice cream, I had both, and the combination was just what I needed to get me into Ness City.

Tomorrow we arrive in Scott City where I am looking forward to meeting some cousins I have not met yet, and seeing where my grandfather was raised.

 
 
 
 

Firecrackers at the Bazine High School cheerleaders' fireworks stand, which also sells snow cones and the best homemade ice cream.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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