Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Feel the Heat!

Ever heard of Spearville, KS? This town off of Highway 50 is known as the home of the Royal Lancers, which is likely a play on the Spear name and possibly a Man of La Mancha reference, since Spearville is also surrounded by the largest and most impressive array of windmills I have ever seen. For 20 miles, there are windmills far as my eyes could see. Windmills 100 yards tall spaced out every 500 yards, 20 in a row, row after row, for 20 miles. Don Quixote would have had a field day!

Spearville Wind Farm

The time and temperature as I rode through Spearville? 105 degrees at 7:30.

By 8:00 pm, I was cruising past Dodge City. The temp was still over 100 and Boot Hill was looking pretty inviting. Only not because of the legendary cemetery in which many other victims of heat lie in eternal repose, but also because of the air-conditioned and presumably well-stocked casinos that now line the highway. What would Matt Dillon do?

In fields east of Lawrence, cars on N. 1500 Road are barely visible from the dust of a late season corn harvest.
I did not take this picture, but I did ride through this dust

Now at 9:00 I am in the desert-like town of Garden (not) City (not). As I fill up my gas tank, a local girl steps up for a chat. We make small talk. Where are you from? Where are you headed? Yadda, yadda. Finally, I vent a little.

  • What's the deal with the heat? 
  • How come all the feedlots are right next to the highway--20,000 head of cattle kicking up clouds of poop-filled dust? (I remove my goggles to make a reverse raccoon face point.)
  • Why does this state just keep getting longer and longer as I ride? 
  • What kind of sick bastard named this town Garden City when it is neither a Garden nor a City?

Bless her heart, she just smiled and said, "Welcome to Kansas!"

The sun is setting, the full moon is rising, and Colorado, she is calling us. Onward we ride.