Favorable winds have meant spirits are high after two days of low mileage / wonderful tailwinds. My knee is feeling better although not yet normal. My butt wound is steadily clearing up — it’s a combination of many, many things that would be too much detail for most of you.
I hope you can see the windmills in the pictures — there were hundreds of them, it seems. 99% seemed to be twirling.
The area where Dodge City was settled has a sad and bloody history; it is hard to describe it as anything other than genocide. Hunters were paid for Bison skins — the goal being to wipe out the American Bison and deprive the Native Americans of their traditional food source. At the same time wars were waged between the local tribes and the US Army.
After the area, which is along the “Santa Fe Trail,” became more settled, the railroads started to expand westward to this territory. Dodge City was the “end of the line” for the trains at a point; cowboys from as far away as Texas would drive their herds to Dodge City, where they would be auctioned, slaughtered and shipped East. Dodge City was in many people’s imagination “the Wild, Wild West;” the show “Gunsmoke” is set in Dodge City.
I was curious what kind of calories I am consuming. I put yesterday into a spreadsheet; I was expecting between 4,000 – 5,000 calories a day; what do you know? We were in Dodge City, so Father John and I tried to find the best steak house in Dodge and were hoping to order a Tomahawk. After passing tens of thousands of head of cattle on their way to slaughter, some had lost their appetite for beef (either pity or because of the smell), but John and I both had plenty of appetite.
|Cinnamon Spice Oatmeal||160|
|Raisin Bran with 2% milk||230|
|SAG 1||1/2 peanut butter jelly on whole wheat bread||145|
|Scoop of “gorp” (raisins, nuts, M&M’s, other||150|
|Lunch||4 blueberry pancakes||600|
|2 eggs over easy||175|
|Snack||1/2 cup cashews||320|
|1 pound cherries||270|
|12 oz ribeye||800|
I qualified for the senior discount at the International House of Pancakes (IHOP); yes, it was a day of reckoning. Yesterday I was too hungry to accept only 2 pancakes, but the day before I had chirpily demanded my $1.50 discount on the senior portion.
I’m the second youngest in my group of 11; somehow I expected to be in the middle but 52 days is a long time for most working folks. Only the four youngest (53, 55, 56) are still working; the others are all retired. Actually, there is one guy from Belorussia that is of unknown age and avocation. He might be younger than me. He never rides with the group and if he joins us for dinner seems to have urgent calls in Russian at every meal. The median age is probably about 59 or 60 — hey Michael, you could do this! Or I hear there are trips across Canada. You might have to stay at a few farmhouses across the great expanse, but what a trip that would be!
Tomorrow we will be halfway!
Day 24 ride summary (Garden City to Dodge City, Kansas). 50.7 miles, 600 feet of climbing. Nice tailwind. Easiest day yet. I rode mainly with Carl at the start and then joined the larger group. They had a couple of flats but I now have been spared for over a week.
Day 25 ride summary (Dodge City to Great Bend, Kansas). 84.2 miles, 411 feet of climbing. Very flat terrain. Moderate tailwind, but with the nice road conditions it was as easy as yesterday. What a relief to have a couple of days of “spinning.” There are now two main groups, the “fast group” (3 people) and the “main group” (7 people). One person always rides on his own.