Day 39: Larned, KS to Dighton, KS
June 24, 2011

We slept in today and after some chain cleaning and grocery shopping, got on the road at 10am. It was glorious to not wake up to an alarm and apparently we needed the sleep since Hillary doesn’t remember trying to tickle Andrew for the last 10 minutes before she fell asleep last night. “I’m awake! How could I be ticko-ing you if I were asleep?!” Although we prefer to get early starts, the perk of today was that our friend the tailwind had already picked up. We rode for about 35 miles, stopped for lunch in Rush Center, and turned onto Route 96. We will be on Route 96 for the next 349 miles. Not only do we not turn off the road, 96 itself barely turns. It took us in a Northwestern direction for about 2 miles today but otherwise, it heads due West. Also, it is hot again. 97 degrees. We’ve been lucky with the wind but also with the wheat harvest, which is basically now. Somehow, we managed to get through Eastern Kansas after the harvest and into Western Kansas before it starts here, which is nice. We’ve seen a ton of combines, though. Our plan was to stop for the night in Ness City but the tailwind was so great we pressed on to Dighton, making for another almost-century. We thought we would camp a lot in the town parks in Kansas but after long days like yesterday and today, good sleep is a necessity. After showers we ate at the Hornet’s Nest–it was a somewhat disturbing though very satisfying food orgy. Even the waitress commented that she didn’t think we’d be able to eat all the food.

  • Start: Larned, KS
  • End: Dighton, KS
  • Slept: motel
  • Miles: 98.0
  • Avg: 13.8
  • Notes: tailwind!

Day 40: Dighton, KS to Selkirk, KS
June 25, 2011

We slept in again today, bought some yogurt for breakfast, and set off around 9am. We had a good tailwind for most of the morning which carried us to Leoti, where we stopped for a picnic lunch inside an air-conditioned gas station. Also, we passed 4 trucks today carrying the blades and column for a HUGE wind turbine. After lunch it was just 11 more miles to Selkirk, KS where we would stay the night. Note: Selkirk is essentially a grain elevator. BUT, Collin had a connection to an older couple who have a farm about 1 mile off the road where we spent the night. The Reimer farm was a great oasis for us from the heat. We took a dip in their pool, and they didn’t even evict us after seeing Andrew’s swimwear. They cooked us a giant steak dinner and we hung out with their son-in-law and grandchildren in the evening. Milan and Dorene talked with us about a number of things, including how they met, farming in Western Kansas, and their children and grandchildren. It may sound crazy, but we are at the highest elevation of the trip so far. And gaining. From here to Pueblo, CO we gain about 10 feet per mile, putting us at almost 5,000 feet in a few days.

  • Start: Dighton, KS
  • End: Selkirk, KS
  • Slept: Reimer farm
  • Miles: 60.0
  • Avg: 13.7

Photos: Combine, giant turbine column, another grain elevator!, Andrew on the Reimer’s trampoline, Milan and Dorene Reimer