Bagged the seat on the bike last night. First rain of the trip. Woke me up hitting the window of my room. Overcast this morning leaving Garden City. At an intersection turn a wrong direction. Find myself heading west on Highway 50. Four years ago I was in the same spot on a new 2014 LowRider doing a story on 50. Still remains one of my most favorite rides. Morning thought: is Texas flatter than Kansas? Thinkin' Kansas might win out on this one. If I had a marble I do believe I could put it in the middle of HWY 83 in Kansas and it wouldn't roll in any direction. Actually, I'd bet dollars to donuts it wouldn't move an inch in any direction, North, East, South, or West. Now if I only had a marble...
Stopped to top off the gas tank. Heard a friendly "where you headed"? Met Liz and Bob. Both Harley riders. Liz works with Lace, Grace, and Gears. It's a group of women riders attempting to set the world record of the most women riders meeting in one place at one time. Their goal is to bring 1200 women together in Bardera, TX this fall. Bob worked for a Harley shop in Illinois where he met and did some crazy motorcycle ice racing with Evel Knievel. Had a good time swapping stories.
The 225 miles of HWY 83 across Kansas is the land of wheat and cattle. Most of the cattle are in feedlots, not like this perfect "free range" picture.
In the spring of 1868 there were two Williams in the buffalo hunting trade around west Kansas; William Cody, who supplied the Kansas Pacific Railroad workers with buffalo meat, and William Comstock, who fed the soldiers at Fort Wallace with his catch. To settle the dispute that they had on who the rightful owner of the nickname would be, they held a contest to see who could bring back the most buffalo in a day. Cody, with his large-caliber Trapdoor Springfield rifle he named “Lucretia Borgia” and his circling technique that kept his kills in one area instead of scattered, won the contest 69 to 46. The contest took place 10 miles west of the town of Oakley, and the Buffalo Bill Cultural Center was established there in 1995. A large sculpture was commissioned and dedicated in May of 2004. Placed on a hill just outside of town to keep above the horizon, the statue towers above the plains. It was all about a "contest" to see how many of these magnificent creatures could be slaughtered. A sad piece of history.
Kansas travel tip: It may be difficult if not impossible to find any place open for a meal on Sundays. If you see a Casey's Gas/Convenience Store that will be your best Sunday meal plan.
Stopped at Casey's for my Sunday lunch. "You the guy ridin' that blue motorcycle? Blue is my favorite color. Not only that...Blue is my name." Blue had blue eyes and was wearing a blue shirt with blue jeans. His uncle had been a rodeo clown following the circuit across Kansas. Blue was a bull rider for a short time before a serious accident. His belt buckle caught my eye.
"My Dad gave it to me when I was a kid. He had a special feeling for the buffalo. Respected them, loved them, always felt sad about what happen to them."
Out of Kansas into Nebraska tonight...the good life. No buffalo sighted.
Kickstand down McCook, NE. 230 miles.
be strong, be safe, Talon