prairie dog state park

“PRAIRIE DOGS & CURIOUS COWS” (Thursday, September 30, 2010)

Slept under a beautiful Cottonwood tree and woke up feeling more refreshed than I’ve felt the whole trip. The campsite was so peaceful, I decided to take the morning off and take my time getting out of there. Visited the Prairie Dog colony on my way out of the park, but was surprised by its size. It was smaller than most prairie dog colonies scattered throughout Boulder.

Finally hit the road a about a quarter till noon, rolling into Norton 30 minutes later. Grabbed some lunch at a local diner and stopped by the Norton Telegraph for an interview and shot of the trike.

Later rolled down Main Street in Prairie View, and then Stuttgart, on my way to Phillipsburg, where the Advocate took a shot of the trike and did a quick interview.

Met my first fellow recumbent bike rider today, as I was leaving Phillipsburg. Told me he was a bear hunter and kept in shape for hunting season by riding (he finds the recumbent more comfortable than a regular bike). When I told him my route east, he suggested a more bike friendly route, which worked out well, so thanks, Bill!

On this trip, I have pedaled by more cows interested in my yellow rocket trike than you can shake a stick at. I really think cows have gotten a bad rap, because you can’t be both curious and dumb. More often than not, the cows I come upon stop what they’re doing, look at me, and continue watching me long after I’ve passed. Same with most horses I’ve come across on this trek (some have even eagerly run up to the fence for a closer look). I guess they’re just bored with cars and trucks (having seen so many of them over the years) and are trying to figure out what this yellow, futuristic-looking thing riding past them is. I’ve even had cows and bulls as far as hundreds of yards away look up and check out the trike. It’s really quite something and happens all the time.

Rolled down the main streets of Agra and Kensington on my way to Smith Center, where I again arrived just as the sun had set and it was starting to get dark. On the way, had two cars pull over ahead of me to get photos of the trike. The driver of the second, Judy, was kind enough to tell me where I could camp for free in town, which is where I’m writing this now, snuggled into my cozy tent. More hawk sightings today. Logged 72 miles, for a total of 500 miles ridden so far (about 20% of the way there).

Tagged , , ,

“CROSSWINDS & PAIN” (Wednesday, September 29, 2010)

Gusting crosswinds all day made for slow going, especially up the numerous hills that characterize western Kansas.

Late in the morning, the pain in my right knee got so bad I decided it was time to kick in the electric-assist motor for the bigger hills, and I’m glad I did, because the day was full of them. Getting a little electric assist on the tougher hills took a lot of strain off the knee and made the pedaling more bearable. We’ll see how it feels tomorrow. Today was another good media day. Rolled down Main Street in Atwood and did an interview with the Rawlins County Square Deal:

Rolled up to country music radio station KFNF off Hwy. 36 and did an interview there before heading to Oberlin for a stop at the Oberlin Herald where the office cat runs the show.

Interesting how the last few days I was constantly dodging grasshoppers in the shoulder. Today there were almost none (due to the wind, I suppose), but lots of black beetles negotiating their way across the treacherous (to them) asphalt strip. Did my best not to add to their troubles. More hawk sightings today.

Didn’t want to spend tonight in another town square, so took a calculated risk and pushed for the turn-off to Prairie Dog State Park, hoping I could make it before the sun went down and it got too dangerous to ride. Was a tough slog at the end of an already long day (8 hours of riding for a total of 82 miles on the day), but only missed my mark by 15 minutes. Wouldn’t have wanted to ride on that shoulder five minutes longer, though. Finally rolled into Prairie Dog State Park just as it was getting dark and the mosquitos were getting active.

They have a beautiful campground nestled next to a reservoir, with free showers and not too many people this time of year. Looking forward to seeing the dogs in the morning.

Tagged , , ,