Monday, April 04, 2005

Merriam Kansas to Liberal Kansas

We wanted to see the Kansas countryside and I guess we did. Took I-35 out of Merriam but took off west on 50 instead of getting on the Turnpike. Part way across 50, there was a portable sign suggesting we check AM 1610 for info on construction. It said heavy construction was going on around Florence and suggested an alternate route. So we turned on 150 and went west to McPherson where we took 61 and then 54 southwest.

Kansas is very pretty when you get off the Interstates. But it is flat and provides no barrier against strong gusting winds from the south. Kansas must be an Indian word for “Holy hurricane, Batman, is it ever windy here.” Topeka radio called it “breezy”. But I did get a chance to see how the Wing would handle crosswinds. It does pretty well.

On the plus side, it was clear and sunny and warmed up to 80 degrees by the end of the day.

Small towns, irrigated farmland and, more as we headed SW, the same high desert that runs from West Texas all the way to Oregon.

The end of the day finds us in Liberal, Kansas, which is half way between Wichita and Tucumcari, New Mexico. This is the hub city of the area and, despite having only 24,000 people, boasts three Chinese buffets on the main strip. We tried one and found it to be pretty good (although not on a par with the Joy Buffet in Titusville).

I can see that Liberal must have been a wild cow town 120 years ago. Dodge City is just north of us and Meade, just NE, claims to have the Dalton Gang hideout. Here, attractions include an Oz museum and what looks like an interesting aviation museum. We may check it out tomorrow before heading on to Tucumcari and Albuquerque.

I do need some cruising pegs for the bike. A second foot position would be very nice.

So we’re on schedule and still having fun.

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