Saturday, June 14, 2014

Here we Go!

The whole idea of vacation for me is to plan so much activity that, Wham! it's over and you are heading back home.
This year our hero, ahem....plans a bike trip into the wilds of Kansas and Missouri?????

After a marathon drive we head out for the first day of riding out of Ottawa, Kansas on The Flint Hills Rail-trail. It rained and thundered loud enough to wake me in the middle of the night and the morning still found a light rain coming down.
Yes is Kansas!!
Start of the trail.....With the overcast and rain, I feel like I am plunging into Mirkwood forest.
Being an arid mountain boy I am always shocked just how lush and green it can get.
Let's just get the selfie, happy cyclist pic out of the way early!!
What an interesting ride and so different from what I am used to. The trail surface is a crushed limestone and was pretty firm. There were a lot of puddles from the rain so I just splashed on through. I took the theory that I was going to get wet anyway, so just ride. The rain is different is not stinging cold like at home. I did not have to put a rain coat on to stay dry and warm, just was wet and stayed warm.
The ride today was a twenty mile run on  the trail that emptied out in the town of Ossawatomie, and then 9 miles north on roads to Paola for a lunch meet-up. Then a return on the same route back.

Tree tunnels were great because it kept the rain off me. Plus so cool to ride through!! Miles spent rolling along under the canopy.

Often when I popped out of the canopy I would have a nice view of the surrounding farm land.
Or the trail once rolled right through the middle of this huge field of beautiful hay. Green and lush with no weeds that I could see. Unlike the hay we feed to Debbie's Horses and she has to sort through to get the weeds out.

A great old RR bridge. I know Ogre runs a bit heavy but I am pretty sure the bridge can handle it!!
I was late for lunch....slow, and too much goofing around of the trail taking pics and looking at stuff. I did get to spend some time with a high school friend and had a wonderful time touching base with a nice, past part of our lives.
The rain quit and the sun came out for the return trip.
Same Bridge but looking impressive in the afternoon sun.

Here we go...first turtle sighting of the trip. Rolled up on this guy and he immediately poppoed into his house and would not show his face even with my patience.
Turtle and snake sightings
Turtles- 1
Snakes- 0
I rolled back into Ottawa, perfect timing for a couple of cold beers at this nice little joint. They tasted just fine!! What a pretty little college town this is. Many reworked homes like this one that shows a huge pride of ownership and heritage. I really like and respect the time, money, and love put back into old homes.

 Pretty good first day, 58 miles, my first chance to ride rails to trails, great lunch, and cold beers after. I won't post the next days because I will leave my laptop in my truck since we are supposed to get some rain and I just don't want to work that hard keeping it all dry. I'll be back with the rest of the trip and some random thoughts and observations!
Everybody have a good week!!


  1. Welcome to Kansas! Great write-up and photos. It's nice to read what out-of-staters think of Kansas and our trails. As you know, that trail is a work in progress. You'll have to return when it's entire length is finished. Looking forward to hearing about your next ride.

  2. Looks like a fun ride Jim, nice pics hope the next few days are good ones for you.

  3. Is this the Katy Trail? I'm too lazy to look it up. Sounds like a good time, though, Jim. Turtles are a trip. I always stop and pick them up out of the road and put them in some place that seems more appropriate to me but probably just pisses off the turtle.

    But it is the thought that counts and who knows what goes on in the mind of a turtle? I sure don't...half the time I don't know what's going on in my own mind.

    Keep Strokin', buddy. Ya listening to music on yer ride?


    1. What's Playing: Streaming Tampa Bay WMNF Todd Rundgren tribute. Did he die? Still too lazy to look it up. That might make a good T shirt.

      Too Lazy To Look It Up. Just Right Bikes. I swear, I got a million of 'em.

  4. Lovely countryside! Just got back from touring myself. Haven't yet started blogging about it as busy catching up on everybody else's! :) Looking forward to reading about the rest of your visit to KS and MO.

    1. Rebecca, Thanks for stopping by and the read. I am interested in reading about your tour!!