Saturday, June 2nd
Total Mileage: ~ 600
I woke up early because I was still on Eastern Daylight Time - and tried not to wake everyone else. This is a problem that plagued me most of the trip. As a kid, I remember hearing that my grandparents woke up every day (well after retirement) around 6:00 AM, and couldn't understand why. Now I get it... after so many years of getting up early to go to work, sleeping late is difficult.
After my sister treated me to a wonderful breakfast of french toast and bacon, I was off.
For those of you that haven't done it, crossing Kansas is just about as boring as it gets. Again, I am from Kansas. I grew up in Kansas. I love Kansas, but it truly is a BORING state to drive through. I knew what to expect and made the best of it.
Something I ran across a few times: trucks going well below the speed of the general flow of traffic, running side by side, not letting anyone go by - for MILES. One time I think they did it just to keep the rest of us from blowing by, because the highway patrol was down the road radaring. But this time I didn't get it ...and was a little annoyed. WTF?
About this time I ran out of gas again. Don't heckle me too much. Look at the gas gauge! Two bars and only 207 miles since the last fill-up! After this, I filled up WAY too early.
Once again FeMan's tool tube (for my MSR bottle) saved the day. And it's a good thing. It would have been a long walk.
As a kid, we trekked across the state most every year on the way to vacation destinations. And we became familiar with the landmarks, as they were few and far between. One of my favorites is still there 40+ years later: The Largest Prairie Dog In The WORLD!
Every year we would pass signs like this for miles, hyping this freak of nature. Our (four kids in the car) imaginations ran wild. But there was no way our frugal parents were going to stop.
So year after year we missed one of the wonders of the known universe.
In about 1983, when I was crossing the country as an E-4 in the Army, I learned what Paul Harvey would call, "The Rest Of The Story"... Behind those four sections of fence, that had partially blown down after a damaging wind storm, you could see the big concrete
varmint. I was crushed.
So on and on I droned. I had plenty of time because my wife and daughter weren't due in Denver until 10:00 ish, and I was really SICK of the interstate, so I decided to see something I had passed by my entire life: Western Kansas off the interstate. If I could figure out how to post pics of map in this RR I would, but... Anyway, If you are so inclined, look at a map. I-70, way out in western Kansas and again in eastern Colorado, makes a couple of random 45 degree right hand turns for several miles before leveling off and going strait west again. I figured I would go exploring and get off the slab a little and go north early, meeting up with the interstate east of Denver.
I picked a random exit and started north.
The road started out like this. It reminded me of the Dumb & Dumber quote, "That John Denver is full of shit, man".
The pavement turned to dirt
The view from where I came:
Then things stated to get a little sketchy
Eventually, the road became a 6" deep dust and tumble-weed ditch. I have little experience riding in that kind of thing and nearly crashed multiple times. I was truly out in the middle of NOWHERE and I honestly got a little spooked. Crashing could have been a life threatening event - so I was too much of a pansy to stop and take any more pics until I got back on the black-top.
Heading farther north than I had anticipated, I realized I could take a further detour and knock off Nebraska form my "states visited' tally, so I did.
After traveling some very desolate roads...
...I crossed over into Colorado
I found some more-direct routs and plowed through some heavy rain
...Finally making it to our hotel in Denver.
I checked in, unloaded the luggage from the bike, and headed to Chick Fil A for dinner. That's when I notice all was not well with my chain.