I get to Wichita, KS and am annoyed that I didnít head west sooner or stayed farther east to avoid it. Iím in stop and go traffic a little before lunch time and it was annoying after all the smooth running earlier. I finally work my way over to the road to Hutchison and am making time again.
Just south of Hutchison, KS, Iím coming up on a slow moving horse trailer. I get closer and realize that itís being pulled by a tractor. The driver is wearing a long sleeve shirt, overalls, wide brimmed hat and has a large beard without a mustache. I think I knew that Hutchison has a Mennonite population but forgot. I get into town and see a pizza buffet and decide it would be a quick place to get a bite. The tractor pulling the trailer catches up to me as I take my gear off and he gives me a big wave. I grab a couple slices of pizza and make sure not to over eat while on the road (I should be on the road a LOT more).
I pull back on to the road and meet another Mennonite and heís pulling 2 trailers behind his tractor. He didnít wave but just stared as I went by. I wander through town on every west or north major-ish looking road and finally find a street that looks like a highway (yeah, now I know I could have turned on 4th ave to get right back to the highway). I turn on 56th street even though itís not marked as a highway but I see an over the road semi coming from out of town. I figure it must connect to some sort of highway before too long because those guys donít venture too far from the major roads without a good reason.
It connects back to the highway and am rolling again. I come up to Nickerson, KS and see herds of zebras, ostriches and camels. Turns out that itís Hedrickís Bed & Breakfast Inn and Exotic Animal Farm. Who knew?
I see a lot of dark clouds in the north and decide that I need to make a bit of time in case I run into some serious rain. I head straight north for I70. I spend an hour heading west to Hays, KS. There wasnít a lot of traffic so I didnít get a huge amount of buffeting but this bike is really setup to be a lot more fun on secondary roads. I turned onto hwy183. I spent most of my early life living within a few miles of this road so it felt like I was getting close.