I hadnít been back to Kansas in the summer (I was born and raised there) for probably 15-20 years. I also had never seen the western Nebraska sandhills. That sounded to me like a roadtrip. When most people think of the plains, itís just something they dread crossing. They just get on the interstate, put their heads down, twist the throttle and suffer through it. I knew that the prairie had its own unique beauty that you donít necessarily see at 70mph on I-70. I decided this time that I was going to slow down and ride the farm and ranch roads and see some country. I went as slow as I wanted and stopped when I wanted without ever having to consider traffic.
I originally thought I would do this on my little 250cc dualsport so I could get out in the sand. But in the end I decided to ride my new weestrom. I put together a route thru the sandhills that kept me on gravel roads, and a surprising amount of oiled backroads. Special thanks to inmate Fifthcircle for his help. Then I dropped down into KS and followed the Republican river into Clay county. After visiting some family there, I rode from Manhattan down thru the Flint Hills to about Burns. My return trip was westward along the Smoky Hill River to about the Colorado border, where I got on the pavement and got home. When I was done I had covered 3018 miles over 11 days.
I saw a lot of this
Quite a few of these
A lot of these
And a few of these
I am no photographer. I carry a little Canon point-n-shoot in my pocket. What you will see here is my feeble attempt to capture the beauty of the plains and a unique riding experience through it. Itís not easy to do. In the west you photograph prominent geological features that jump out at you. Thatís easy for any ole amateur pitcher-taker like me. The plains are about big wide open spaces and very few people. In Nebraska for example, I jumped off from Oshkosh and landed in Burwell after covering almost 400 miles over two days without seeing a town, and maybe a half dozen vehicles. I was able to get fuel at a bait shop. That kind of remoteness is what I love in a ride. Itís hard to document but I tried.