August 05, 2005 GMT
The Not-So-Great Plains

Sorry for the poor photo quality on some of the shots - still tweaking.
I'll probably go with embedded full size images for better quality when it gets interesting...

We rolled out of Bowling Green on a beautiful Tuesday morning at 7 am
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and had smooth sailing up to Evansville IN.

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The states started to roll by on the interstate…
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This arch seemed bigger when I was young.
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By the time we hit Missouri, it was early afternoon and HOT. We were downing water and Gatorade at every stop and sweating it all off. Slathering on the sunscreen added a nice extra bit of stickiness to the hot and humid conditions. We were glad to hit Kansas

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and made Topeka our first stop for the trip. 636 miles for our first day out.

Wednesday we started to make our way across Kansas. Kansas is BIG COUNTRY. The human eye can see an object six miles away without the aid of elevation - I checked this bit of Dad-supplied trivia by picking an overpass in the distance and checking the mileage to reach it. My eyesight seems good for 5 miles on the flat.

So what, you say? Well, in Kansas, for hours, I could see corn for 5 miles in every direction. Big. Flat. Ugh. 80 mph on the interstate was the only solution and it still took forever.

What makes people live in such a place? In a larger sense, what makes some people stay in a location all their lives, while others wander, never actually settling anywhere permanently? The one factor I can identify is the presence of family - if you have family in an area, it’s harder to leave, especially when you’ve started a family of your own. The support from the extended family is a great positive resource, but it also limits the options for exploration, whether geographic, career, or personal, by tying the individual to a locale. Roots versus restless - the meditation subject for the day.

I missed adding the Colorado state sign due to a semi blocking the view. Shortly after entering the state, the land begins to roll again, adding a welcome bit of scenery variation to the sensorily deprived motorcycle rider.

A motel on the west side of Denver had been selected as the destination for the evening. As we approached the Denver metro area, huge dark storm clouds loomed over the entire city. And we timed our arrival to coincide with rush hour - not on purpose! It became a game whether we would make the hotel or get drenched. The clouds to the south and west were issuing lightning, we started to get sprinkles, we hit a traffic jam….the road went towards the clouds, then curved back towards a sunny spot…but all the drama ended well. We got to the motel, parked our bikes under the overhang, and walked to a bar and grill across the street to celebrate our success. Jason and I continued the celebrating well into the early hours of the morning.

Posted by Chuck Skarsaune at August 05, 2005 12:48 AM GMT
 


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