Flat as a Pancake

03/05/2010

It made a nice change this morning to set off under blue skies. The storms of last night had blown over leaving a cold clear morning. I was up early as per usual, but for the first time this trip I had a bad nights sleep – the temperature dropped over night and the bed sheets were really thin, meaning I woke up freezing a couple of times – It was a releif when I got up and put on some warm gear.

It was a good morning for cycling – it was cool, and the wind wasn’t bad (I’d been told by a guy at breakfast that it would be a nightmare from here on). This morning the terrain was still slightly undulating, but as I went on it became ‘as flat as a pancake’. This part of Kansas has an ineffable quality about it – the ammount of space is staggering, the only thing that stops you seeing further is the curvature of the earth. The sky is huge, and at times it feels like traveling along the ocean floor looking up at the surface. Kansas is epic in its simplicity. Its lines are clean and uncluttered. Land and sky. That’s it. Three colours – yellow, blue, green. Nothing hems you in, no barriers, no hurdles just endless horizon. Kansas is far from boring and there is something about it that just puts you in a good mood.

Today was really uneventful – I managed another 100 miles, and arrived at Greensburg, my destination, for 15.00. Alhough I did see another cyclist for the fist time – to start with he was just a blur on the horizon, but as I got closer I was excited to see a guy on a bike. He was an older guy, covered in tatoos and had a beard to rival Santa’s. He was riding from Mississpi to Colorado springs, and he not only had front and back panniers but also a massve trailer that looked like a converted shopping trolley. I talked to him for a bit, but I was soon back on my way – I was going so much faster than him it would have just been impractical to stick with him. As I cycled the last 30 miles or so I had seen signs advertising that not only was Greensburg home to the worlds largest hand-dug well, but it also exhibited a 1000-pound pallasite meteorite thought to have impacted Earth about 20,000 years ago. However on May 4th 2007 Greensburg was hit by an EF5 (strongest possible) hurricane that destroyed 95% of the city with the remaining 5% severely damaged. Since then the well has been closesd to visitors, and the meteorite was moved to Wichita. It’s really impressive how far the city has come since then – there has been massive rebuilding, with all buildings built to stringant ‘green’ standards. Although the entire place still looks like a giant construction site.

I have another long day tomorrow and just hope the weather holds.

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7 thoughts on “Flat as a Pancake

  1. Hello Ed,
    Scott sent a link to your blog yesterday – and I’m enjoying your writing very much. It feels strange to start reading when you are well into the journey – but I plan to work my way back in the coming days.

    I’ll write again soon – what a fantastic trip. Cycling is pretty popular in this house.
    Good luck
    Bill

  2. Hi Edward Thanks for the E-Mail received to-day Your blog is great we look forward to it everyday Things seem to have settled with your bike i know it will be O K .Nearly half way then what a fantastic journey and the Rockies to come you will have some stories to tell all them indians and squaws dont bring one home .Well keep pushing the pedals down were with you all the way love you Nana and Grandadxxxx

  3. Fantastic to see you putting the miles in again. The kids loved hearing about the meteorite, and were interested to see the ‘nodding donkey’. Please let us have an up to date mileage, and let us know where the half way point is. ly mum

  4. Hi Ed, Bumped into your mum in the post office and got the update on your trip. Hope all is well, it appears to be turning into quite an adventure! Look forward to seeing you when you get back, enjoy the rest of the trip. We will watch your progress daily with interest; keep going – you are doing tremendously well. David and Ann

  5. Ed,

    Spoke to Mum a couple of weeks ago and said you would wellcome some encouragement.

    Jeep up the good work, now youohave been going some time, how do you find the pace? Is kansas one of the easier legs of your journey ?

    How do do you find the locals, once they find you are from England?

    Don’t forget to drink plenty of liquids, the odd beer or two is OK! What’s the food like in your neck of the woods?

    All the best,

    Joe

  6. Ed,

    The “nodding donkey” is otherwise as a “pump jack”, presumbly it is pumping oil. There is no pressure downhole, so they have to lift the oil up to the surface. These can be nice little earners if you have one in the back garden.

    They are all over the place in Texas.

    All the best,

    Joe

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