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.