And Then There Was Kansas

Wow………..Kansas is flat….well for the most part it is. Lana and I drove through Kansas about 15+ years ago and I had forgotten just how flat it is. And coming from Alaska it seems exceptionally flat. The eastern part of the state has some little creek drainage's here and there and is kind of pretty country.

However in Kansas there are some things that stick out like an Alaska glacier does. Like how conservative it is. There are lots of billboards about the evils of abortion….that is refreshing to see indeed. Way to go Kansas!!!!!! There are American flags flying about everywhere you turn. It is obviously a very patriotic state…..…which is another “attaboy” for Kansas.

We rode east on about the straightest rode in America with a side wind pounding on us unabated from the south at about a constant 30 MPH, and gusting to somewhere in the 50 MPH range. That went on for our entire route through Kansas. There is not much to slow the wind down in Kansas. It sure decreased our mileage. I was down to 32 MPG on one stretch. With no gas gauge on KLR’s using the “reset the odometer at every fill up” to keep track of when you need more gas might work well when you are riding around in your home town, or when you are out for a weekend ride where there are lots of gas stations handy, but I can tell you we will not try that in Africa!! I am going to install an IMS see through tank on this 2016 KLR, like I put on Lana’s bike when we were still in Alaska!

We were riding along in the wind when my bike coughed and gagged a couple of times and I switched to reserve…right after I swallowed my tongue. We were a long ways from anything that resembled where we could get more gas. As we searched for the sign of an upcoming gas station, I started planning the next move in my head….pour the stove gas in Lana’s bike and try to limp one bike to where we could get gas and a gas can to bring back…………

And then there was a sign for a gas station. We rolled off the interstate on an overpass and saw the “gas station” . It appeared abandoned!! There was an abandoned building, what appeared to be a junk car and a few pumps that appeared to be in disrepair. This did not look good. But there was a semi truck (tractor trailer rig) there. I thought that a bit odd. I thought maybe he was taking a mandatory break and needed to get off the highway to keep his log book legal. We rode in as he was pulling out. The building was definitely abandoned and the gas pumps had pad locks on the FRONT of the pump to keep people from getting the front cover off. We stuck a card in the card reader and low and behold gas came out of the nozzle~!! It was an unmanned card lock gas station…..Thank GOD!! We had never seen one before. We ran across several of them riding through Kansas. "Another tank of gas and back on the road again"……………

The roads are as straight as an arrow (at least I-70 is) and go on for many, many miles before there is a corner. By the time a corner in the road shows up we began to wonder if we remembered how to counter steer. (Take a deep breath….. that is a joke!!).

We would have liked to have done some exploring and take some less traveled roads, as we do not like freeways. However we were scheduled to be in Pennsylvania on 8 September so we had to roll the throttle on to make it in time. We camped one night in Kansas, and charged some batteries in the morning using our SunJack. What a great solar charger!!

More later….…we are riding east to Pennsylvania


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