If I never see Kansas again it will be too soon

Clear skies, straight roads, and crosswinds.

(Taylor Typing)

When that one chick told that dog that they weren’t in Kansas anymore, she must have been so thrilled, and I don’t blame her. 

We’ve wrapped up day two of riding in Kansas, and it has been just the worst…

We left Springfield MO and enjoyed some small farm roads and Shire-like landscape through rural Missouri and into Kansas as we made our way towards the main highway we’d take across the Great Plains

(Side story if you want to know what motorcycle travel is like) We were looking for one County Road 80, which would show up on the odometer at/about 20 miles from our last turn. At exactly 20 miles a small road appeared marked “BB”. 

I yelled over the crosswinds into my mic; “I think this must be it”

Jess replied over wind static; “Yeah, Bee Bee!”So I turned, since she had the GPS up on her phone. 

Then she says “What the heck are you doing??”

“road BB!”

“No! I said, it says BB! We need 80, eight zero!” 

Turning a 1200cc motorcycle with 2 people, 3 loaded boxes plus camping gear around on a tiny county road is super easy to do, so I didn’t mind the confusion. 5 mins and one long, accidental horn blast later we were back at the last intersection where we finally saw a tiny sign next to BB that read: C.R. 80 – the right freaking road. Jess almost fell off the bike laughing as we turned back around again. 

Once we made it to the highway, the mood swung. It was a one lane each way, state route. We are trying to avoid major interstates to enjoy the drive more, and boy did that backfire. The Kansas wind was blowing out of the South at 20-30 mph all day, both days, without ceasing. Heading due west, we had to endure constant crosswinds from our left. It was made worse by the steady stream of cattle trucks heading East. Semi trucks have a strong turbulence anyway, but passing a few feet from them at 75 mph, downwind – I cannot overstate the discomfort. 

We struggled our way into Wichita, and the next day unanimously agreed to bail for the interstate. At least that way we would be going the same way as the trucks we were nearest to. 

Day two was better, technically. Passing trucks was not as brutal, but there was more traffic in general. And the wind continued. We were assured by a local farmer that it’s not usually like this, but that doesn’t help us much! We spent the day leaning left to balance in the wind. 

Jess has thoroughly impressed me through all this. She sits higher on the bike than me, and got to endure the full force of the crosswinds all day, both days. I can duck behind the windshield for some respite if I need to, while she is exposed the whole way. But she has a way about her when she’s set on something, and it’s so awesome to see her push through a brutal few days and stay so positive about what’s ahead of us still. We set out on this trip asking God to teach us more about himself and each other, and today I learned my wife will not relent once she’s committed herself to something *, and when it’s really hard she’ll set her mind on the good things, the things that inspired us to ride a motorcycle around the whole dang country in the first place! 

*I didn’t learn it for the first time, but I got to see it again, up close 🙂

To be fair to Kansas, there were some neat things too. Here’s a comprehensive list of neat things we saw in Kansas: a Coyote, a million giant windmills, pretty creeks, and a pre-fab home jammed under an overpass with the roof scraped off. Kansas, if I never see you again it will be too soon.  

PS my phone’s pano mode couldn’t figure the windmill out 🙂

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