Life On A B-I7

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TransAm Journal - Thu June 22, 2023

Day 44

Scott City KS, 56 miles

Last night when I was planning today’s route, it seemed like today would be a good opportunity to attempt an “epic distance” day. There are of course many “epic” days on a tour of this length, but it is always rewarding to put in one day where you stretch your legs and see how far you can go… Today was not to be that day.

Yesterday morning, the sky was dark to the east and light to the west. When you see clearing skies in your direction of travel, it always makes you feel good. This morning the sky was dark to the west. Not a good sign, or a good feeling. My idea was to have a go at 80 miles, with towns at 31, 56, and 80 miles respectively. I got 15 miles down the road and that’s when the dark skies turned to dark skies and rain. By the time I reached the first town at mile 31, I was, to put it simply, wet. I pulled into a drive-in on the outskirts of town that had covered picnic tables. I ordered some lunch and sat down to wait out the rain. Kansas is not like Seattle, when it rains in Kansas, it doesn’t rain all day long and into the next day. I figured I could wait it out and sure enough, in less than an hour it had stopped and the sky to the west was inviting me to continue my ride. At this point my “epic distance” day was becoming less likely, in fact, it was now off the table. My goal became Scott City at mile 56. All things considered, not a bad day. I would still like to put in an epic distance day at some point, we shall see what tomorrow brings.

I’ve had a desire to describe what it feels like to undertake an epic solo long distance adventure like this one. I’m someone that enjoys writing, but I’m not particularly good at expressing feelings through words. I wish I were better at that. Perhaps too many years writing computer code has ruined any chances of being expressive when it comes to writing English. I might have had a chance at being a good writer if I had started writing for pleasure at a younger age. Not much I can do about that now. What does it feel like to be on the road, solo, days on end? It is exhilarating, sometimes frustrating, often a mystery even to the person that is enjoying the experience. Sometimes I’ll see things that I know few people see, and it chokes me up. The carnage on the road-side is appalling at times, so is the beauty. Listening to the birds is something that you don’t experience while driving. That alone makes the day a success, regardless of anything else that might occur. Imagine these things combined, while traveling for hours on end under your own power and perhaps you can get something of a notion of what it feels like to undertake an epic solo long distance tour. I’m going to have to rest my case there, but I encourage you to give it a try.

This post is about 450 words written in 90 minutes. That is a rate of 5 words per minute. For the record, that does not make me 60 times better than Gustav Flaubert…

I was told at breakfast this morning to be sure and stop at this way-side and check out the historical marker. I’m certainly glad I stopped. I probably would have driven by this if I had been in a car.