Up early as usual, this time after a decent night's sleep. Sat around for a while waiting for 6:30 breakfast at the hotel – late as usual, but at least the sausage tasted good. Hit the road at 6:48, temp 73% and sky threatening. Westbound Amtrak was boarding at the depot as I drove by. The freight yard was full of cars; among them were several carrying Boeing passenger aircraft fuselages, well wrapped. The Welcome to Dodge City sign was topped by metal cowboys. A “scenic overlook” promised a great view of a large feed lot.
I picked up US-50 eastbound, below a gloomy, cloud-filled sky. The next town, Spearville, had its own “scenic overlook” - this time of a wind farm. I think 'underlook' might have been a better description. Kinsley hosts the Do Drop Inn motel. It also is near the junction of Coon Creek & the Arkansas River, scene of an 1848 battle between troops headed for the Mexican War and Comanches. Trees line the north side of hiways east of this area. A building in Mackville is home of The Jerk Rope – no indication whether it refers to to towing or roping, nor what the building houses.
As I hit Stafford, I hit rain, which becomes heavier the further east I go. Reno County, Sylvia (“Who is Sylvia, what is she...”). Hutchinson – still raining, but I can see clear spots ahead! Turn off the wipers, but here comes another heavy rain band at Burton, fortunately pretty narrow. A sign in front of a barn along the road: “When I die, don't let me vote Democratic.”
Stopped at Newton for a gas & comfort break, then back onto 50. Passed the Whistlestop Cafe in Walton, not too bad when we ate there several years ago. Crossing the RR overpass at Peabody, I caught a glimpse of a windmill blade on a train below. A 5-way roundabout waits for drivers at Florence's US-77 junction.
Now I'm entering the Flint Hills. Grafitti on a train that I pass: "Dope fiend xpress” and two 'cloak-and-dagger' figures, carrying bombs. The Clover Cliff Ranch B&B overlooks the Cotttonwood River valley, home of quite a few stone houses. 4 hours and 240 miles into the day, I pick up I-35 at Emporia – maybe I can make some time now that I'm off 2-lane roads. Approaching Ottawa, I see more rain ahead.
K-68 is definitely the home stretch, and XM Radio is playing Prof. Peter Schickele, 'discoverer' of PDQ Bach's music. The clouds dump on me for a while. At the 46 mm, a metal mule sits on a post. A silo tree stands just east of the US-169 exit. Louisburg now has Enigma 68 Escape Rooms. Back in Missouri at 12 noon, eager for my lunch break at Annie's 58 in Holden. A couple of stops in Warrensburg for milk and gas, and I'm home at 2:06 PM. Only 1.15” in my rain ga, all trees still standing.
Tomorrow: My trip summary, and where to find the best gas prices along my route.
For the day 380.8 miles, for the trip 2129.8