Kansas: 46 Million Acres of Farmland

A sunset in Seneca, KS

Chemo at the University of Kansas Cancer Center was uneventful. I am grateful to everyone there who helped facilitate my treatment. Thank you.

Getting the juice

Bill and I headed out the next morning, encountering yet another flood detour. As might be expected, I was not at my best.  The first week or so after chemo is challenging.

Three days post-chemo after a long hot day

Kansas has been welcoming to us. We camp mostly in city parks and meet dozens of people. Our loaded touring bikes are a conversation starter. People want to hear about our journey and often give us much appreciated routing and camping advice. Kansas is a state of vast openness. We cycle through mile upon mile of farmland, as far as the eye can see in every direction … corn, wheat, soybeans.

Our campsite in Lancaster, KS. The Mayor gave us permission to camp here and even unlocked the bathroom for us.
Bill on a long Kansas road

We’ve been struck by the farmers we’ve met. Despite the weather problems they’ve had to contend with, they remain resolute about what Mother Nature has to offer. Many of them are struggling to get their crops planted, hindered by water-logged fields.  Most of the farmers have crop insurance, but it will only pay if the seeds are in the ground by June 15th – which is proving to be a challenge in many locations.  Not surprisingly, their rates are increased when they do collect insurance. It’s a tenuous game with the current weather craziness.

We hit the geographic center of the US. It was reaffirming, despite the fact that we are a bit over one-third of the way through our route.
Dorothy’s witch. I particularly liked the wind gauge, damaged by the wind!

Tariffs and low crop prices are taking a toll on their livelihood. One farmer who has been at it for sixty years told the story of going broke twice, but bouncing back both times. There are real-life lessons in making the best of whatever comes your way. I identify with that. Most of the farmers we meet don’t seem to worry about the things they can’t control; they just deal with what is in front of them.

The entrance to Prairie Dog National Park, and yup, that’s one big prairie dog! We saw real ones, but couldn’t get close enough for a good picture.
Our campsite at Prairie Dog National Park
Kansas Vastness

We are ready to head into Nebraska and into the Pawnee Grasslands in the remote northeast corner of Colorado. To be continued…