Edit Blog Post
Published: July 19th 2008
Well, it has been a couple of days since I wrote anything in here! In that period of time we have managed to cross several states...Kansas, Illinois, Indiana, and are now in Louisville, Kentucky.
On our way out of La Junta, we visited Bent's Fort just outside the town. Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site features a reconstructed 1840’s adobe fur trading post on the mountain branch of the Santa Fe Trail where traders, trappers, travelers, and Plains Indian tribes came together in peaceful terms for trade. We stuck around and had an interesting two hour tour of the fort. The interesting part was that it was not a military fort but a private entrepreneur's place of business. At the time it was in its heyday (mid 1800s), it was 600 miles from the nearest town of civilization in Missouri and at the outer edge of "the states". From the Arkansas River onwards was wild Mexico territory. We basically followed the Sante Fe trail for the first part of our journey from Las Vegas of which Bent's Fort was a part.
While at the fort, I purchased a couple of books, one a journal of an 18-year-old young lady,
Susan Magoffin, who travelled the Sante Fe trail with her husband during 1846-47, one of the important business men of the time, and the other a journal of a 17 year old man who made the same journey during the same era. It was interesting to go through many of the towns mentioned in the book and see the same sites that they did. In those days, they covered as little as 900 yards in one day in their oxen pulled wagons and a really good day would be up to 15 miles. It took them six or seven weeks to reach Bent's Fort from the nearest town. It is incredible that 150 years later we are traveling 250 miles per day along the same path and have wireless internet access at all the KOAs. Times have definitely changed.
As we headed into Kansas, the landscape became flatter and less interesting. Apart from the odd change in scenery, for the most part it has been woods...corn...fields...town...woods...corn...fields...town...across most of Kansas, Illinois, and Indiana. Actually Indiana was more corn...corn...corn...corn...something else...corn...corn...corn...etc. However, despite my sarcasm, it was still way more interesting than traveling through central Canada and northern Ontario. There we had
three days of absolutely nothing on the prairies and then three days of forest in northern Ontario! At least on this trip we have been traveling through many small towns of middle America, many of which have beautiful old buildings to admire.
We are still basking in hot sunny weather but in the last couple of days, the temperature has dipped below 90 F and there have actually been sitings of a few small clouds. The first inklings of humidity appeared in St. Louis, Missouri and today the trees in eastern Indiana were actually large enough to touch each other over our heads and provide a shady canopy as we rode the twisties of Route 150 traveling southeast towards Kentucky. It was a beautiful ride and was a relief on many parts of the road to be shaded from the incessant sun which has been with us since our trip started. We are at the point where if it rained we would probably not even don our rainsuits but rejoice in the downpour!
The hills and valleys of Route 150 were also great to experience after a couple of days of flat, straight roads. The trees are getting
bigger and more numerous as we head east and everything is starting to look more eastern. There is an invisible line you cross as you travel across the country that says, "You are now in the east." We crossed that line today! It is hard to describe but suddenly the landscape, vegetation, and architecture are no longer "western". We stopped at a small biker's gift shop on 150 and chatted with the owner who was just putting the place together. He lives on 16 acres in the middle of nowhere and will soon open a small cafe and restaurant on the site along with a small biker gift shop. As the card says that he gave us, "home of the world famous hickory smoke grill'n". If anyone is traveling along this route be sure to check out French Lick Choppers and the new cafe.
The prices we have experienced for food are almost as good as China's! Tonight, here outside of Louisville, Kentucky, we walked down the road to the City Limits Bar and Grill and had four or five beers, a dozen chicken wings, and a platter of oysters, shrimp and hush puppies for $13. I questioned the
waitress because I thought she had made a mistake but she hadn't.
Tomorrow we will be in West Virginia which we know from past experience is a beautiful state in which to ride.
Tot: 3.165s; Tpl: 0.098s; cc: 13; qc: 27; dbt: 0.0341s; 3; m:saturn w:www (188.8.131.52); sld: 2;
; mem: 1.3mb