The Journey


Thursday, July 30, 2015

July 30 In Wichita With Random Thoughts While Eating

Seafood and Taco Shop home cooked food in Guymon OK

A wonderful day for a storm, one where I have planned ahead to rest. Tonight I will go to the Peace and Justice Center to see the movie, "Resistencia: The Film”, the story of the 2009 coup in Honduras. 

David Swanson’s website War is A Crime picked up on my bicycle ride. 
I really admire his work and his book of the same name is fascinating. 

Mostly I meet people at restaurants. there were the two young men in Guymon OK in the restaurant pictured above, Ramon and Noe. It appeared to me that they were working in their mother’s place. It was my first stop in Guymon for a cold drink. After that I went to the only bicycle store in hundreds of miles, or so it seemed, but they must have been on vacation as no one showed up all day. When I went back to the restaurant Seafood and Taco Shop for dinner Ramon asked about my trip and was excited when I told him how the Washington DC militarists angered me last fall with all their talk of war in the Ukraine that I decided to ride my bike across the country. 

It is not very often that I get the opportunity to tell people of my efforts. This is corn country, King Corn and the bible. When I feel that those I am speaking to will be receptive I tell them why I am riding. With others, like the couple just outside of Meade KS, I keep it just friendly conversation. Bicycling cross country sounded good to him when he was a teen, but he had no one to ride with him. I can agree the riding is lonely and youthful legs would be great. And then there were the nice older ladies yesterday who meet at McDonalds a few days a week before their bible class. I sat with them and we talked about the wheat crop that survived an inopportune rain, selling their homegrown tomatoes at the local park, and the prospect of rain.  

Each section is roughly 100 feet long and I have seen 20 connected together.  They irrigate the corn fields by rotating  about one end creating arc with very long radii. It has been said that there is so much corn under irrigation that the evaporation is changing the climate.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

July 29 In Wichita

photos tomorrow
I rode from Dalhart TX to Wichita KS, 320 miles, in 6 days. Through 3 states and more corn fields than you could possibly imagine. In 100 degree heat and rain and against headwinds. My legs, these two ancient limbs came through but with a message, rest or the knees will not go anymore. So be it, a day or two extra in Wichita and time to write.


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

July 28 Red Tractor Restaurant Greensburg KS

Greensburg KS was nearly wiped off the map in May of 2007. Ninety-five percent of the downtown disappeared in a category 5 tornado. Today the downtown has been rebuilt, according to the highest LEED standards, but the population is still just half of what it was the night before the storm.  At the time I remember reading about Governor Kathleen Sebelius taking the lead to see this town come back. Now the town of only 775 souls has a great new restaurant. Maybe the article below is not on topic for my ride, but I think the themes show that there is more in common with us left coasters than I might have expected. 

from the Kiowa County Signal
By Gloria Tucker

Posted Jul. 8, 2015 at 8:40 AM

Greensburg, Kan.
Since opening June 19, chef Tod Barlow said the community response to his restaurant Red Tractor has been good.
“Overall, everybody has been really happy,” he said. “People aren’t getting food like this anywhere else. They come in not knowing what to expect, and they leave with nice results.”
Barlow said he moved to Greensburg from Hutchinson to be a part of the small town atmosphere.
“I believe in front porch politics,” he said. “You don’t know what’s going on if you can’t get to know your neighbors. I want to be involved in the community, and I want our children to be in 4-H and learn about agriculture.”
The name of the restaurant comes from his love of Farmall tractors.
“It’s an upscale restaurant that serves comfort food with my twist on it,” he said. “We have steaks, burgers, seafood and pastas. We will make everything in-house. We’ll make the noodles to order from scratch and bake our own breads. We’ll even make the condiments and jams.”
He said his desire to make as much as possible from scratch comes from his devotion to the farm-to-table movement.
Farm-to-table is a movement concerned with producing food locally for local consumers. Many farm-to-table advocates educate their customers about the link between farmers, farm communities and ancient food-production practices. Farm-to-table restaurants buy produce directly from farmers, unless the owners farm.
Dale Family Farms provides beef and poultry to the restaurant.
“It’s been very exciting,” Andi Dale of Dale Family Farms said. “This is the first time we are selling wholesale to a restaurant. We’ve talked to several restaurants the 10 years we’ve been doing this and nothing worked out until now.”
Her husband, Kurt Dale agrees.
“Tod’s been great to work with,” he said. “He’s got a passion for what he does. It’s good to be a part of this.”
Barlow said his main goal is to prove restaurants can use locally grown foods in Kansas.
“The farm-to-table initiative has been going good so far,” he said. “I’ve got a couple more locations that are interested in getting us product. We looked at a property Tuesday for organic produce.

“We’re hoping we get more local farms throughout Kansas that want to participate. We want people to spread the tractor love.”

Sunday, July 26, 2015

July 26 Still Kansas

The next few days will be all about riding farther than yesterday. Today was 60 miles in the heat -93- and humidity, tomorrow will be about 70 miles to Pratt, and the day after a little more to Wichita. There I have an item awaiting me at the Post Office general delivery.

July 26 Kansas

I am leaving Liberal headed towards Meade and Minneola. I will stop as far as I can in this heat.

Friday, July 24, 2015

July 24 Leaving TX

This morning for one night in Guymon Oklahoma and then on to Kansas for about ten days.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

July 22 The Prince of Peace and War

When I tell folks what I am doing and they get beyond the riding across the country to why in the world would you do that, them I tell them. Often they get my leaflet that has my “Why I Ride” mission statement. A frequent response is, “I believe in god, I am a Christian, and war is god’s will the bible says so.” It’s true that there is a lot of war in the bible, the Old Testament or Jewish Book. But he New Testament is about the Prince of Peace, that is what Christ is called. I am perplexed why folks who call themselves Christians, name themselves after Christ, feel this way. There was a Navajo outside of Chambers, an older fellow who appeared to be native at the ABQ-CP&J, a young bicyclist in Gallup, and then the manger of the Western Stars Motel in the ghost town Nara Visa.  

The war stories of the Old testament remind me of the propaganda that our current evangelists of war spout. Using god’s will as an excuse for getting others to do horrific things to others for their personal greed. We live in a democracy, limited as it is right now, and it is our responsibility to see that our government does not go down the path of the current batch of robber barons toward war and climate catastrophe. At least that’s my view. 

July 22 Story 3 Random Meetings

Today I met a man in a Chinese restaurant in Dalhart, Gary. I got there because the Thai-Chinese restaurant was not to open until later. But this place had an all you can eat buffet and I had time to take advantage of all that steamed broccoli and to be truthful some hot pepper and onion beef. I was watching the TV show COPS while I eat. Gary hadn’t seen the TV and ordered take-out. At first when I saw him come into the restaurant holding a bag of take-out asking to watch the TV I was wondering if there was going to be trouble. However it was apparent that he had just bought his food there. We sat across from each other eating and watching in silence until some dude got caught sleeping in a car repair shop that had set off a silent alarm. I mentioned out loud that he had to be guilty or he wouldn’t be on TV as I went for the ice cream. 

Gary it turns out drives a truck and had just driven a load of asphalt  from Huston to Dalhart, about 700 miles. I told him my story and gave him my leaflet, which he seemed to agree with. “I’ll read it later but it sounds like a good mission,” or something to that effect. Told him that I was a builder-remodeler and we talked a lot about that sort of stuff. Even how to fix a rotten bathroom floor of his church which he will do when he gets back to Huston. 

Victor I met days ago only way from Albuquerque to Moriarty, the 80 mile ride. He came up to me at the Dairy Queen asked me all about bicycling long distances. He has been wanting to do it. He accepted my leaflet.

The Hitchhiker 

This man I met yesterday in a Tex-Mex restaurant after I had arrived in Dalhart. In his youth he bicycled crossed country and even into Mexico. He gave me some useful pointers about surviving in Dalhart.

July 22 I Promised Stories-Dylan

So I told you that my bicyce broke down 10 miles east of Tucumcari, pronounced two-come-cary, but I left out the part about Dylan. If that really was his name. He was the second person on this trip that I have felt uneasy to be around. After the bike was able enough to get back on the road, lower gears working and tires at minimum pressure, I saw a man pushing a cart down the interstate. 

Now bicycling on the highway is legal but there are postings that say you are not permitted to walk on them. My friend Malene however assures me that she did just that often when she walked from LA to Albuquerque. Dylan’s cart would be recognizable to construction workers as one used to move rubbish off a job site. It’s a light weight wheelbarrow built for easy dumping into a truck. 

He saw me coming from about a half mile away. He was off in the brush far off the road, away from his possessions. As I got close he was young and slender and had a smile and was really not that scary until he told me his story. Dylan is walking from Amarillo TX to Barstow CA. We talked long enough for him to tell me that he is eating whatever he could forage, cactus and lizards are what I remember. He said he spent three days in Tucumcari. I hope there aren’t many missing pets there. 

The other person that gave me concern was the homeless vet I met near San Bernardino CA. I helped him get his bicycle tire patched and bought him a soda. But shortly after I made myself help him I saw that he had a gun and other weapons. I have never been comfortable around weapons and this man was at times coherent and at others somewhat detached from a normal interpretation of reality. another reason to be opposed to war for sure.

July 22 I Rode Into TX Yesterday

The Sugar Shack Coffee and Restaurant, Dalhart TX

Now in Dalhart and will spend a day recouping. I have stories, mini stories, to tell but need to rest up first. From Albuquerque to Dalhart is 270 miles which I did in 5 days. 
This is the fourth border state I have visited, including CA. This coffee house has great coffee and is next door to my motel. 

Monday, July 20, 2015

July 20 - Nara Visa, NM

I'm posting for Dan. He made it to Nara Vista, trying to outride a thunderstorm. Depending on the weather, he may get to Texas tomorrow.

Sunday, July 19, 2015


I might be here more than two days.
Bicycle needs some work.

July 19 An Appeal From a Third of the Way Across the USA

What I am asking for is a one or two sentence of introduction.
When I left Marin I was not certain that I would be able to ride all the way across the country. Now I have less than 2000 miles to go. 

Miles gone: 1652  Heights Climbed : 39305 includes SF to LA

Miles to go: 1943 Heights to Climb  : 21496

Eighty miles of open country
I like to watch the PBS News Hour, especially their conversations with guests. One of the maps in the studio backdrop I especially love is of the USA showing points of light denoting population density. I am now in that part of the country that has very few lights. That is why I need to ride crazy distances like 60 or even 80 miles in a day. 

On my way to Albuquerque I got lost and ended up in Las Lunas about 25 miles to the south where I spent the night. The next day’s ride was short and I had plenty of time and energy to meet folks, besides I had prearranged to meet some folks from the Peace Center. Out of that connection I have arranged for a friend to send press releases to future destinations. I am hopping that these notices to the local press, activists groups, and church organizations will give me an occasional opportunity to meet like minded folks after my daily ride.

I am now asking you my friends from the various organizations that I have worked with if they might provide me with a statement I can post showing some hometown support.

... with log highways
From a Crazed Ancient Hippie on a Quixotic Journey

60 miles to Tucumcari today

Saturday, July 18, 2015

July 18 In Santa Rosa

No not the Santa Rosa just 35 miles north of San Rafael, but the Santa Rosa in eastern New Mexico. 
Eighty miles in one day, 1,500 feet up but also to my advantage 3,000 feet down.

Friday, July 17, 2015

July 17 Leaving the Big City

Albuquerque Goodbye 

Albuquerque was great, a big city at over 500,000 people, with lots of big city problems. The ABQ Center for Peace and Justice treated me nicely and I got the opportunity to meet a Facebook friend in person. But now I am in for lots of smaller towns including today’s destination Moriarty. Today I road 41 miles and climbed 2,200 feet. Tomorrow I will attempt 80 miles with 1,500 feet of climbing to Santa Rosa. 

Trip Itinerary

If you know anyone along the way that might be interested in a chat do
let them know when I think I might be near their town

Here are my intentions
From SF to Date

From LA to Date

Days to Here
Miles to next stop




Santa Rosa




Nara Vista















El Dorado 




Yates Center



Ft Scott








Jefferson City





Mississippi River/ West Alton






















West Union
















Ellicott City





Washington DC