Posted by: bikedave | July 30, 2010

July 29, Tribune, KS to Dighton, KS

Today the weather forecast calls for winds from the south and temperatures in the 90s.  This morning I left just after the sun came up in hopes of covering lots of ground while conditions are still favorable.
Highway 96 east of Tribune is in very good condition with a 2 foot shoulder.  Traffic was light in the morning.
I crossed into the central time zone 12 miles after leaving Tribune.
A few miles before reaching Leoti, KS I stopped at a roadside table to rest, eat, and drink.

Roadside table - with shade!

Passing through Leoti, I reached another milestone, the midpoint of my trip.  I’ve now bicycled half way across the nation.
Near the town of Marienthal, I first heard, then saw three water well pumps that were powered by internal combustion engines running on natural gas.  There were no radiators for cooling, instead they used the water that was being pumped from the well.

Natural gas powered pump

A few miles east of Marienthal, there was a wind farm.  The first one I’ve seen on this trip.

Windmills beyond the corn field

There were a few operating oil wells in the area, and I saw one being drilled.
The further east I travel, the less I see land being used for grazing cattle.  Most land is in cultivation.  Today I’ve seen lots of corn fields, and lots of fields that had been used for growing winter wheat.  I also saw a small amount of sorghum.  Today I saw a few feed lots, and more than a few signs for feedlots that were not located right along the highway.  The ones that were along the highway occupied about a half mile of frontage and contained thousands of animals.

A small part of one of the feedlots I passed

Another first today — I saw the first Monarch Butterfly of the trip.
Near Scott City I stopped to photograph an old barn.  It is much smaller than the barns in use at the more modern farms I have passed.

Old barn west of Scott City, KS

On the Great Plains, the roads have few curves and the land is mostly flat with few trees or buildings.  It is not uncommon to see the top of a grain elevator up ahead on the horizon many miles before reaching it.

A grain elevator can be seen on the horizon, near Dighton, KS

As I neared my destination for the day, it was becoming quite warm.  The wind had come up from the south as forecast.  It was strong but from that direction it only slowed me slightly.  With about 10 miles to go, I stopped near an abandoned school to rest in the shade of the building.

Playground of an abandoned school

Across the street was the grain elevator that was seen on the horizon of an earlier picture.

Grain elevator

I continued east and was passed by Vicki about 5 miles from Dighton.  When I caught up to her in Dighton, we loaded the bike and drove to the fairgrounds, west of town, to spend the night.  They have a small RV parking area that is mainly used for migrant workers during harvest time, and for carnies during the fair.

Parked at the Lane County Fairgrounds, Dighton, KS

Miles today: 70   Total miles: 2,149

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