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Wednesday 22 June 2011

Day 44 - Nearly OK

Todays mileage: 65
Total mileage: 2,155
End point: Arkansas City, KS

Now I must be honest with you, I am not yet at 65 miles for the day; I am doing a sneaky early blog post, in, you guessed it a pizza hut. My calculations I am only 2 miles from the campground. I am getting another free pizza which is great, but I'm a bit concerned for pizza hut's cashflow because I am sure with a printer and a great deal of patience these could be printed off with ease, in earlier years such an activity might have been undertaken.

Now a little story of pronounciation. The State of Arkansas, home of Bill Clinton and Walmart is often mispronouned by British people and should be correctly said as 'Ahh-can-saw' - hope that makes phoenetic sense. The Arkansas river, however when flowing Kansas should never be pronounced as such according to Ethan's work colleagues, it is prononounced 'Our-can-sas'. And according to the server in pizza hut this same pronounciation should be used for Arkansas City, although this is often shortenend to just Ark City.

Today I have been delayed by trains on rail crossings, trying to escape Wichita I spent nearly half an hour with a train slowly going back and forward. As you will know some of these cargo trains are a mile long, so I actually turned around and took another route out of the city. In fact I cycled for 15 miles before exiting the city, it starting to turn into urban sprawl, but at least its not Houston, which I believe is now the size of south wales or something stupid like that. I headed out on route 15 south east with a good tail wind through Derby and some other cities which felt like they were an extension of Wichita.

I reach Udall wher I was finally in the countryside again, had some lunch and saw another sign for a Winery - windy winery, I was very tempted for a glass of wine, but the gravel track up to the winery put me off. Also I feel a little guilty visiting one and not being able to buy any wine. One option here is to order some to South Korea for my mum, she is moving there in September and apparently wine is very hard to come by. Actually to be fair to mother, all the teachers are concerned and I wouldn't want to single her out ;)

The tail wind is good for my cycling but I must admit it is bad for you and bad for my blog. The problem is when. Am cruising at 20mph and I see something interesting, my inclination to stop is greatly reduced. When I'm in a head wind I think; 'yes - another excuse not to cycle for 5 minutes!'. Two such instances have happened today. Firstly a very very bizarre church, nearly a dome, but made out of tessalating hexagonals, with each side of the hexagons similar to a piece of lego. The hexagons were covered in a white outer shell of canvas, held rigidly in place. This I am aware is a terrible description - best to think of final round of the crystal maze, for those of you who indulged in this channel 4 nonsense with Richard O'Brien. For american readers:

The second thing I didn't take a photo of was a garden made out of bed frames. The bed frames enclosed various flower arrangements and were painted a clear white. It almost looked very good, although perhaps not chelsea flower show. Once again a picture would have been better. So I leave you with a few photos. One of these ridiculous rumble strips which take up the whole shoulder, I'm sure one of them gave me my first flat in kansas and had they lasted more than 4 miles it would have been time for letter no.2 to a governor. The other item of interest is a big train I found entering ark city, it weighs 100 tonnes and was placed there in 1955.

I wanted to do a few more miles today, but the mercury is currently showing 36c! The heat really does take it out of you and I feel early starts are absolutely key. Right off to finish my pizza and find my campground. I am spitting distance from Oklahoma, but depending on winds I may hover above the state line in Kansas a bit further - guess you'll have to wait and see!

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