Day 45 The Effect of Scale

Ness City, KS to Scott City, KS via Deighton

Today 57.2 miles

Total 2,319.8 miles

I’ve read where the vastness of the open prairie has, at times, lead to insanity. That’s seems a little far fetched to me, be the scale of the place, leads to some pretty spectacular effects on an observer used to the distances normally encountered in the East. We continue to pass racers moving East, most of whom, like us, have flashing lights front and rear. I would estimate our closing speed at about 35 mph, our 11 to 15  mph and their 20 to 25. From the time we first spot them on the horizon, to the time they pass, can often be as long as 10 minutes. And the ocean that is the prairie stretches that far in all directions. It is also extremely difficult to gage whether you’re going up or down hill except by the effort you’re expending to maintain a constant speed. My current companions and I discuss the topic of uphill or downhill regularly, not always reaching agreement. Finally, it is clear that the continent is tilted eastward from the Rockies. We are steadily climbing toward the invisible mountains in the distance and are currently at about 3000 feet.


We had a pretty spectacular hail storm yesterday afternoon. Luckily we had already reached our destination! Yes that one is the size of a golf ball!


The Ness County Bank, “The Skyscraper of the Plains”


To beat the 98 degree afternoon heat, we were already on the road at sunrise!


Real injuns?


A crop duster worked as we peddled!


We kept pace with the approaching train on the right for most of the morning!

61 thoughts on “Day 45 The Effect of Scale”

  1. Hey u doin anything special on Fathers Day? Doesnt look like much do to out there. R the end of the Plains anywhere in sight? Best wishes for a safe finish to your journey.

  2. The pioneers had an expression for being swallowed up by the frontier. Under the burden of its vastness, they would say that they “had seen the elephant.” Maybe you will too. Maybe you already have. Seeing the elephant, however, usually held a negative connotation.

  3. Wishing you a Happy Father’s Day out on the prairie. Hope the wind turns to your back and you get a push for a while. Miss you back at the coal mine but time and people move on.

  4. Patrick: What a great adventure ! Everyone should have an experience like this. I remember a middle aged mechanical drawing instructor at RPI who once took a similar trip by motorcycle after he graduated from college. That’s all he ever talked about in class.
    However, where are all the portly out-of-condition cyclists ? Everyone looks slender and fit. Discrimination ?
    Have fun and a safe trip.

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