Day 1, 3/20, 7:33pm - Girard, KS to Walnut, KS - 21 miles.

Picture 1: Trish eating breakfast
Picture 2: Trish and the campsite
Picture 3: Ben at Fort Scott
Picture 4: Officer's quarters, Fort Scott
Picture 5: Ben and Trish ready to leave Girard, Kansas
Picture 6: On the road
Picture 7: Walnut, Kansas
Picture 8: Trish makes dinner

We broke camp this morning and left Liberty by about 8am. On the way to Girard, we stopped at Fort Scott National Historic Site. A fort to settle disputes between settlers and Indians, and later a Union Civil war fort, this site has been recreated to what it looked like in the 1840s. We wandered through the barracks, the hospital, the stables, and the officer quarters. Of course, we got a cancellation for our National Parks passports, too.

This is actually the first time that Trish or I have ever been to Kansas. Neither of us had been to Iowa and Missouri, either, states we drove through to get to Girard. We stopped at a gas station. I said to the woman, "So this in Kansas?"

"Is it everything you hoped it would be?" She replied.

"I guess," I answered. "You know where you live is pretty bad when you look forward to getting to Kansas." She thought that was pretty funny.

At last we got to Girard, at around 1pm. We parked next to the bank and began putting our bicycle together. Two women came out of the bank to say hello. We chatted for a while; they were very nice people. Most of the people we have met have been very pleasant. The Adventure Cycling map said they would be.

As soon as we set out, we realized that there was something wrong with the cycle computers. For some reason, the cadence (RPM) reading wasn’t working on either Avocet cycle computer. Worse, the speed reading was clearly incorrect (according to the computer, we never broke 4mph.) I tried messing with them, but to no avail. Tomorrow I’ll take a look at them, and if can’t fix it we’ll stop at the bike shop in Chanute.

We stopped today in Walnut, Kansas. We rode about 21 miles today, according to the map. Walnut is a town of 308 people. We’re staying in the city park. Unfortunately, the toilets don’t work, so we walk down the street to the Grocery Store/Restaurant/Gas Station. Once I finish the page, I’ll walk down there and see if I can get the acoustic coupler to work with the strange looking pay phone. The folks here are pretty nice. A swarm of children came up to us and asked us all about our bike.

The solar panels seem to be working very well. The battery was at 100% when I fired up the laptop this evening. Its awfully nice not to have to plug in and wait somewhere!


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