The past couple of days from Larned to Leoti have been in the most part enjoyable, especially the day we travelled to Ness City when we had a little tail wind and flew into town. However, our luck changed yesterday when we had a very strong south westerly wind and lots of HUGE combines, grain/cattle trucks and a few massive wind turbines on trucks zooming and whizzing past at speed. We are in the epicentre of Kansas' wheat harvest - add in a strong cross-wind and little cyclists like us just get blown around like leaves! The combine caravans travel up from Texas and follow the crops, it really is a like a wave across the country. This day was horrible, and dangerous - I was quite literally thrown off the road by gusts of wind on numerous occassions and at one point seriously thought that I may have to walk into Leoti. But I did cycle in and we are now sat in our motel room enjoying a day's rest. Not looking forward to tomorrow as the weather forecast is similar, the road will be the same and traffic is likely to be similar to yesterday, also it is another 80 mile day.
Cycling here is a lot like sailing. You feel like you are at sea, with the wheat waves on an ocean. The horizon dead flat and distant. The only features to see are trucks wizzing (ships?) and grain silos dotted at regular intervals like... ummm, running out of parallels... light houses/cliffs/supertankers - you decide.
Today, in Leoti, which is a very small town we did nothing other than have a lie in and good breakfast, and wander main street (not a lot to see or do), followed by a meal at the one and only mexican restaurant. It is good to have a rest and the wind today was so strong, we could hardly walk in it, let alone cycle in it! We met another group of cyclists (raising money for MS), whom came from Scott City (24 miles away), but decided to stop here for the night rather than continue on due to the extent of the strong winds. They too are planning to ride to Eads, Colorado tomorrow, same as we are, so we should see many cyclists on the road tomorrow! We also chatted to a self-contained guy called Kirk who has overtaken us - http://pedalaround.blogspot.com/
And tomorrow (besides the wind), should be an exciting day as we go into Colorado (our sixth state!), cross a time zone (1 hour extra in the day), and hit 2000 mile mark! All in one day! Bye Bye Kansas, I have partially enjoyed you but will not miss those winds!!