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Holly, Colorado

Hank – I don’t think I’ve ever heard so much owl activity before as I did last night. I don’t know of there were lots of owls or if it was the same two or three. One would call, “Hooo. Hooo. Hooo.” And then one would answer, “Hooo. Hoo-hoo-hooo.” It was like they were playing Marco Polo. It was cool at first but then I thought, “C’mon owls, I want to get some sleep.”

It was a cold night and morning but I stayed warm. The only part that felt the cold was my nose and mouth sticking out of my sleeping bag. We agreed to a 6:30 wake up time. Thanks to the owls, again, I was up before that. I stayed snug as a bug until the alarm went off. Then I put water on for tea. The warm mug felt great in my hands.

A little later I heated more water and we made oatmeal. Walnut pieces, raisins, and brown sugar improved the texture and taste. After breakfast we packed up and headed back to Hwy 50.

It was still cold but on the bright side there was very little breeze. Kathy surprised me at how she was cranking out the miles. In two hours we reached Lamar, 23 miles away. We stopped at the Hickory House Restaurant to have another breakfast. I asked Kathy why she was pedaling so hard. She said her feet were freezing. We’ll, there ya go.

We met the restaurant manager, Bush, who was so taken by our story and the adventure we’re on that she said she would cover our breakfast. That was very nice of her. We would never expect anyone to do that for us. This is a first for us. We chatted with her and Doreen for a bit before leaving.

Back on the road again and we zipped along so much faster and easier than yesterday. We stopped in Granada for a break with just 10 miles to go to today’s destination, Holly.

Coming into town we could see a water tower way off in the distance south of us. It’s the water tower for the Ameche camp that held 7,500 Japanese and Japanese-Americans during WWII. Not much of the camp left because all the buildings we’re razed after it was closed. There’s a small museum in town. We stopped at a gas station/convenience store to have a snack. I asked the clerk, Monica, if the museum was open. “No, but I have a key if you want to go in.”

We’ll, how about that? Monica said they’re very trusting here. So we left our bikes in front of the store and walked to the museum next door. Inside they have a huge amount of artifacts from the camp and the people who were held there. Wood carvings, letters, photos, clothing, and more. The building is too small to hold everything.

This camp was unique in that there was a lot of interaction with the local population. The prisoners, for lack of a better word, could get jobs with the locals. The camp school teams played against the local schools, too.

We covered the last ten miles to Holly a little slower than the pace we’d been riding because the wind picked up but it wasn’t nearly as bad as yesterday. We met Kathy and Angela at the Holly Inn Suites, which turns out to be a hotel that’s a century in age and in need of fixing up. They’re making progress but they still have a way to go. We got laundry done and picked up good at the grocery store, including some Rocky Road ice cream. It was still early in the evening so we settled down in out room to eat dinner and then enjoy dessert.

If you don’t know what the 419.9 mile marker is about, click here and then here.

Kathy – Today we cycled 52 miles and I must say it was SO much better than yesterday. The winds were so strong yesterday and fighting against us that I was almost to the verge of tears. So today even though we rode more miles, I was thankful for the ease of it.

We had cloudy skies most of the day and our temps started out at 38 degrees this morning. It did warm up, but not as warm as predicted because we still had jackets on and I had my stocking cap on for the remainder of the day. Our first 23 miles were up and down hills. I was pretty cold so there was no stopping for pictures. I was on a mission to knock the miles out because my toes were so frozen. I also knew the winds were going to increase later in the day.

We had minimal winds this morning but they started picking up this afternoon during our last 17 miles. Regardless, they were nothing like yesterday so we just cranked through them.

It was great to meet Bush and Doreen at the breakfast stop in Lamar. Such nice gals. We are very thankful for Bush giving us a free breakfast. She was a joy to chat with. If you are ever in Lamar make sure you go see Bush and Doreen at the Hickory House Restaurant. Delicious food and wonderful people. 💗

That was so nice of Monica at the gas station to give us the key to the city museum so we could check it out. Too often museums are closed when we come through, so it was nice to be able to visit this one. And, what a fabulous museum it was. It was filled with memorabilia on the relocation of Japanese-Americans during World War II. Everything was very interesting.

As an American I could not imagine being told I have three weeks to pack up limited belongings and to bring all family members (no pets) to an assembly center for processing. You have no idea where you and your family will be sent. Then to find out you are stuck out in the middle of nothing but farmland for miles on end  in what some would call a concentration camp.

There were ten camps built in the United States to hold Japanese-Americans residing in west coast states during the war. The camps were built in remote areas of the United States so no one would try to leave (because there was no where to go). Also, because it was so remote they would not need large amounts of military personnel to man the camps. The camps remained open for four years. Such an injustice for these American citizens.

We arrived in Holly, Colorado, our destination for the day. There is no camping, so we opted for a cheap hotel. Bush at the restaurant this morning said she thought there was only one hotel in Holly and it was a new hotel that just opened a year or so ago. I thought that was great because I figured it would be a clean place to stay. Well, it just so happens there are two hotels in Holly and we are not at the new one. We are at a 100 year old hotel that is in the process of being renovated. Things are a little dirty, old, and broken, but it works for the night. The owner Kathy is a great gal trying to do the best she can with it. Give it another year and I bet she will have it looking good.

We walked to the laundromat and took care of that. Then we grabbed some food at the grocery store and brought it back to the room. Staying in tonight and relaxing before another day of riding tomorrow. It was a good day. Sleep well. 😊

A couple of notes…

If you would like to view older blog entries please click on the months below:

  • May 2018
  • June 2018
  • July 2018
  • August 2018
  • September 2018
  • October 2018
  • November 2018
  • December 2018
  • January 2019
  • February 2019
  • If you would like to comment on a blog post, please click on the post title (or header), scroll to the bottom and you will then see the comments section where you can add your thoughts. We look forward to your comment and encouraging words. Thank you!
  • If you would like to see our current location click here: Current Locationwhere you can see our daily travels.
  • To see all the photos related to a blog post, simply click on one of the photos and it will move over (either to the left or right) to the next photo.
  • If you would like to “follow” our blog, please click here: Home Page and look in the bottom right corner on your computer where you will see a “+Follow” link (If you are viewing our blog on your cell phone, the location may vary depending on cell phones. Please look around to find this area). Once you click on the “+Follow” link, just enter your email address there (only we can see it) and then go to your personal email to accept the ‘follow request email’ that you will receive. Once this is done, anytime we write a new blog post you will automatically get an email letting you know so you can read it at your leisure. Another option is to bookmark our site and view when you like: www.HankandKathyGreer.com

We’re In Kansas. Where’s Dorothy?

Hank – We had a light breakfast and hit the road around 9:45. Kathy wasn’t feeling that well thanks to some insomnia. We had two choices for destinations today: Syracuse, Kansas about 20 miles away and Lakin, Kansas and 51 miles away. We decided to play it by ear. Crossing the border got us to state #40. Only eight more to go in the Lower 48. (Thought for the day: The Lower 48 was an appropriate term when Alaska became a state, but not so much a year later when Hawaii became a state. Shouldn’t it be The Lower 49 now?)

We rolled into Syracuse right when a couple of tractor-trailers hauling wind turbine blades were getting onto the highway. The escort vehicle drivers were were holding up traffic so the trucks could get out. We bypassed the traffic jam and went to the Black Bison Pub to eat. The Black Bison is the brightest spot on the dilapidated Main Street that’s all too common in small town America. It’s new and their menu offers much nicer fare than the burgers and pizzas we’ve seen so much of during our travels. I had a hummus plate and a veggie wrap. By the way, Syracuse was originally called Holidaysberg when it was founded. Four years later they renamed it after Syracuse, New York. I don’t know why. Holidaysberg would have been quite the unique name, like Truth or Consequences, right?

We got back on the road and headed for Lakin, 28 miles away. Kathy was holding up like a trooper. The remainder of the ride was unremarkable. We just kept pedaling in the sun with a slight head and side wind that was just enough to be irritating. I found a California license plate. And a couple miles outside of Lakin the passenger in an oncoming pickup truck extended his middle finger towards us. I have no idea what that was about. We “lost” an hour when we entered the Central time zone. The zone border aligns with the western border of Kearney county of which Lakin is the county seat.

Tomorrow we have 20-30 mph winds coming from the south. Rather than risk getting pushed into traffic by those winds, we’re taking a rest day in town. We got a hotel room for two nights. Tomorrow we’ll visit the county museum. For dinner I walked to a nearby restaurant to get a pizza to take back to the room. When I walked in there was a table with five elderly women and another table with five elderly men. All eyes turned to me, probably because I’ve never been seen here before. The proprietor took my order but told me her grand daughter would ring it up for me because she knows how to use the iPad better. I would guess she was about 12. I paid with my Visa and entered my email address to get the receipt. I noticed a highlighted button on the screen that said “Join now”. I touched the “No thanks” button and then the screen changed to something odd. I asked if it worked correctly and the young lady said, “Yeah, it went. This stuff is really hard.”  Her tone and facial expression came across as if she was talking to an elderly person who had no clue about technology. I didn’t say anything or react, but I was thinking, “Well, you little shit!” Too funny.

Kathy – I only slept three hours last night so I was dragging this morning. The plan was to hit the road at 9:30am. Chatty Kathy (not me this time, the hotel manager) held us up with her nonstop talking. Regardless of her talking, she is a super kind lady. Kathy moved to Holly, Kansas from Texas. Her Texas accent remains strong. Kathy had eight children with an alcoholic partner. They never married and separated after 17 years. Kathy is the matriarch of her family now. Her children and grandchildren all rely on her extensively. She has been trying to help her 19 year old son, his girlfriend and their two year old daughter who recently went off road with their vehicle and crashed. None had seat belts on and all were ejected from the car. All will be okay but have long recoveries. Kathy is there to help as everyone depends on her.

Kathy also has great plans to revitalize the old hotel, along with the two attached buildings into an old fashioned ice cream parlor and a saloon. She is only 59 years old but looks much older, is very heavy set and has difficulty walking. Her health has obviously taken a toll with her kindness of helping everyone. I wish her the best, along with her family and all of her renovation projects.

We said our goodbyes to Kathy and off we rode. Not sure of our final distance because I was so tired. I was thankful for the cool but not freezing morning weather. The sun was shining and we had a small headwind. Only four miles into our ride and we hit our 40th state – Kansas! My sister Mary Beth used to live in Kansas and told me, “There ain’t nothing in Kansas.” Well, she might be right. Our day was filled with looking at a whole lot of nothing, just farm land everywhere around. Occasionally we would see a farm house or some cows, but that was pretty much it for 51 miles.

We had a nice lunch in Syracuse, Kansas about 23 miles into our day. I decided to push through and finish the day in Lakin, Kansas. The winds picked up and we had a stronger headwind and at times a side wind. I normally don’t listen to music on our rides. Hank and I usually talk about the things we see or the people we meet along the way. This afternoon I turned my music on low (Bluetooth to my hearing aids) and zoned out just to finish getting the miles in. Our last 19 miles were constant rolling hills, so up and down we went while I listed to 80’s country and pop music. The music helped to finish off the day. 🎶 🤠🕺🏻💃🏻🎼

It was a good day’s ride. It ended up a nice sunny day in the mid 60’s. If it weren’t for my lack of sleep, it would have been an absolutely perfect day. All is good. We are in state #40! Crazy to believe we only have ten states to go. Even counting the tough days, it’s been a fabulous adventure so far. 😊

A couple of notes…

If you would like to view older blog entries please click on the months below:

  • May 2018
  • June 2018
  • July 2018
  • August 2018
  • September 2018
  • October 2018
  • November 2018
  • December 2018
  • January 2019
  • February 2019
  • March 2019
  • If you would like to comment on a blog post, please click on the post title (or header), scroll to the bottom and you will then see the comments section where you can add your thoughts. We look forward to your comment and encouraging words. Thank you!
  • If you would like to see our current location click here: Current Location where you can see our daily travels.
  • To see all the photos related to a blog post, simply click on one of the photos and it will move over (either to the left or right) to the next photo.
  • If you would like to “follow” our blog, please click here: Home Page and look in the bottom right corner on your computer where you will see a “+Follow” link (If you are viewing our blog on your cell phone, the location may vary depending on cell phones. Please look around to find this area). Once you click on the “+Follow” link, just enter your email address there (only we can see it) and then go to your personal email to accept the ‘follow request email’ that you will receive. Once this is done, anytime we write a new blog post you will automatically get an email letting you know so you can read it at your leisure. Another option is to bookmark our site and view when you like: www.HankandKathyGreer.com