Independence MO to Topeka KS- 1,527kms

Jun 23, 2014


The thumbnail shot is Christ the King Catholic Church in Topeka where we called in to light a candle to comemmorate the 20th Anniversary of Danny's death today and then went and had a couple of beers and reminisced about the Danny we knew and the one we didnt get a chance to discover. RIP old Mate.


The Kansas City (KS) Skyline compliments of the internet (not Kansas City MO) which is just a few kms back but also impressive. We have seen glimpses and more of this over the last couple of days and whenever we could see a great shot for a photo we were on parkways (freeways) so couldn't stop.


Just like all those emigrants through the 1820's to 1860's or so who had to get themselves sorted to get on the road so do we and here is Norm tying down the cases onto the bikes so we could get on our way. Thankfully much cooler today (at least earlier in the day) so more comfortable for travelling, even put the lining into my jacket for a bit through the day.

Today was a day of mixed fortunes and after trying to find a number of significant sites have realised that probably a combination of time, progress (well change anyway), vandalism /graffiti and probably a loss of corporate knowledge in counties and communities that a number of what were significant sites have been lost or at least no longer recogniseable. A bit sad. Having said that, once we were into more country areas things were easier to find and well signed so we are hopeful of finding some at least of what we are looking for.


This vast wheat field was a camp site and a short distance further on was where the Santa Fe and California Trails separated from the Oregan Trail. The interprative signs shared many glimpses of what life had been for many people on the trail. This is called Gardener Junction not surprisingly just out of Gardener.


And a bit further on we called into a landmark for the Battle of Black Jack and found an area of preserved prairie grass which was full of wildflowers and massive wagon ruts from wagons heading along the Santa fe Trail. It's a shame that they look so insignifìcant in 2D. I had to climb down into and out of them and they would have been above waist height. While I went trekking in the wagon ruts Norm stayed to talk to another biker, a returned veteran (Afgahnistan) on his way to a veterans day in Kansas City. He introduced himself as Redneck, also embroiderd on his bike jacket. He had grown up in the area and had some chilling stories to tell of the beginning of the Civil War in the area which preceded the Battle of Black Jack. As we headed off he wished us all the best and told us to keep an eye on the weather as it had cooled down a lot and a rapid drop in temperature often precipitated tornados. Mmm.


It's official we are in Kansas City KS and Dorothy still isn't here!


The Capitol Building, Kansas City.

Bits and Bobs: 

I've just loved the huge scale of the infrastructure and in particular the magnitude of the rail freight task and volume of freight moved in this country.The massive iron horses which propel these great trains are awesome to see and moving through Chicago then Kansas City I've been struck by what is possible when vast distances need to be negotiated (as in Australia) combined with a huge population to be supported plus an earning capacity and taxation base which can support such investment. Riding through Kansas City today and watching massive trains heading in all directions looked like a giant train set. Incredible!


This was a massive rail freight yard literally across the road and railway line from the Gardener Junction site so I guess it still is a Junction and it was huge with 4 of these massive container cranes loading and unloading containers on and off trains.


This was a train stationary on the track which stretchd for several hundred metres.


A quirky sculpture at the door of our accomodation tonight. Very cute.

Last two night's Accomodation

Higher Ground Hotel,

A quirky building which began life as an office building in the 1960's and then converted into a hotel in the early 90's which makes for an interesting mix of spaces and decor and an unexpectedly welcoming feel. Good size room, huge comfortable bed, generous lounge area, included continental breakfast, parking and wifi. Lovely garden to relax in and helpful staff. Will include a couple of pics of the garden as well.