Welcome to Kansas
The North American Epic entered its 5th State – Kansas – today, in search of Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz. Almost immediately the scenery improved from drab SE Colorado with massive irrigation systems coaxing early season barley wheat and corn fields to life. These systems draw from and in doing so drain the Arkansas River, but the result is America's breadbasket. Otherwise Western Kansas is flat, treeless, windy and HOT. But for the locals all that matters is the land is fertile and the grain elevators are plenty. According to "A Geography of Kansas," this all started with Mennonite settlers who brought seed here from Russia.
Breakfast was moved forward to 6AM today so that the time spent cycling in the HEAT would be minimal, and sure enough by 2 PM all of our intrepid clients had completed 140 km and arrived in Syracuse, which is not an ancient Roman city or the New York home of Kodak but rather a deeply religious town and the center of Hamilton County. In fact tonight we are staying in the air-conditioned Syracuse Christian Academy Church, run by a pastor who is going to take us to see the town's Bison herd in a while. Should be entertaining!