Bike Tour 2022 – Butler, Missouri to Fort Scott, Kansas

The Days Inn was pretty good but I knew it would disappoint eventually. The continental breakfast was on a par with the Hermann Motel’s. Stale cereal. A non functioning toaster. Old, bruised fruit.

I ate what I could. The smart move would have been to go to a diner for something substantial but did I do that? Noooo.

I went to a gas station and bought a couple of snacks figuring I’d get something more substantial during my ride. Didn’t I do this exact same screw up a couple of days ago?

I followed Google maps once again and it once again put me on unpaved roads, this time for at least 25 miles. Must not kill.

Western Missouri has plenty of challenging hills so, of course, my front derailer didn’t want to shift into my granny gear. I think it might be a lubrication issue. Failing that it could just be cable stretching. I’ll deal with it soon.

I’m in cow and horsey country. Also saw a few goats and chickens. And was chased by some dogs.

I crossed into Kansas without the coveted Welcome sign. I wasn’t complaining though since the road went from dirt to asphalt.

This area has a large Amish population. I saw a teenage boy in suspenders wearing a straw hat riding a horse. A couple – older man with long white beard, younger woman wearing a bonnet – in the town of Prescott said hello. I asked a teenage girl for directions to food and she sent me to the gas station near the highway.

I finally tried Hunt Brothers Pizza, a ubiquitous offering in gas station food stores throughout the Midwest. I can confirm that it is edible. I followed the pizza with and ice cream sandwich.

The best part about my gas station experience is that it got me away from Google’s route. I road 1/4 mile west, turned left onto an old paved highway and ride rollers all the way to Fort Scott. Along the way inner a north bound cycle tourist who was heading to North Dakota then somehow to California. We chatted for a bit. I bragged about The Mule’s mileage and age, purchased in 1991. He counters with the fact that his Trek was a 1982 model. Bikes last a long time!

Just before Fort Scott, I saw a big private campground with oddly only one RV. I kept riding until I found the police station. They cleared me to can in the town park. After climbing yet another hill I found the park. Unlike the rest of the park, the tent camping area hadn’t been mowed. There was a big (two car loads) family with noisy bratty kids in the tent camping area.

I checked out the RV area and it had barking dogs and no electricity for my gadgets. I backtracked into town and stumbled across an old hotel in the heart of the old downtown.

The Courtland was built on 1905 when the streets were still unpaved. It reminds me a lot of the Hotel Nevada in Ely where I stayed on my 2019 tour.

This city was once a railroad and brick-making town. It sent thousands and thousands of train car loads of bricks to the rest of the country every week. Even the streets are brick!

Before checking in I locked my bike outside. Afterwards I couldn’t get the lock, an Ottolock, to open. Frank, the hotel manager, eventually freed The Mule with a hacksaw.

Had I stayed at the campground, I’d have been stuck with an immobile bike. So the decision to get a room worked out well.

The hotel is walking distance to several restaurants. I settled on broasted chicken at the Nu Diner. Broasted chicken used to be the big draw at Whitey’s bar in Arlington, Virginia so I had to try it. Gut bomb!

I followed it up with a large chocolate milk shake. A food coma is about to over take me.

Todays mileage: 57. Tour mileage: 377.5.

Blue skies, green fields, dirt roads
Not a bad day for a ride
Did I say “dirt”? I meant “mud”.
Welcome to Kansas. Pavement ahead.
Hard to do a cross country bike tour without a train delay
Brick streets in Fort Scott
Frank, hotel proprietor and lock buster
Flower in the park across the street

5 thoughts on “Bike Tour 2022 – Butler, Missouri to Fort Scott, Kansas

  1. I think I need to move to the midwest if I want to find good biking. These farm roads are idyllic. Although, there are certainly some here in Washington, I just have to drive a good ways to find them. All your post ride meals sound delightful, including gas station pizza.

    Glad you were able to get the bike freed, crisis averted.

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