Day 10 - Rocky Mountain Campout

June 11, 2012

Monday - June 4, 2012 @ 9:15AM
Location: Dodge City, KS
Elevation: 2550
Temp: 85
Planned Miles: ?
Total Miles Completed: 507

- We stayed at the Gunsmoke campground last night in Dodge City, KS. We all got very poor sleep b/c we were on the corner of two major highways. Lot of semi's and a major intersections equals - you guessed it - Jake Brakes! As a bonus Amtrak had their tracks strategically placed as close as possible to the Gunsmoke Campround. It's unnerving to be yanked from your sleep by the sounds of an Amtrak train coming through your tent. I couldn't believe how well the REI tent held up after having not one but three locomotives run through it last night. :)

- The poor sleeping conditions caused Dan to wake up grumpy. This was the first time on the trip he wasn't his happy self. I don't blame him...

- The ride started out and remained very boring on our journey through eastern Kansas. The excitement of the day came when we hit Wichita. Dan was almost runover by an Dodge Carvan with a Earnhart #8 Fear This sticker in the window. The female driver didn't seem to care she had almost killed of my best friends.

- Great lunch at the Servateria in Pratt, KS. The bib-overall wearing locals were very curious about our gear, bikes, and trip. I ate way too much.

- Joplin, Missouri. Very humbling to see the devastation from the Tornado last year. Reconstruction was underway but the town was still in disrepair.

- Roads into Eureka Springs, AR were great. Van called me as we were getting gas. It was pretty cool b/c I was sending him a text as he called. Very cool but weird; this trip has been full of moments like this. He recommended Ermilio's Italian Restaurant in Eureka. We did get odd looks from our fellow diners who were dressed in their business and evening attire. My dusty First Gear jacket stood out amongst the sport coats and dresses. We voted it the best meal of the trip.

- We left Ermilios at dusk in search of a campsite on the Buffalo River. This was our last chance of the trip to setup camp before dark and we missed it again. However we were rewarded with an amazing sunset. The clouds from a major thunderstorm were forming to our West and enhanced the diminishing light of the setting sun. The road to the east was filled with what must have been a Harvest moon. It was the biggest moon I have ever seen. It engulfed the skyline and appeared to be so close you could touch it. Amazing….

- The roads into Ponca, AR would have been great during the day - Turn after turn after turn. We arrived at campsite around 10:30PM. 30 minutes after quite time. We wanted to make sure grumpy had a good night of rest so we setup next to the tree line so Dan could string his bed for the night.

- No Jake Brake or Amtrak's this night - only crickets and birds.













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