Pictured is the sign for a feed lot, taken after we passed it (yesterday, BTW), looking westward. Notice that the trees all lean to the north (the "right" from this view).
The word Kansas comes from "Kansa", a group of Sioux people who lived in this part of the country. Apparently it means "People (or land) of the South Wind". Since the day we left Salt Lake City, Utah, we have been travelling east (of course), but also south. Yesterday, in Dodge City, we were at the southernmost point of our trip. Dodge City is at a similar latitide to Richmond, VA (a little south of San Francisco, and well south of our destination in New Hampshire). Also, since leaving Salt Lake City, the wind has always been from the east and/or the south; i.e., in our face--sometimes soft, often harder.
So guess what happened today, as we turned northeast? You got it--we got our first northern (actually northeastern, to boot!) wind in two weeks! Youch! Our 85 mile ride turned into a real test, as headwinds "made us earn every inch", as Andrew said. Fortunately, several of us took turns into the wind--I rode with Howie, but also at times with Phillipe (from Israel), Robert (from France) and briefly with Gary, Pete, Cliff, and Rick. When riding behind someone, it wasn't too hard (as their bodies blocked much of the wind), but when it came your turn to "pull", the wind was almost demoralizing at times. I've ridden in stronger winds, but we had really hoped that when we turned to the north.......
Anyway, all got in safe, and we get to ride into more strong winds for the next few days--at least we're all getting good at it! A relaxing swim and soak/stretch in the large hot tub was enjoyed by many. We had a good dinner, but I noticed that many more riders than usual ordered beer or other adult beverages....guess they feel they earned it. I expect folks should sleep well tonight!