Our destination, the historic town of Leavenworth Kansas. Myself and Randy Rasa, of theKansas Cyclist, were the sojourners. We both rode from our homes to Desoto, Kansas to start our 24 hour adventure together. (Randy is from the Olathe area, a ride of 20 miles to the south of Desoto. I live in Prairie Village, a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri, also about 20 miles to the east of Desoto.)
This is Randy’s route, since he was the navigator he gets the route glory, my route was similar except I started and finished in Prairie Village. From Desoto we headed North on Highway 2 across the Kansas River. For three hours we rolled over blacktop and at least 15 miles of gravel roads passing farms and homes.
We arrived in Leavenworth and decided to do some exploring. We found greenway trail that lead us to the Missouri River and Riverfront Park. We took some pictures, and watched locals fishing.
We sauntered into the downtown area, first stop, was the Santé Fe Trails Bicycles and Coffee Shop. There we found friendly locals who were curious about our adventure. The shop was great, cool bikes, great gear, excellent selection of cycling books and magazines, and it has a coffee bar in the center where one local told us they sit and “solve the world’s problems.” We next explored the downtown area and found some great old buildings. All the people we met were warm and friendly.
Our campground was only a five minute ride from downtown. The campground manager, Charles, had the flavor of an old coot from the Wild West. He was a talker and lived in a trailer next to camp with his cat.
After pitching our tents we rode back into town for a cheeseburger and some local made beer at the High Noon Saloon. Then back to camp for night time river watching. We talked about our adventures of the day before turning in about 10pm. Sleep came easily. A thunderstorm blew in about 6am. I looked out my tent to see Randy on the river bank taking pictures. The storm lasted only a few minutes and then the sky cleared. Sunrise over the river was gorgeous.
We woke to a thunderstorm
We decided to take an alternative route home, Randy was prepared, maps in hand. The route he chose was very scenic, but also the hilliest. The road temperature rose in the 90s and the humidity was high; it was not long before I started to wish I had not eaten the Bison Burger before our ride home. The rolling scenery was amazing and reminded me of farmland in Ireland. Getting low on water we stopped at a Kansas City Kansas Fire Station to fill our bottles.
After 4 hours we made our way to Mill Creek Greenway and parted ways: Randy headed south to Olathe and I back east to Prairie Village. A successful bike overnight.