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Day 20 Great Bend to Benoit, KS

Day 20, 215 miles

"Think of yourself as on the threshold of unparalleled success.  A whole, clear, glorious life lies before you. Achieve!"
~Andrew Carnegie

We entered the metal building and I held back a laugh as the man greeted us: "Welcome to the Barbed Wire Museum." 
This would be a joke. Barbed wire? Once agin, we were pleasantly surprised. The museum displayed over two thousand types of barbed wire, wire stretchers, post hole diggers, and stakes. Still not impressd? They explained how barbed wire changed America. The automobile, electricity, barbed wire. Really? Yes. 
When America was wide open, cowboys herded cattle from Santa Fe to Independence- hundreds of thousands of them. The huge droves would eat and trample anything in their way, including farmland. Four innovative men patented diffferent types of barbed wire, and Joe Glidden really sold the stuff. So barbed wire initialy was designed to keep livestock out. Then someone realized it could keep them in, and the rest is history. Now instead of cattle drives, ranches could move stock from one pasture to another. No more need for the traditional cowboys. They faded into the sunset with ice men, buggy whip manufacturers and vinyl record makers.That's a real crow's nest, built with barbed wire. Apparently the bird couldn't find twigs and branches.
Next, people used barbed wire to keep people in, so the collection included wire from concentration camps. And there were wires from China, Austria, Japan, and other places, all over the world.
How about that? LaCrosse Kansas really is the barb wire capital of the world.
Back on the bike, we headed North for The Big One!
We turned into an historical marker place, and... no, not again!
Yep. Loose gravel. The front tire dug in, and down she went. Super low speed, and no injuries, except Quilter Girl will get a bruise on her...self. Picked up the bike, but struggled to pick up my confidence. QG got pretty discouraged too, especially since it blew all day again, day three, and the worst one.
We continued on to our quest.
And now, ladies and gentlemen, (drumroll please...) We arrived in Cawker City Kansas, after years of anticipation, to witness, to experience...
Yes indeed! The World's Largest Ball of Twine! 
My life is complete. I have seen and touched (and hugged) the World's Largest Ball of Twine. And not just twine, but Sisal Twine. Jealous, aren't you?
However, QG wasn't impressed, as we rode through the shrieking winds all day long, and then the tip- over and she was done.
She had a little cry and I felt like an idiot and we took off and stopped in a Super 8 motel in Beloit, KS, well short of our goal of Topeka.
We'll get there tomorrow.


Anonymous said...

Same thing happened to my Dad in "86" on a Goldwing, at the Goegraphical Center of Continental US out side of Lebanon KS. Must be a Kansas thing.

Best Wishes, KeeKee & Mark

John & Inez said...

Kinda hard to pick up in that gravel too.

................................ Kevin Parsons said...

Stupid gravity!

DenverDoc said...

I'm already learning the vicissitudes of touring through your adventures. Riding a Yamaha Royal Star Venture I'm always petrified of gravel roads unless they're really tightly packed down. And as a resident of Colorado I know from the experiences of my friends to beware the high mountain climates year 'round.

So I'm learning a lot. Keep it up!

................................ Kevin Parsons said...

Yesterday we rode 1.25 miles to a campground on a gravel road. I rode a little tight! This morning, w/o Sherri or the trailer, I worked it a little ( acceleration, braking, turning) to get used to it again. But riding double with the trailer just makes it that much more difficult to handle.

Traci said...

I'm so jealous; both of your trip and your visit to the world's largest ball of twine! That's high on my bucket list!

................................ Kevin Parsons said...

The World's Largest Ball of Twine just needed some... help. A biography, some photos of the man who built it, something. And I should have brought some twine to aid the cause!

Don said...

Just heard today about your adventure, from a guy you met at the Barbed Wire Muesum in LaCrosse. Our wives are quilters and they had an all-day quilting marathon so I rode my GW all day - "Bad Choice". Got up to 108 degress and 40 mph wind ( the wind is definitely a "Kansas" thing)
I plan to follow your posts thru your entire trip. Be safe. Have a great trip! God Bless you.

................................ Kevin Parsons said...

Thanks for following Don, and I am happy to be away from the Kansas wind. However, the Barbed Wire Museum, Truckhenge, the Largest Ball of Twine, Fort Larned and Dodge City made for excellent touring. Enjoy that GW.
Quilter Girl just finished a quilt top (photo on today's blog) and sent it back home to be quilted when we get back.