ďHow far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young,
compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving,
and tolerant of the weak and strong,
because someday in life you will have been all of these.Ē

- George Washington Carver

TODAYíS ROUTE:
Lawrence, OK to Monett, MO: SR-10 East to I-35 North to I-70 East to Truman Road to Harry S. Truman National Historic Site, SR-78 West to Van Brunt Road to Kansas City to US-56 West to US-169 South to Overland Park to US-69 South past Aubry, Louisburg, Trading Post, to Fort Scott, US-54 East to Nevada to US-71 South pat Milo, Jasper, Carytown, Carthage, to US-71 Alt. to Diamond, SR-V West to George Washington Carver National Monument, return to SR-V East to US-71 Alt North to I-44 East to SR-174 East to Republic to FR-183 to Wilsonís Creek Battlefield National Park, US-60 West past Aurora to Monett.  (MAP)

THE DETAILS:
Many months ago, when I was planning this adventure, I was having a diificult time figuring out how Iíd ride up through Oklahoma and Kansas.  I knew I wanted to ride through the entire lower 48, but I wasnít quite sure how Iíd do it, and where Iíd go.  My plan was stuck in Texas as I contemplated my next move.

Then Matt Sacks dropped by to visit his old employers at Classic Sports Network, and he stopped in my office to say hello.  I told Matt about the plans for my trip.  And then he said if I made it to Lawrence, three-quarters through a 100-day motorcycle ride, well then, that would be news.  Heíd make sure it was.  If I came to Lawrence, heíd get me on the Channel 6 local news.

So there we are at 8 AM in the morning, in the parking lot of Channel 6 in downtown Lawrence.  Channel 6 reporter Alison Mann is interviewing me.  Here comes my fifteen minutes of fame, at least in Lawrence, Kansas, anyway.

Trying to sum up the last 23,000 miles in a 10 minute interview is difficult, to say the least.  But Alison asked the right questions, and Iím grateful to be able to tell people why Iím doing this trip, and how they can help the cause of cancer research.  The interview, along with some footage Iíve shot on the road will run on the nightly news this evening.

After a quick breakfast with Matt, I head due east, back into Missouri, around Kansas City, over to Independence.  My first stop of the day is the Harry S Truman National Historic Site, celebrating the eventful and triumphant life of the 33rd President, ďThe Man From MissouriĒ. The site preserves a collection of buildings associated with Truman including the house where he was born and the house where he died.  Theyíve also got three extra stamps here, one each for the Oregon, California, and Sante Fe Trails.  Also in Independence, just a few blocks away in fact, is the visually stunning Temple Missionary Center.  Iím not about to join the Latter Day Saints, but theyíve got a beautiful temple.

I swing back through Kansas City, stopping in Country Club Plaza to see the nice shops and the very interesting architecture.  So they do have culture here in the middle of nowhere!  Who would have thunk it? And the Mission Hills area has some beautiful homes as well.

US-69 takes me south to Fort Scott and the National Historic Site there, right in the middle of the historic downtown area.  Some more boring and straight roads later, and Iím at the George Washington Carver National Monument near Diamond, Missouri, by mid afternoon.  Thereís no one here except one park ranger and me. The monument preserves the birthplace of George Washington Carver, who ascended from slavery to national prominence as a scientist, educator, and humanitarian.  In elementary school, I remember learning about ďthe peanut manĒ.  But Carverís importance went beyond that public image.  He was, and still is to many, an encouraging model who set standards to which they could aspire.

Wilsonís Creek National Battlefield is just a few miles east, towards Springfield.  On August 10, 1861, the first major Civil War engagement west of the Mississippi River was fought here.  I arrive only 15 minutes before they close for the evening, just enough time to get the stamp and watch a short film on the battle.  The Confederates were victorious and the battle marked the first death of a Union General, Nathaniel Lyon.

In the fading light, I make it back west towards Monett for the evening.  But there isnít much here.  Even finding a decent motel is difficult. But Iím tired, and hungry, and going on could prove fruitless.  The Hartland Motel, with a Chinese food restaurant down the street, looks like it will be my home for the night.

THE DAILY TAKE:
Miles Today: 352
Total Miles:
23,571
Time on Motorcycle: 6 Hours 7 Minutes
Average Speed: 57.5 MPH
States Visited today: 2 (KS, MO)
Total States Visited: 35
National Park Service Passport Stamps: 7
NPS Stamp Totals: 179 Stamps, 32 States
Weather: Cool, Clear, and Sunny.
Number of pipes in the Temple Missionary Centerís 102-rank Casavant Pipe Organ in Independence, Missouri: 5,685 pipes

SEEN ON THE ROAD:
ďGot God?Ē Ė billboard along US-60, south of Republic, Missouri.

RANDOM PASSINGS:
Tonight Iím in a lousy mood. Real lousy.  Iím downright pissed off.  And I just canít figure out why.

Maybe itís this lousy motel, probably the worst Iíve stayed in on the trip.  The bed is slanting, thereís no remote for the TV, although I asked the inn keeper for one, and this stupid old digital phone system they have wonít let me dial out on my computer. And now I canít get online for the evening.  Thereís nothing else for me to do in this lousy town.

Maybe itís the lousy food from the lousy Chinese Restaurant next door.  This is the worst Wonton Soup Iíve ever tasted.  How can you screw up Wonton Soup?  And the Lo-Mien is even worse.  What the hell was I thinking, getting Chinese food in the middle of Missouri?

Maybe itís because Iím so far behind in writing these journals, and posting stuff on my web site.  I probably shouldnít have even started the web site in the first place.  What the hell was I thinking on Day 68 when I did that?  I hardly have time to get a good nightís sleep.  Tonight, because of this lousy motel I canít even get on the Internet!

Maybe itís because Iíve got less than 11 hours of daylight each day now.  It is November already, after all.

Maybe itís because most of what I wanted to see and do on this trip has already happened.

And maybe itís because I can feel my trip coming to an end.  And that, well that just sucks.

 


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