May 6
 Liberal, KS to Dodge City, KS
  
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Day 12 of the Cross-America ride is done. As we had hoped, it turned into an 83-mile sprint from Liberal, KS to Dodge City, KS. We had the winds at our back, and a flat road ahead. As it turned out in speaking with the other riders on this adventure, we all agreed it was a day of conversations. Riding was so easy, and there was only one real turn to look out for, it was natural to get involved in some long conversations with fellow riders. In the morning I rode with Mark Wanderman, a pediatrician from Minnetonka, MN. We mostly discussed health care in the US. Got that all figured out prior to pulling into Meade, KS for a lunch at 10:00.

 

Todayís pace was so fast (I averaged 21.1 mph) that we only had one food stop planned, and that was at mile 38.4 in the town of Meade, in front of the Dalton Gang museum hideout. If I die tomorrow, Iíll die a happy man having seen the Dalton Gang museum/hideout in Meade, Kansas. Not to be too cynical, but this little piece of Americana is not worth planning a vacation around. It appears the Daltons back in the late 1800ís built a tunnel connecting their sisterís house with the barn out back, and this ruse flummoxed the US Marshals who were hot on their tail for holding up some trains and robbing a few banks. That description, along with a few pictures below, summarizes everything you need to know about the Dalton Gang Museum. See? I just saved you a lot of time and money from making the trip yourself.

 

After lunch, I rode the rest of the way to Dodge City with Steve Bailey and Simon Nicholl, a CFO and air traffic controller (respectively) from the UK. We had a good time discussing the trip so far, the scenery (and lack thereof  today), embarrassing old stories (something about putting diesel fuel in a gasoline car rings a bell), and the vastness of Kansas. We rolled into Dodge City around noon, and proceeded to pose for photos in front of ďEl CapitanĒ, the large longhorn statue gracing the center of town. Our rooms were not available at the acclaimed Dodge House Hotel (conveniently located next to Bad Habits sports bar and a package store) because we arrived too early, so some of our more industrious riders patronized the aforementioned package store and we drank beer awaiting the preparation of our luxurious accommodations.

 

Tomorrow is another 80-something-mile ride to Great Bend, but although it is short, the wind is supposed to be in our face. Tune in again on Saturday for an update. 1,366 miles done so far out of 3,457.

 
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Lasse Aune, the big Norwegian, was one of the few who flatted today.
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This house in Meade, KS, was owned by the sister of the Dalton Gang brothers, and the boys dug an escape tunnel (below) between the house and the barn out back to avoid the authorities.
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Steve and Simon rolling along north on Route 283 between Minneola and Dodge City (video)
The statue of "El Capitan" graces the main intersection of Wyatt Earp Blvd. in Dodge City. Here Simon and Steve pose with the longhorn; below its Steve and Lee.
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