Museums (@2013_bak)

One of my favorite family activities has always been visiting museum. Growing up my parents made a point of stopping at every little nook and cranny with a nugget of information they could find. I don’t know if their aim was education, because many museums are less expensive than amusement parks, or a little bit of both. Whatever the reason those trips instilled a love of the museum that hopefully passed onto my children.

Apparently that love (or at least a strong respect) of the museum is present within the BAK. Throughout the event several museums have offered free or reduced charge visits to cyclists. Today I took advantage of visiting a couple Greensburg, KS museums.
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Greensburg may be known for the May 4, 2007 tornado that almost wiped it off the map. It may even be known for their green recovery and sustainability plan .However, they should also be known for their resilience and the museums are part of that resilience.
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The first museum we visited was the Big Well. It boasts the worlds largest hand dug well. At 109 feet dug in 1888 it certainly is impressive. For many years it was the main water source for the town. That is until Kansas banned all open face wells in the 1930’s. A visit to this museum also features historical information of the town’s past as well as the town’s return from the devastating tornado. One of my favorite features was the public library’s one surviving artifact.
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The public library located in Greensburg is actually the county’s library. It features a media center, ice cream shop, and historical museum.
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Besides the yummy treats (which BTW they off an EF5 challenge) I was impressed with the effort put forth to share a little bit of everything the people of Kiowa County have experienced.
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Including how the first female sheriff purchase and used a Tommy Gun. Could you imagine seeing her come towards you after a long day of moonshining?
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The library was also phenomenal. Being a library geek I was delighted to see that they offered a media center
and called themselves a learning commons.
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Overall, Greensburg offers some fantastic opportunities to learn a little about the history of Western Kansas. It was a treat to take a little time from cycling to soak in the intellectual delights. Thank you BAK for providing museum opportunities for this lover of learning.

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Some of my favorites from Dodge City (@2013_bak)

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Boot Hill Museum gang, if you’ve never visited this museum you are missing out!

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The welcoming hospitality of Dodge City was fabulous.  There was even a downtown festival.

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Complete with dancing, a live band,  and pottery demonstrations.

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Overall, it reminded me of the arts festival we have back home. 

To top the evening off we chose to take a recommendation from @bakweatherman and eat at:

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He was right their food was not a disappointment. 

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Easy Rides are Created by Conversation (2013_bak)

The ride 53 mile ride today was fabulous.  Partly due to the good roads, but mostly due to a new other riders in the BAK.  I met one particular rider, James, just after the first SAG stop.  Actually he rode up from behind and started the conversation.  I was a little surprised at first, but soon I realized the miles were slipping by without any notice.

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We talked about our spouses, the communities we live in, his job, my graduate school experience, and the BAK. This is the first BAK for both of us. However, this is the first time he has cycled any long distance, and he spent some time talking about how he prepared. He kind of reminded me of me when I was first learning how to long distance cycle.

Throughout the day we were passed by several & passed only a few other cyclists. For the most part the other cyclists asked how we were doing or commented on the ride. As James would say, “it broke up the monotony”. Which is the glorious thing about the BAK. Not only is it strenuous fun, but it’s also a great opportunity to meet others interested in the same activity. The BAK is a big social party for those who like a challenge.

Tomorrow I hope to catch up with James or another talkative cyclist. Sure I will enjoy the company, but mostly want to get a picture with a fellow cyclist. Right now I’m kicking myself for not having one snapped to add to this entry.