Can I really afford this scootering stuff?I topped off my tank before I left town, camera in tow, on a relatively warm November day. Not much traffic on a Sunday at 9:00 am, probably most people on the roads are on their way to or from church.
Not far away there is a nice view of a valley just before arriving on the north side of Augusta, Kansas.
Max in the morning sunlight looking over the valley. The bridge in the distance goes over a river that passes on the west side of Augusta. There is another river on the east side of Augusta, while the city itself is mostly on a nice hill.
I arrive in Augusta and stop for a few minutes. Across the street I see a house with Christmas decorations ready to go. I decorate a tree in my yard each year, but for me, it just doesn't seem right to do it before Thanksgiving. I'll wait to do some decorating until next weekend.
Every town like this has a Wal Mart, or so it seems. My personal opinion is that the existence of a Wal Mart drives some local businesses out of business because they cannot compete with the prices. But that's just my opinion.
I ride around the town a bit. Some of the streets are brick and have probably been in place for many years. A few people were out mowing their lawns or raking leaves. It was a nice weekend to get outside activities done. Much colder weather is expected soon.
I ride south a few blocks to get a picture of the downtown area, fairly typical of a lot of towns like this.
It would seem that the side of a building can be much like a billboard, with advertisements for various businesses. Apparently this is the "Red Brick District".
From downtown, I spied the road that leads to "Thunder Road". It's easy to miss this street, and I have mised it before. There is no sign that identifies it as "Thunder Road". But now I know whre it is.
Just down the road a ways would be a sign like this. The speed limit is generally 55mph, but some curves are less than that. I wouldn't call them real twisties, but they are fun and the scenery is a bit different in some areas.
Near the road was this oil well. After all, this is Butler County and there is a significant amount of oil production here. Some wells have been producing since the 1920's.
Knowing how some bloggers are interested in railroads, I stop a few miles away to get another picture or two.
When I took this shot, I didn't see the approaching train. I didn't even take my helmet off to take the picture. It was hard to read the display on my camera, but on the other side of the road I noticed some birds.
I turned around and there the train was. No danger, but I would not have parked so close to the track, had I known the train was coming.
I ride a little further down the road after the train passed by.
A few miles down the road I stopped at another intersection and took this shot of the trees, now without leaves.
A few miles more brought me to another railroad crossing, and surprisingly, the gates were coming down for another approaching train. It seemed like less than 15 minutes since the last train had passed. I barely had time to stop, get the camera out and, without benefit of even looking at the camera display, I got this shot. I was sure at the time that it would not turn out.
There are lots of ranches along the way. Some buildings and homes looked new, others a bit tired.
I am getting closer to Wichita now.
A little further along I see a display of old farm equipment along the side of the road. I had to stop, if for no other reason than, you don't see this kind of thing everyday.
Old farm implements all lined up.
A couple of others And yet another combine of some sortThe water in the pond looks a bit down. Not surprising. We had a wet spring, but summer and fall have been dry.
A little closer to Wichita, I spy a pond that looks sort of typical for Kansas. You can tell from the grasses that it was a bit breezy this day.
Here is the intersection marking the other end of "Thunder Road" near the east side of Wichita.
A final shot near Wichita and typical of the clash of farming and real estate development. Suburban homes fighting with farmland for space here on the planet.
The ride was about 55 miles in total. It was a beautiful if breezy day. There are lots of stories about "Thunder Road", probably a lot of those stories are not true or highly embellished. I didn't take many pictures of the road itself, partly because the ride is so much fun and I didn't want to stop. I have actually ridden on the route 3-4 times, and this is the first time I ever took any pictures. It's not spectacular, but it doesn't need to be. It's just fun!