29 Up and over, in to Atchison


Glacial Hills

Don’t ever think that the Heartland is Flat! The ride out of Leavenworth was up and up. The road was under re-construction, another of the 2010 Reconstruction Act. We rode most of the way inside the cones. The signs call it the Scenic By Way, Glacial Hills. It is hilly and scenic. Rolling hills covered with agricultural beauty.

Kansas Farm

Kansas Rollers

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28 Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary

No, we didn’t visit the Pen. They say it’s easy to get in to but hard to get out of. We used to have a joke we did when I played Rub Board with our band. Terry would say, “Hey, didn’t you play Rub Board with the Penn State marching Band?” And I’d answer, “No, no, Terry, I said the Sate Pen Marching Band!” Silly but somehow seems appropriate here?


The Federal Penitentiary at Leavenworth has a long history and has house some pretty tough characters.  

Notable prisoners, thanks to wikipedia 

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27 Buffalo Soldiers on Bicycles?

Thanks to Frank and Sherry, who we would meet later, we learned of how the Buffalo Soldiers were issued Bicycles and rode their Iron Horses to Montana and back as a test.

25th Infantry Buffalo Soldiers

Bicycle Corp at Fort Missoula in 1897

25th Infantry black bicycle corps at Fort Missoula in formation beside their bicycles [unidentifed collection Mansfield Library]
Photo courtesy of UM Mansfield Library, unidentified collection. [uncropped enlargement]

The 25th Infantry U.S. Army Bicycle Corps stationed at Fort Missoula, Montana set out across the country on their bicycles in 1896-7. Lt. James A. Moss led the company of black soldiers on several obstacle intensive test runs of the iron two-wheeled alternative to horses for transportation. Their greatest trip covered 1900 miles to St. Louis, Missouri, returning to Missoula by train. The 25th Infantry gained fame and was nicknamed the Buffalo Soldiers.

25th Infantry at Yellowstone in 1896

25th Infantry black bicycle corps at Yellowstone
Photo by Frank Jay Haynes. [uncropped enlargement]

In 1896 the 25th Infantry rode, walked, and carried their bicycles cross country to Yellowstone Park, 500 miles from their Fort Missoula base. They pose above on Minerva Terrace at the town of Mammoth Hot Springs in a photograph taken and hand colored by Yellowstone’s official freelance photographer F. Jay Haynes (1853-1921). Note that the troops mounted from the left side of the bike, according to the custom for mounting a horse.

Article Published by…The Northern Rockies Heritage Center

Further Resources on the Buffalo Soldiers

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26 Buffalo Soldiers

We cycled through town and back out to the Highway for a visit to Fort Leavenworth. It’s an historical Fort established by the US Army in 1827. It’s the oldest active Army Post west of the Mississippi. Our  main interest was to see the Monument to the 9th and 10th CavalryRegiment, The Buffalo Soldiers. 

We rode up to the gate. They were checking cars and trucks, looking inside and using mirrors to check the undersides. The woman guard came to us and said, “You’re pretty loaded up. Maybe I should check your vehicles, too?” She laughed and said, “You have to ride on the sidewalks.” Then she gave us direction to the monument. 

It’s a huge and wonderful memorial to some good soldiers. It was dedicated by another good soldier, Retired General, Chair of the Joint Chiefs and Secretary of State, Colin Powell. 

See the entire story at  http://www.buffalosoldiers-lawtonftsill.org/history.htm 

Buffalo Soldiers

Buffalo Soldier

The 9th and 10th Cavalry Regiment remained made up of all black soldiers until President Harry Truman gave the order to integrate the Armed Foces in 1952.

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25 Big News in Leavenworth

First stop, Mr. Goodcents Subs. We spotted it just off the road. They have great sandwiches. We met and had a good chat with Franchise Owner, Dave. He, like us, has been in his own business for himself most of his life. He’s been here for 4 years and is struggling. We know that feeling. The next stop, the Chamber of Commerce/Visitor Center. The staff was excited to hear of our journey. They gave us lots of ideas for places to see and things to do. There are info boards with recorded messages scattered all over town. They memorialize the time spent here by the likes of Buffalo Bill and other famous plainsmen. Chris who works as City Planner and is a cyclist stopped us and took our picture.

Pic by Chris

Later, Connie from the C of C called and asked if we’d do an interview with the local news paper. We were headed to the bike shop so the reporter, Tim, met us there. They e-mailed a copy of the article for us to post. Thanks to all of our new friends in Leavenworth.

Brendan Pumps

California couple stop in city during extended bike trip

Cat and Pat Patterson ride on Fifth Street on their way out of Leavenworth Thursday. The couple are in the midst of a bicycle trip from Dallas, Texas, to Iowa.

By Tim Linn

Leavenworth Times

Posted Jul 08, 2010 @ 06:10 PM

The Fourth of July weekend has come and gone, but that didn’t stop Catherine and Pat Patterson from stopping in Leavenworth as part of a long road trip.

The California couple stopped in the city — on their bicycles — on Thursday before riding to Atchison, Kan. From there, they were going to proceed north to Iowa in time for the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa that starts on July 25.

They were getting a quick break and refilling their tires at Santa Fe Trails Bicycle Shop before moving on, each bike covered in rain-proof saddle bags containing not a lot, aside from the most crucial supplies.

“Some of our relatives call us minimalists,” Pat said, smiling.

The couple have been traveling through smaller towns in the region from their starting point in Dallas, Texas, on their way. Pat, 70, said they always look forward to visiting those places in their journeys, and not always heading for the larger tourist destinations.

That can lead to some interesting encounters. Pat said he received directions to a cemetery thought to contain the grave of a grandfather on his mother’s side at a truck stop from someone who turned out to be a long-lost cousin.

“Our journey is full of little weird things that happen,” Pat said.

And according to Cat, distant relatives are not the only people they have met during their ride.

“We just love traveling this way because it’s so interesting and different and you stop in small places like this and meet the local people,” she said.

Pat said the couple followed Leavenworth’s wayside tour, stopping in the kiosks with historical information scattered throughout downtown and other areas. They also planned to see Fort Leavenworth and the United States Penitentiary.

It’s not their first long-range bicycle trip — Pat said his journeys began with a worldwide ride beginning in 1988 that lasted nearly four years. That was after he sold his real estate company for the first time and purchased new bikes.

At the time they met soon after that ride, both Cat and Pat found themselves facing a troubled economy and impending divorces.

Pat then worked up another real estate business before selling again in 2002 and the couple planned their first trip together. It was originally supposed to be a ride through Africa, but Cat said it soon was expanded into a full-fledged world tour.

Since then, they’ve also traveled across Southeast Asia. Pat said he’s been to 101 countries in all — Cat’s record is getting hefty as well.

She said they try to promote health, exercise and travel along their way, as well as try to dispel myths about certain destinations. Cat said they rarely do a lot of planning for their trips outside of the establishment of a general route, but as they have ridden across the globe, from Argentina to Greenland, they have come up with some other advice for fellow travelers.

“Keep your minds and your hearts open,” Cat said.

Over the years, she said they have ridden through what some friends and members of their family have warned are dangerous places. But the biggest concerns they have when they go on their globe-trotting rides are not crime-related. Instead, Cat said traffic and road conditions are high on that list, along with the weather.

That said, Pat said he is still working to convince Cat to go on the next trip — to the Middle East.

Copyright 2010 Leavenworth Times. Some rights reserved

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24 In To Kansas

Entering Kansas we were surprised to see a billboard touting local booze. Kansas has some of the most strict liquor laws we’ve seen since Oklahoma. Entering Leavenworth we were surprised to see that Mellissa Etheridge was born and raised here.  


Home Brewed



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23 Following Lewis & Clark

The L & C Trail

The markers tell us that we’re following in the boat and foot tracks of the 1804 Lewis & Clark expedition. So rural here that we had to pick our way through a dirt and rock road for more than 3 miles. Very scenic. We found and at least for the moment, saved a little turtle from being samshed into road kill. A larger one had also ventured out onto the pavement? Perhaps to sun himself? He measered 10 inches across and was heavy. When I lifted him water gushed from inside his shell. We felt like such naturalists.


Rusty Relics


Stone Home

SAving a LIfe

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22 Across the Wide Missouri

Time to get back aboard the bikes and we were ready. It was a down hill run toward the river then a perilous crossing on the Broadway Bridge. Morning traffic and drain covers that seemed to be designed to trap a bicycle wheel added to the difficulty. Then freeway or expressway riding between the airport and train yards. It was almost 2 hours before we broke into beautiful countryside.


Dangerous Drains


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21 The Truman Presidential Library

The long hot walk really paid off. So many details of the life and times of President Harry S. Truman. (No middle name just the initial S in honor of both his Grandfathers.) Harry supervised the collection and display of the materials saved during his life and Presidency. He especially wanted to show it all. So beside the usual Pomp and Circumstance photos and stories you also get a look beyond the GOOD and into the BAD and the UGLY. Some of the posters and letters were damning beyond belief. We felt almost as though we’re repeating history, today. Don’t we ever learn?   

Presidential LibraryPresdential Look


Harry & I

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20 Harry’s Hometown

Clinton's Drug Store

You start the walking tour at Clinton’s Drug Store where young Harry Truman held his first job, Soda Jerk. Across the street is the County Court House where Judge Harry sat on the bench for more than 8 years. By the way, he had only a high school education but was blessed with mid-western values. Politics next led to his election as US Senator from Missouri. After 10 years he was chosen to become President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Vice President. He was thrust into the Presidency upon FDR’s death on April 12, 1945. He oversaw the end of war in Europe, authorized the A-Bomb and accepted the Japanese surrender during his first 6 months. Later the Korean War and dismissal of Gen. MacArthur.(Reminiscent of today and Gen. McChystal?)


Harry's Courthouse

In fact Harry withstood the same kind of avalanche of negativity we see today yet pulled off an upset victory or Thomas Dewey when re-elected in 1948. That is personal to me, I was only 9 years old when Harry came to town in Spokane, WAshington on his “Whilstle Stop Tour”. A neighbor took me to see him. My parents were among his dissentors. My die hard Republican Grandfather Patterson wouldn’t talk to anyone for 3 weeks after Harry defeated Dewey.

 The tour of Harry and Bess Truman’s home was insightful, too. The only house he ever owned and that only after the death of his mother-in-law. Amazing story of how such a normal guy could become Presdient of the USA. Our Guide, Horton (Seen at the bottom of the photo) knew so many interesting tidbits that seemed to bring Harry, Bess and their daughter Margaret back to life.

Truman House

The Truman Home




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