Interesting Encounters in Kansas

This morning, the sunrise was positively dazzling.

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With about 100 of 124 miles done, Marah, Kaitlyn, and I stopped to rest underneath the shade of a tree in someone’s front yard. A kid came out of the house, introduced himself as Payton, age 11, and invited us inside for drinks. We politely declined, pointing to our bloated Camelbaks, which were still full of water. But when he encouraged us to follow him to check out his great grandfather’s iron longhorn, we couldn’t pass up the offer. Led by Payton and his striking cowboy boots, the three of us walked to the back of the house, where the life-sized longhorn stood. It was made of random rusty tools and parts, held together in a robust, yet sophisticated, way.

We were introduced to Dean, the creator of this great piece. Dean led us towards his cabin, which was heavily decorated with vintage items and signs. Once inside, it was like we were transported to a different century. Old coke bottles sat on the shelf. Photos and posters from the 1900s decorated the walls. Cigarette holders and antiquated ornaments lined the counter. Dean even had one of the last remaining US Mail vehicles inside his cabin, still in near-perfect condition.

In addition to his cabin of collectibles, Dean also showed us some of his own interesting creations. One that particularly captivated me was the bicycle lawn-mower, which Dean made for his wife.

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The people we have met on this trip, especially those through serendipitous encounters, have made this ride an incredibly unique experience.
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