We decided to go off route to Wichita, mostly because we've been listening to Gillian Welch and she sings about Wichita. It took us a few days to get here, and we decided we like some time off the Tran-American bike route. The popular route our maps provide through America is awesome, but it is predominantly small town with poorly paved bike lanes (and less traffic.)
Through Kansas, the main highways are rural enough and I greatly appreciate drafting off of semis in the wind.
Once in Wichita, we decided that instead of heading back towards the planned bike route in Missouri we'd go into Arkansas and down from there. It is more direct than the transamerica route, so we'd make NOLA sooner. And, arkansas is creepy. We like creepy, and we hope to find us some creepy. Only during daylight hours though, especially since my tazer got stolen and we met a cyclist headed west who said a young girl he camped with (also a cyclist) had been molested in Kentucky. Bad things happen, there are bad people out there. We have been fortunate not to have run into any. But remember, bad things happen in your own home or town just as often as for travellers.
That is something I get upset about, that many people fear traveling and being vulnerable. But the only way to know if bad or good is winning is to go out, and find out. We have gone out, and found only good. People generous to the point of guilt, people curious and excited for us, even when we refuse to meet their eyes or answer another where-you-from?-going?-you'se-still-got-a-ways-to-go-AReYOuTWINS????!!
People who will buy our food, behind us in line at the gas station. A quiet old man with a cane who said "I seen you girls on the road earlier. I'm proud a' you'se". Hotel housekeepers who wash our weeks-old laundry, for free.