Every so often the perfect day comes along. It was 53 degrees when I woke up this morning at 4:30 a.m. The wind was light from the west. I hit the road shortly after sunrise and quickly decided that I needed another layer. I went back for a long sleeve cotton tee shirt.
Before I knew it my odometer said 4.5 miles. The tailwind was pushing me along. The hills were easy, and the downhills seemed longer than the uphills. The soft light of the morning sun gave a glow to the hills, trees and valleys. After a few miles of hills, Highway 36 came alongside a railroad track and was level for 15 miles. All of us breezed along with little effort.
I realized I was going to roll into Phillipsburg waaay before lunchtime, so I stopped often and took pictures and enjoyed the beauty of the land.
Phillipsburg is known as the cow/calf capital of the world. They have a lot of cow/calf pairs in that area. I didn't particularly notice any in the fields, but they say that this is true. At the west edge of town is a museum and reconstruction of Fort Bissell. The fort was a stockade built by the townspeople to be a sanctuary in case of Indian attacks. It was not a military fort. The buldings were filled with historical artifacts. I was surprised that all of their displays were just laying on tables and touchable. I picked up some items to get a better look.
I tried unsuccessfully to find a place in town offering the Phillipsburger, a special hamburger recipe shared among the restaurants in town. Several church groups had set up food stands in the square on the courthouse lawn.
The afternoon grew warm with the sun beating down in a cloudless sky. I rode into Smith Center by 2:30, set up my tent and enjoyed an adult beverage.