Mile 26-96: Severance to Seneca

“Scouting the pony express bike packing route day 2 hike a bike out of the tall grass and trees to highway 20 still on route everything went good dirt and gravel roads were riding great although in a rain they wouldn’t be so great also these are mostly roads used by farmers to access their fields so during planting or harvest they may be busy with farm traffic. Camping looked promising and comfortable at atchison county lake although I didn’t camp there. Moved on through Horton to Seneca just past Horton behind the abandoned Kickapoo truck stop is the next road to nowhere. Chipmunk road dose not go through to 110th street it has been plowed under. I got on us 75 and went the few blocks to 110th to get back on route everything else went well into Seneca with the exception of a temporary road closed for bridge repair. In Seneca I camped at Baileys rv resort it was nice clean heated bathroom’s with showers!!”

[NB. This is entry two of three by Andy Phillips. His ride track is on Strava at]

Mile 6-26: Walthena to Severance

“Scouting the pony express bike packing route part 1 day 1. Got a late start out of st jo so I got a ride with my wife after dinner to Wathena KS. Not much to scout on the highway out of st jo things went well through Troy Ks good hills to start roads were in good shape mostly dirt and gravel at road 170 just before the road intersects with highway 20 it disappears into overgrowth and washout I camped behind a cedar tree in the middle of the road for wind protection.”

[NB. This is entry one of three by Andy Phillips. His ride track is on Strava at]


Mile 95-136: Seneca to Marysville

“Scouting the pony express route day 3 into Marysville. Again mostly dirt roads everything went good though wide open spaces beautiful vistas are throughout this route!! The last bit off Jayhawk trailhead on the blue river trail seemed to go on private property and had a bridge that was cross able although dangerously in disrepair. Unfortunately this was the last day of my scouting adventure due to weather conditions further down the route and unsettled weather that would have an effect of where I was going. I’ll pick up in Marysville at a later date and finish at least to Julesburg Colorado when the weather permits.”

[NB. This is entry three of three by Andy Phillips. His ride track is on Strava at]

Rolling Prairie

“Our way led over a succession of grassy swells spaced at intervals with breezeless hollows. What a country to have traveled before the day of the graded road and the planted tree! Driving an ox team over these endless, rolling hillocks was a task from which the very imagination recoiled. However–this was July and the emigrants went through, each year, in May.

They started in good weather, of course. The sun shone upon a “grand and beautiful prairie which can be compared to nothing but the mighty ocean.” A succession of rich, shining green swells was star-dusted with small frail blossoms and splashed with the harder varieties like great spillings of calcimine powders. Here. Patch of mountain pink, here spiderwort–while, ahead, a spreading of purple over a sunny slope proved, on closer acquaintance, to be larkspur. Bobolinks sang where currant bushes lined the meandering watercourses, and the line of white wagon tops stretched like a shining ribbon across the curving velvet breast of the prairie.”

Irene D. Paden, The Wake of the Prairie Schooner, p. 24