As you know if you've read almost any post on this blog, I love bike touring in Colorado. Other than the spectacular scenery and incredible challenges that riding in the mountains offers, I've visited several corners of the state and learned of the immense diversity that Colorado has to offer. Before riding the Colorado Rocky Mountain Bike Tour in 2008, I hadn't been to Colorado for 20 years. And that had been flying into Denver and never straying farther than the suburbs. I had seen some of the areas around Denver and Colorado Springs, and I thought it was a beautiful place, but I had no idea! That got me thinking how we can be so ignorant of our geography, even where we live.
Besides affording me the opportunity to learn more of Colorado's diversity, the trips across Kansas have shown me more of the state where I've lived for the last 22 years. The town where I live is just more than 1000' in elevation. I had no idea that the the western plains of Kansas were included in what's referred to as the "high plains." When you reach Kanorado, KS, on the border between, you guessed it, Kansas and Colorado, you've already climbed to 3900'. That means you drive almost halfway across Colorado to Denver, and you're only about 1400 feet higher than you were in Kanorado! Mile High City, hah!