Ride to Paradise

January 1, 2006

By Ed Chasteen

For the third year in a row the New Year’s Day temperature in Greater Liberty will reach 62. The average for this day is 38. The record high was 64 in 1897. But the high will come later in the day. We pedal away from the Hanson home on the outskirts of Kearney at 8 AM into an overcast and frigid morning. Steve has laid out a route north on Plattsburg Road to C Highway. Left on C to Highway W. Right on W to Paradise, crossing an arm of Smithville Lake. Then back on W to C. Right on C to Highway 92. Left on 92 about a quarter mile to Highway A. Right on A to 144th. Left on 144th back to Plattsburg Road. Right on Plattsburg Road to 139th. Left on 139th to Scottie Drive. Right on Scottie to the Hanson’s home. Out to Paradise and back. Prelude to the sumptuous breakfast Sharon has for us.

On this first day of 2006, I have driven in my little red HateBusters mobile, with its H8BSTR license plate, to the home of Steve and Sharon Hanson, two of our regular Greater Liberty riders. Steve has laid out our New Year’s Day ride route to Paradise. Sharon will stay home to have breakfast ready when we return. Long ago I came to value symbolism. Today in spades we have it. Sitting on an arm of Smithville Lake, Paradise is a church, a store, a service station and a few houses. A place seldom seen and little noticed. But able in the mind of all who hear its name to conjure a rapturous vision. To come en route to Paradise upon an eagle only magnifies the magnificence of a magical morning.

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