What can I say about driving across Kansas that hasn’t already been said? It’s certainly big – 545 miles across from where I entered the state, just past Joplin, MO, till I crossed the Colorado border. It’s certainly flat – you can literally see forever.
The colors of the Kansas landscape are shades of brown and beige and sand with bright green thrown in for contrast.
Neatly rolled hay bales go on for miles and the sky is so huge it’s almost scarey.
You have no idea where the land ends and the sky begins.
With no trees or hills to slow it down, the wind blows hard across these wide-open plains. A passing truck adds to the dynamic and can cause small cars to rock dangerously.
Then there are the smells of Kansas. Lots of fresh air perfumed with the sweet smell of fresh mowed hay and….cow. The ‘cow smell’ is everywhere – the smell of cow poop & pee (sorry, but that’s the truth!) The huge trucks that almost knock you off the road are carrying herds of cattle to the massive feed lots that are everywhere in Kansas. These lots are filled with 1000 upon 1000’s of head of cattle waiting to become someone’s steak or hamburger. I can’t tell you just how many of these feedlots I passed as I drove across the middle of this state, but I am guessing just on my route I drove past at least 50. They are the main reason so many of the towns exist.
Of course, Kansas has other things to offer other than hay and cows. It’s the home of Dorothy and the wonderful Wizard of Oz museum in Wichita and those weird birds called Jay Hawks seem to be everywhere, but I most enjoed those serendipitous discoveries you only find when you are willing to get off the super highways and explore the byways.
For example, take these interesting works of art I found in Mullinville, KS (blink and you’ll miss it.)
I want you to click to enlarge and look closely at these pieces. As you’ll see, the artist is making a very definite statement about certain people and ideas that he holds. Here are just a few more. Whats amazing is this artist has filled an entire field that is many acres big, with just his work!
Then there is dining in Kansas. It’s a good thing I am a carnivore because steak of every kind is on every menu. I stopped for lunch in a tiny little town and was told I just had to have their specialty – chicken fried steak – for lunch! Not exactly Weight Watcher approved. I was good and had a salad with fresh tomatoes and sliced grilled chicken instead. I also realized that I no longer have to ask for ‘un-sweet iced tea. All tea in this part of the country is just plain, un-sweeted tea. I’m finally out of the South.
So now I’m 1/2 way across the great, big, beige & green, odiferous state of Kansas. I am pulling into Pratt and am excited to tell you about my stay at the Evergreen Motel & RV Resort.
Until next time…