Wednesday, June 4, 2014

There's no place like home

Tonight, for the first time since March 17, Rex and I will sleep in Kansas. We parked at a sad but perfectly serviceable RV park in Goodland for the evening. The high-plains breeze is pleasantly cool--with a slight hint of cattle yard in the air. Even so, it feels very good to be here.

By my post title I don't mean to imply that the Sunflower State ranks above all others. But our interstate travels have reminded us that there are remarkable, completely original things here, and Rex and I are resolved to take advantage of them in the coming months. Extended travel works well for us because we like to drink life in big gulps, but we also know that it is healthy to take short, more frequent breaks from everyday life. I also am convinced that curiosity about and connection to the places we live make for richer people and communities. That's why I love the Kansas Sampler Foundation and its work.

Ironically, as we took in the amazing scenery in Utah, several people we met from around the country reminded us of a few things that are special about Kansas:
  • A young man behind the desk at a Moab RV park sung the praises of US Highway 36. Not exclusively a Kansas phenomenon, its long stretch through the state does cover beautiful terrain and important U.S. history with almost no traffic.
  • Fellow birders Tom and Peggy from the Louisville, KY, metro area spoke fondly of their stops at  Cheyenne Bottoms and Cimarron National Grassland. Both are important bird habitats that offer unparalleled viewing opportunities--the former for migratory species and the latter for prairie chickens and others that require large stretches of healthy grassland.
  • A young architect and park service employee told us of her time consulting at the William Allen White House in Emporia, a site administered by the Kansas Historical Society. Here, the KHS conveys important national history as well as preserving the famous publisher's home.
 As one septuagenarian said to us, "I've been in 42 states, and I have yet to see one that did not have something beautiful to offer." Well said. Now go see some of it.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Road Report

 Greetings from Gypsum, Colorado! Here are some tidbits from the road back to Kansas:

  • Photos of Rex's hike to Angel's Landing in Zion National Park are now up.
  • We caught some ZZZs last night at a rest area at the junction of Hwy 191 and Interstate I-70, 30 miles north of Moab.
  • We were on the road again today by 6 a.m.
  • Saw a golden eagle not far down the road.
  • Found the Colorado River to be VERY high from at least Fruita to Dotsero, where the interstate follows the big red river. Photos below.
  • The amazing Glenwood Springs bike trail is closed from No Name to Dotsero. We could see that the path is under at least five feet of water in places. I don't know how much higher the river must be to warrant closing the equally amazing I-70 in this area, but it certainly looks like a possibility to my untrained eyes.