Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Darlin' we don't need a lifestyle
So throw all those chairs in the lake
We'll take our chances
In Wichita Kansas....

Garrison Kieller

Kansas on a Sunday. It seems it is always Sunday when we pass through here. After sitting out the wind, or so we thought, in Meade State Park, the departure this morning came early and under overcast skies. The plan was to cross the most southern part of Kansas since NOAA said the weather was good and the wind was down. Well, it was half right. The overcast skies wear present all day as was the humidity, but the wind was back, albeit not as strong, but 25 mph is enough to alter your driving.
There has to be a reason why I am fascinated by the small towns, farms and emptiness of Kansas (that is viewed as redundant by anyone who does not live here). I wish I knew. Perhaps it is the peacefulness that a Sunday brings. The machinery of agriculture is silent. The church parking lot is full, young families fill both restaurants by midday in town. The yards near the barns are quiet. Even the cows seem to relax, not move from place to place in a seemingly random manner as seems to be their habit during the week. Before the family went to church and on to the restaurant, or the neighbors they piled hay high to be enjoyed at their leisure and they seem to know it.
We have stayed a night in Independence, the place of the fateful failed surgery and successful replacement of La Coachasita’s transmission last year. It is warm, yet the wind was a sustained 25 mph at the Lake. We stay the night this time and not two weeks as before.
The weather may hold for another few days in that it will be dry but it will remain windy. We are in beautiful Blue Eye Missouri tonight and then on into Tennessee, passing through the very far eastern corner of Arkansas on the way. Rain is inevitable and the troublesome storms and tornadoes are facts of life here. There are warnings tonight and a few thunder showers. It was 80 today. It will be 45 tonight as the front passes.That's fine. It’s expected.
The route takes me through Commerce Oklahoma the birthplace of the late Mickey Mantle. There is an excellent sculpture of him in front of the baseball complex there. He left as a teenager and went up the road to Independence where he paid his first professional game.
The quiet of this year is significant. Whether is it the price of gas or just early, there are fewer out here. It will be interesting to see if it continues. Easter is coming, vacations for schools. I am glad the 346.5 miles f Kansas is now a memory. I enjoyed the peace, the lack of traffic, the view of the farms and their people. It is enough.

And so it goes….


  1. I seem to be your lone traveling companion so far except for trusty old Santiago ("Jim"). Someone once said that the state tree of Kansas was the telephone pole. This same person stopped to read a marker where there seemed to be nothing and related that it said "Native prairie grass." I just remember wheat fields stretching away forever.

  2. P.S. - I seem to remember that Jim Ryun, the runner, was from Kansas. When his momma told him to run down to the store, man, he ran down to the store.

  3. I'm thinking traveling in Kansas during tornado season is, um, not a good idea? Yes, I read your April 26th post first. Stay well.

  4. I think tornado's in kansas last all summer, so you take your chances.