Fields of grain

Trip Start May 11, 2012
1
18
23
Trip End Jun 08, 2012


Loading Map
Map your own trip!
Map Options
Show trip route
Hide lines
shadow

Flag of United States  , Kansas
Tuesday, May 29, 2012

5/29/12 – We got up early today, but for some reason, we still didn't leave until 8:15 AM. Must have been the time we took to have breakfast. It was 54 degrees in Denver when we got on the road. This was a day for traveling. There is not much to see on I-70 through Colorado and Kansas, so we drove all the way to Salina. And we were told…it is NOT Salina (saleena), it is  Sal EYE na.   Learn something every day. Anyway, there was not much to take photos of that didn’t look like photos I had already taken, so I only have a few.  

The road eastward from Denver is flat with a capital F. And it boggles the mind that just a few miles west, the mountains rise to 15,000 feet, and again I was reminded of the pioneers and how they must have felt when they came over the horizon and saw, in front of them, the massive walls of gray rock standing as tall as the sky and as wide as the eye could see.

First we drove through ranches…grass and hay fields with grazing cattle eating their way to market, unaware of what was to come.  And later we found ourselves in farm country…miles and miles of cultivated fields, growing corn and oats and wheat and barley, with an occasional farmhouse sitting in the middle of a field. And I remembered hearing people say "my nearest neighbor is 3 miles away" and I saw what they meant. Each was the master of their universe, autonomous on the land on which they lived and worked.  

The highway was our biggest challenge for the first 100 miles. This section of road  east of Denver on I-70 is infamous for the deep grooves carved into the pavement…parallel lines pointing in the same direction as we drove. And the car swerved left and right and left and the tires sang a shrill song, and I read on the internet of this section of road, where accidents are plentiful and complaints abound. And when we left Colorado, we left the grooves behind.

As we drove along, we saw grain elevators rising up from the fields every mile or two. And we saw an occasional stand of trees, and John Deere tractors, and corn fields all of bright green, painted against the bright golden fields of grain. And I thought how nature has a way of putting together colors that compliment each other so beautifully.  I was reminded of a Loden coat that I had in college, gold wool with a dark green bias around the collar, lapels, and down the front edges.  Life imitating nature?

Just before we crossed the line into Kansas, we saw a house by the roadside. It was abandoned and falling to ruin…where someone once lived and worked the land that surrounded it. And further down the road we saw a large prison in Burlington, CO…turns out to be the Kit Carson Correctional Center. Kit Carson still lives today.

At 10:35 AM we crossed into Kansas. And the fields of grain continued on for the entire ride to Salina. The Bread Basket of the US, also called the Grain Belt. And if driving down this road is any indication of what is out there in the rest of Kansas, the name is aptly applied.

About 50 miles before we got to Salina, we saw a windmill farm, thousands of windmills that went on for 25 miles. When I first saw windmills in California, I thought wow, those are kind of cool. And when I saw them on the mountain ridges leaving the desert into Bakersfield, I thought, good place for them. But after today, I understand why people feel that they mar the landscape. As sleek and balletic as they appear, too much of a good thing may cross the line. I understand the complaints, now that I have seen them up close.

We arrived in Salina at 4 PM, central time. A nice meal at a local Italian restaurant and we settled in for a good night’s sleep.
Slideshow Report as Spam

Use this image in your site

Copy and paste this html: