Thursday, November 09, 2006

The flat, flat, flatness that is Kansas

It is 555 miles from here to there. It's a long, flaaaaaaaaat drive. Occasionally we'd see a hill ahead and I would claim it as a hill while Eric would claim it as a tunnel for a train. Damn him! He was always right. Seems thar ain't no hills but whuts been made fer passin' the trains through!

"How flat was it?" You, who have callously flown over Kansas in all it's flat glory, ask.

This flat:

Wait, that rolling swell of land had a train tunnel under it.

This flat.

And empty. Very few vehicles on it. Well, except for that po-lice officer....

Did you know that the speed limit in I-70 is 70 mph? Yes, yes it's true. Now that you have stopped gaping, trust me: I felt the same. Especially after E got that $132 ticket for doing 86 in a 70. Were we the only people scoffing at the speed limits way out in the middle of Nowhere, Kansas? Not hardly. However, we were sporting conspicuously out of state plates. Damn us for living in Colorado! Somewhere west of Hays, KS, we were pulled over. Sadness ensued. However, I did take the opportunity to take this picture.
What else was I to do? Besides, it was the first water I'd noticed the whole way across. I did notice many other things which, of course, I will share with you now.

BTW, I kicked myself for many miles that I didn't take the camera in the car with me and had instead packed it in the trunk. I had to wait for a first rest stop after having seen something cool to shoot zip by us at speeds exceeding 70 mph.

Some of the things I saw included very nice old cars, some in good shape and some in bad shape:
I liked the juxtaposition between the old truck on top, the very old truck on the bottom and the hard to see new car in front. All on the bed of the transport truck.

This was pretty.

Then there were the signs. When you have hundreds and hundreds of miles to go and nothing to look at, the ordinary takes on the air of the extraordinary. I'm afraid there will be much snickering at Kansas ahead, be prepared....

If you live here, I'm sorry!

There's one thing to be known as a cow town. It's entirely another to take it for your name! Aiee!

We were very excited to see this sign after hundreds of miles (Daaaamn! Colorado is big!):
Which was immediately followed by this one:
Get your own name! What does it say about your state that they can't come up with a new and unique border town name? It's so...sad! There isn't a Kanourri on the other side, is there? And yes, I do believe Missouri was just being a copy cat when they named their border town Kansas City. Right next to...Kansas City, KS.

Here's one that Eric liked because it was a swear word in Firefly. Well, it is if you pronounce it correctly!
This one points to the problem with not getting out enough in Kansas.
That's an anteater in case you can't tell with the sun flare on it. If you live in KS and you don't recognize an anteater, you need to go to the zoo more. Read more books. Watch a little Discovery channel. Now, if you do have aliens in Rolling Hills, I expect to see giant green heads with almond shaped black eyes. A little three fingered-ness, maybe. Not an anteater!

And then there was a whole category of signs that need to be lumped together: the Religious Signs. Unfortunately, I was driving and Eric had the camera at the point where they stopped being unusual and started being every few dozen miles. The big claim to fame:
Bet you didn't know the Garden of Eden was in Kansas! Me neither!

The more common religious signs were like this one:
Followed by many signs asking you to Trust In Jesus. They weren't messing around! They wanted you to know, right up front, that Kansas Thinks Abortion is Bad. I was disappointed that there were no signs that mentioned Abusing Your Unwanted Children is Bad, too. Funny, that!

This, however was my personal favorite sign. A sign that shows that perhaps there's still intelligent life in Kansas, despite the previous signs:

In case you're wondering, it's not all flat, flat, flatness and signage east of Colorado. There are also giant Feedlots of Doom.
A sad sight. Nothing but large paddocks filled with cattle waiting to be fattened up and slaughtered.

There was cuteness on the ride, though. We brought it with us.
She found a new friend in Kansas. Colby, KS to be exact.
Gorillas. They're cuddly!

The rest of the story will have to wait until tomorrow.

"You mean there's more?"

But of course! The excitement never ends! Cakes red like blood, shopping, This American Life, MST3K, twins, Caitlin makes another friend (human this time), and deep thoughts. Lots more!



Missy said...

Should you ever decide to visit our fair state again, I might suggest coming out in August. HUGE fields of sunflowers really help break up all the flat. It does get brutally boring west of the flint hills here. Although I will take flat western Kansas over Utah west of Salt Lake ANY TIME. All that brown and flat..Oy.

Woman with a Hatchet said...

Do you have that thing that I've heard about?

I think you call it "humidity"? If you do, I'll just have to wait until it goes away again.

Although I have to tell you, a little visit with a police officer cured my boredom right up!


Missy said...

Well I guess there is that humidity thing, which does tend to be at it's most oppressive during that particular time of the year.

You probably made that police officer's day. I'll bet he only sees three or four cars a day!

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