Thursday, October 13, 2016

Road Trip out West Day 4: Kansas

Tallgrass Pairire National Preserve 
We woke up early to raindrops on the tent, quite heavy at times. We timed our campsite breakdown perfectly during a break in the storm and we were off on what is supposed to be the most uninteresting day of driving for the trip. Turns out if you make the effort, get off the interstate and get out in search, there will be something to see, even while making great ground across the big flat state of tiny towns, hay bales and oil wells. 

Heading south for 30 miles or so to the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, an area reserving the small remaining natural strawling grasses of the plains which once spanned for thousands of miles across middle America. Comprising of a preserved homestead and a large expanse of the rolling tall grasses and a information centre, when it was raining we hung out inside, and when there was another break, we opted to take a walk out into the hills, dodging raindrops at times. It was so peaceful, free and wild. The weather added some extra flare over the morning with some very dramatic formations. 

From there, we drove along a local road heading west. Passing occasionally through a small town or past farm houses, it offered a far more relaxed driving experience, but still ticking off the distance, only with occasional slowdowns to pass through a town or make a stop at a stop sign. Little real existence of life was seen. But passing a Mexican food truck in a sleepy town, we were blown away with the freshest and tastiest lunch ever. Whether he had few customers or was just incredibly friendly, he seemed to fuss over us so much. We were just extremely happy to be eating some fresh, healthy food and support a small business. 

You know there was a "Do Not Climb" sign
Making another detour to the Monument Rocks Chalk Pyramids, it was a bit difficult to find. Seems a bit bizarre, across a seemingly completely flat landscape. However this terrain was more on undulating with dry river gullies. Eventually coming upon the Monument Rocks, a few large outcroppings of sandy clay. Just poking right up in a completely barren state among brush and scrub. A geological treasure, we wandered around in the now steamy plains warmth, poked at fossils and once again just enjoyed the serene beauty. 

Pretending to paint
With a bit more driving and eventually rejoining with the stampede along I-70, we stopped in Goodland, Kansas. Though not quite to Colorado, its just on the boarded and surprisingly into Mountian Standard Time, unlike the rest of Kansas. We put up our tent, and decided to explore the town a bit. We had a unique small town dive bar dinner, including Buds to drink and chicken, biscuits and gravy to eat, with Americana decorations wall to wall. We couldn't stop looking around. Also, somewhat seemingly out of place, there was a huge canvas and easel with the famous sunflowers painting by Vincent Van Gogh. Strange place. 

The RX7 finding beauty in Kansas

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