The Hungry Wanderers

Eating and exploring our way through the world

A Mile High Post

Posted by gingerbreadpirate on May 12, 2010

IMG_9071Across the lackluster plains of Kansas today, we mired through the miserable repetition.  It took forever, but we made it.  Kansas took forever to get through.  From Topeka to Denver, the drive is over 500 miles, without a single city with a building over four stories to break up the drive.  The drive to the Colorado boarder alone is 350 miles.

Actually, while the drive is long and monotonous, but it does have its upsides, and the misery of the trip is greatly overrated.  To start with, the landscape is not nearly as featureless as others might have you believe.  While it’s true that it is mile after mile… after mile of farmland, it’s not all uniform.  There are grain elevators and all sorts of crops, of which corn was actually not that prevalent.  I still love corn, in fact.  There were also plenty of animals, from cattle to antelope along the entire trip.  The terrain goes from flat plains through mild hills to high plains.  Deciduous trees appear and disappear and new evergreens reappear.  While the drive was long and tedious, at no time did I feel “defeated” by I-70. 

IMG_9000On the topic of I-70 in Kansas, here are a couple notes to keep in mind.  First, a good portion of it was a toll road.  That just frustrates me when a sizeable section of a “freeway” is a toll road, with no other viable alternative, as far as we could tell.  What are my federal tax dollars going toward, again?  Second, the entire state is almost completely uphill.  The elevation of Kansas City is 750 feet, while the elevation of Goodland, KS is almost 3,700 feet.  As you drive along, you begin to feel compassion for salmon swimming upstream.  There’s nothing you can do about it and you don’t have a choice, unless you want to stay in Kansas. 

The day started with heavy fog, which got heavier throughout the morning.  At some points, the fog was so thick that we needed to reduce speed to feel comfortable.  The REALLY thick fog only lasted a little while, but it was significant.  Eventually, the weather cleared up and we just kept heading along. 

IMG_8896Aside from the terrain, though, Kansas had several wonderfully eccentric sights to see, but we had no time to see them!  The Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library in Abilene.  Fort Riley and Marshall Field, home of the First Infantry Division.   The world’s largest prairie dog.   We even passed the Harry S. Truman’s Presidential Library in Independence, Missouri.  Too much to see and not nearly enough time to see it. 

As the miles rolled by, and we tried to stay on schedule, we stopped for gas and finished our book on CD.  The book was great.  Finally, we reached Denver; a truly welcome site.  As we reached Denver, the weather was getting crummy again.  We took some pictures of downtown, just before the snow started to fall.

IMG_9087 The weather has been up and down tonight, going from low visibility and heavy snow to no snow and much better visibility.  Hopefully, the weather holds up long enough to allow us to get out tomorrow.  Unfortunately, however, we’ll be heading right into the mountains as we cruise on.  We’ll see where it all goes. 

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