It’s day four of our cross-continental journey and we’re on the home stretch; we can feel it. There is a pressure now that was not present before. No one wants to stop at rest areas. No one needs to stretch for a few minutes. It is all go go go, let’s get this thing wrapped up once and for all.
Fortunately, the path we are on today is conducive to this sort of urgency, as today we traverse Kansas. No turning, no change of highway, none of that, just one straight dash across the Great Plains to our destination.
People say that Kansas lacks scenery but they are wrong. Kansas has lovely scenery, but only one of them. One scenery. Which repeats over and over as you travel the state.
There is a plain. Or a field, or a plowed field, but essentially there will be a big flat piece of earth, light brown grass or green field or occasionally, rich black exposed soil, with demarcations breaking the piece into various farmsteads and holdings.
There will be trees. A handful of them, and only in very specific places. No forests, just individual trees, here and there, dotting the land, often along the aforementioned demarcations between land parcels.
Most of the time there will be a random decoration: perhaps cows, or a farmhouse, or maybe even a wind turbine. But just as often, there is the big piece of earth with no decoration whatsoever.
And there will be sky. Oh my, so much sky. In Kansas one is always very open to the sky. You can’t help but sense just how big the sky really is, feel it reach up and up into the heavens, filled with beauty and openness but also foreboding. It is a very exposed feeling; just you, that huge looming sky, and a bunch of dirt.
As it happens, I like that scenery, a lot. Which is fortunate, since it is the only scenery available, not just in Kansas but into eastern Colorado too. This is the scenery for the entire day.
My wife thought it would be a good idea to buy audio books to help pass the time. Me, really, I’m fine with just music, but she was pretty excited about the idea, meaning it wasn’t long before we were in Barnes & Noble looking at the audio books.
I found one in the discount section that I’d heard about – “Shit My Dad Says“, which started as a Twitter feed and then became a short-lived TV show starring William Shatner. I was curious how one goes from writing a tweet to writing a TV show (hey, I write tweets!). But the decider was probably the fact that it was on discount.
I fed it into the CD player while in Kansas. It would have been better to read than to hear, the one voice actor read all of the parts (even the Mom) and it sometimes felt like your Dungeon Master trying to imitate everyone. Also, half of the words are “fuck” and the other half are “shit”. If that is a problem for you, please do not read this book.
But otherwise, pretty funny. A good way to zoom through America’s Breadbasket.
The weather coarsened as we traveled westward. From clear, to partly-cloudy, to all-the way-socked-in gray haze.
The partly-cloudy was the best. Giant swirly-top clouds flying in tight formation, like a wing of Seussian bombers with angry gray flat bottoms, all aligned with each other just so, all flying toward the designated target where they can unleash their cargo of moisture and energy.
The cats have leveled up and become veteran travelers. No more yowling, no more mewling. Mostly sleeping.
It helps that Yvonne has leveled up too, vastly improving her Ignore Cat Noise skill.
Our hotel this night is in Denver! Yay, we’re here! Except not entirely, we don’t actually move in to our new place for two days. The hotel we’ve selected is renovating, and our room is just freshly completed. Quite lovely too, very new and modern and still smelling faintly of fresh paint. Nice.
Except it is surrounded by the renovation process which apparently goes from 7AM to 7PM and consists of pounding on things with heavy tools, with intermittent periods where instead very loud motors are activated.
For twelve hours a day this is an amazing room for the price, and regardless of the other twelve hours, it is in Denver.
We are here.
Living in Denver.
Like real Denverites.
🙂 😀 🙂