Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Crossing Kansas

We've completed another leg on our journey, and Paul is holding up really well. This is especially important when traveling with me. I made sure to book the motel last night. We know from experinece that we need a clear destination at the start of the day rather than trying to decide when to stop at the end of the day.

The problem is that I am a generalist. I thought we should go about 500 miles today so I booked a motel in Liberal, Ks. We have stayed in Liberal before, so are familiar with the motels, etc. So, when Paul asked me just how far Liberal was, I really did not know for sure, but we figured it out once we got here. (580 miles somehow seems a lot farther than 500 miles.)

I like Kansas. We actually lived in Topeka, Ks from the time I was about 18 months old until I was about 5. My father's first call in the ministry was to Kansas, and he and my mother married and lived for the first few years of their marriage in McFarland, Ks. My father then became a chaplian in WWII, and served in the army in the Pacific for several years. We moved to Topeka when he came back from the service.

I am always amazed to see the oil rigs pumping away out in those Kansas fields, and I love watching the hawks. There are a lot of hawks. We took Highway 54 all the way from Jefferson City, MO to Liberal, KS. It is a great road, and we had very light traffic. Still, after passing a fair amount of traffic going east, but seeing very little going in the direction we were going (west), I asked Paul if he thought those people knew something that we did not!

We travel through many small towns taking the roads we do, so we like to eat at local diners. Today's find was a real winner. Great food, modest prices, a cheerful waitress. We already knew to expect good things.We have a fail proof system. As we pass eating places we count the pickup trucks parked outside. We saw one cafe that looked interesting, but saw five cars and no pickups, so we kept going. We were rewarded for our patience with our winner, fully five pickups on one side and two more around the corner. Only one car besides ours.

There is a wonderful book called, Blue Highways, where the author tells of his trip on the backroads of  this great country. He, too, liked local diners, and he would rank each one by how many of the businesses in town had their calandars hanging there. He figured a 4 or 5 calandar restaurant had to be good or the locals would not bring their advertising. We usually count the calandars once inside (I forgot to do that today) but we prefer the pickup ranking system, because we already know before we go in that we have made a good choice.

The temperature hit 80 degrees today, so this trip is already a winner with me. We could not have had a nicer day to travel. I can't wait to see what tomorrow brings.


1 comment:

Diane said...

I'm hoping that everyone who is reading your blog is enjoying your trip as much as you are. I know I am! Especially enjoyed your "pick-up" method...Chuck and I do the same thing. You just can't go wrong with rednecks (I use it in a loving way here) when it comes to food.