On the road, on the road, on the road

posted in: Serendipity, Travel | 2

That's where I've been. And then my laptop (my primary computer for everything except book design and layout) spent a week at the Apple store in Denver (quite far from home) going through diagnostics. I have an even longer than usual backlog of posts, but figured I'd get at least some random photos from the road out here to share.

On my birthday, I drove across South Park, in the Rocky Mountains, which is one of my favorite landscapes on earth although part of the reason it still looks like this is that it's a pretty challenging place to live. This is the view to the southwest across South Park, from the road up to Kenosha Pass.

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On the way back through Denver on that trip, I stopped off at the 2 Million Dogs annual gathering, to support cancer research in canines and humans and the interactions between the two. (It took me a while to find the park, so I missed the march part of this year's event.)

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I was home for a few days (do laundry and bills, restock the car with food, pack the materials needed for the next piece of the schedule) and then headed for Kansas. I traveled by way of Denver, which is, indeed, on the way, and so I was able to do some errands. I caught sight of this bush full of birds when I was stopped at a light on York Street.

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I was on York Street all the way from north Denver to the center of the city because I managed to get off I-25 at the wrong exit. When I saw the birds, I was glad I'd taken the unplanned detour.

If life doesn't intervene too severely again, I'll have more to post about Kansas, but here's a view of one of the roads and the landscape.

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That's just south of Gove, Kansas, and I have stories and pictures of Gove to share soon. Population reports vary between 60 and a few more than 100. Including a mighty fine yarn shop. Discovering it got me off the interstate, and I'm a much happier traveler when I'm not on the interstate (which has its uses, although enjoying the trip isn't usually one of them).

Here's a historic marker at the only rest stop between the exit that led to Gove and . . . well, I don't know between where and where, because it was the only rest stop I saw between exit 93 and Wichita. The stop was, as I recall, at the intersection of Kansas 23 and Kansas 156. The sign gives some information about Beersheba, the first Jewish agricultural colony in Kansas.

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Traveling non-interstate roads gives a whole different picture of the surrounding territory. Even without much extra time or effort, bits of history pop up like this. I didn't have a clue before that Kansas is a location of major salt mines, which I passed on my way back west (also minimizing my time on the interstate, although by a different set of two-lane highways). Next time I come this way maybe I'll be able to take a tour of the underground museum.

I think I scribbled a note that the following display was on the west side of Mullinville, on highway 400. There was a lot more than I could get photos of: the lineup went around a corner and onto another road (this is looking west-northwest).

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Here's a closer view of what parts of the folk art assemblage looked like:

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I was, of course, running a little behind schedule, so I didn't have time to look closely at the items in the roadside show. And there were a LOT. I did pull over to take a couple of pictures and could see, even in my quick perusal, that some of the constructions are whimsical, while others feature political figures in strange ways. Later, I was able to locate information on the artist. He's M. T. Liggett, and he's controversial (not a surprise to discover): some of his imagery is charming and fanciful, some disturbing and potentially offensive (although an interview indicates that he doesn't see that latter component in what he's made).

This is definitely not the countryside seen from the interstate. And, while Kansas offers at most slightly rolling terrain and more frequently horizon-to-horizon-to-horizon-to-horizon unimpeded views, it's also potentially surprising. Especially if you get off the high-speed through-route.

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2 Responses

  1. Yes, the wacky fence-characature artist is near Mullinville. The politics are almost as interesting as the figures, but it is rural Kansas, after all! There’s actually some really rolling country south and east of there, and a great scenic highway (two lane, lightly traveled) to view it from. Welcome home to you and your laptop!

  2. I’m not entirely sure what Liggett’s politics *are*, except anti- just about everybody political. Although he’s far more negative than I would be, he may have a point, overall. . . .

    Northwest Kansas also has more variety of elevation than the center part of the state, although I didn’t have that possibility on my route this time. I did, on the return trip, pass through some of the Kansas Amish country, although I didn’t see any carriages (just the warning signs for them).

    Every place I go, I want to spend more time looking around!

    Thanks for the welcome home. It’s especially nice to have my laptop follow me here, even if six days behind me.

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