|Traveling US 50/56 across 500 "level" miles of the "bread basket of America"...Most of the country's wheat is grown in Kansas which means 50% of bread in America comes from these vast fields; don't forget beef...feed lots, cattle drives are prevalent, not to mention the fragrance-ha! I read where the feed lots,independently owned, and the slaughter houses employ 4,000-5,000 at any given time! How is that met? By hiring immigrants...there are jobs available for those who are willing to work less glamorously!
By observation mostly and a little reading, only the bi-coastal folks of the USA live lavishly. This is evidenced by the use of solar and wind power, homes built into earth banks to protect from the northerly winds, shopping that is distanced from communities, church activities remain a social outlet, generally more modest living etc. It is a wholesome but a physically tough life. Daily we are thankful for the blessings of our lives.
Dodge City is the notorious Wild West frontier. Cattle drives, buffalo hunting began here with seven million head of cattle being shipped out of here in one decade! Bat Masterson, Wyatt Earp, and Boot Hill remain a re-enacted part of history here. We enjoyed the re-created Front Street by taking a walking tour. Also, the NPS has preserved portions of the original Santa Fe trail ruts.
The Arkansas River served as the International boundary between Mexico and the US. The southwestern US continues to have a heavy "old" Spanish influence-remember Coronado? Return in your mind to those world history classes!
The weather radio alert system WORKS!! We went to bed knowing of the possibilities of tornado warnings in southwestern Kansas. 4 AM the radio alert siren sounds its alarm. Oh, great!!! Thankfully ,the storm was one county behind us. We're just gonna hoof it on through Kansas-not crazy about being caught in a tornado-there is no protection we can see. Get out the cheese, I'm whining. HUMIDITY-94%. Once exposed to dry air humidity is the pits; however, the color green is a beautiful result of humidity. Two nights in a row the NOAA radio alert siren sounds-flash flood warnings! Yikes-it is quite startling to be awaken this way. All in all glad we use it. It has rained cats and dogs for too many days now. There is nothing to do but wait it out. Distressing to me are wet areas where the slides(RV "rooms" that extend and retrack) track in over the living area carpet! If that's the least of our issues, we ill consider ourselves fortunate.
Now for a soap box stomp-I have not been able to shake an experience we witnessed at Mesa Verde. Two retired couples traveling together were in the middle of a self-centered coup in the visitor's center. One wife displayed tremors of some sort resulting in an unsteady gait. Her husband announced loudly that she was going on the cliff side tour(remember the one accessed by climbing hand over hand ladders?) because that is what HE wanted to do; stating that her physical issues were "upstairs". I can not express to you how enraged I felt; however, the wife did stand her ground somewhat. Thanks for listening; maybe I can let it go now. Corky just wanted to expedite my exit from the center before I conducted an "intervention". That is our first experience hearing such discord. Traveling in a "tin can" is not for everyone. You really have to like each other to make it work.
The goal is to mosey on over to Indiana. The coach is anxiously awaiting some warranty work. Happily, we will return to our family and old friends in the Tidewater Virginia area. Unhappily, we will not be having the warranty work done until May 17-boo hoo. This delays arriving home early! Such is life. Weather has prevented us from sight-seeing Kansas City and Independence, Mo again. Maybe our timing is off. I prefer to think of it as another trip to anticipate. Weather did NOT prevent us from searching out Bryant's Barbecue in the heart of downtown Kansas City. It was all and more as reported by "Road food". Corky was unable to finish a whole slab of dry rub ribs and I unable to finish a mountain high pulled pork sandwich. By the way, the bread for the sandwich is served on the side-good idea. Three secret sauces sit on each table-all are tasty. Me-I prefer sweet and hot! Magically, a lady appears with butcher paper to wrap up left overs. Yummy treats for tomorrow's lunch!
Friday night an unscheduled meeting of the board will take place-regroup necessary. The fun of living semi-spontaneously-ha! Sometimes I make myself laugh. Stay tuned for the minutes of the meeting. Until then...keep all your prayers and thoughts going upward for a northern Va. friend's good health. Love to all.