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Pennsylvania's Most Interesting Blog

02 September 2007

Yes Dorothy, we WERE in Kansas...!

Our antique stop near Athol, KS. What a character. As he pointed out, it's too bad that we're not going to be in town NEXT weekend to get down with the "2nd Annual Great US-36 Highway 'Treasure Hunt': 400 Miles Across Kansas; Find Yard Sales Galore From Border to Border" event...

DAY FIVE: Fairbury, Nebraska to Torrington, Wyoming. Talk about tracing the paths of the pioneers. This is the heartland, the prairies, wide open spaces, the Oregon, California and Mormon Trails, you name it. We have lots and lots of stories to share but again are pretty pooped after a day out and about. And jeez this country is HUGE. Suffice it to say that this off-interstate thing is A-OK because you never know who you'll meet and the natural wonders you will experience. Today's route included a dip into and across nothern Kansas, to see the 'geographical center of the continental US', per the hot tip from our new friends at Cather & Friends Cafe and Bookstore in Red Cloud, NE (holla!). Suffice it to say that I'm looking forward to my new used copy of Willa Cather's "O! Pioneers" I bought today since I have now been ensconced in some of the land and environs--and have never read the book. Now I have no excuse.

"Yes, we know. Totally hot." (Red Cloud, NE)

Sunflowers and Kansas-can you have one without the other?

Time for some 'midwest campy' roadside attractions. Smack in the middle of the continental US.

Look quick! It's the little house on the prairie!

Nebraska is just 'plains' fun...

...and gorgeous.


and the landscape keeps on varying.

"K" took this sweet shot from the passenger side, taking a break from hours of working the wheel.

We drove into Torrington, WY tonight and let me tell you, there is NOTHING going on here on this Labor Day weekend Saturday night except bugs and the train whistle just outside our room. It's very ranch-quaint meets rugged frontier. Prior to rolling in we did see Chimney Rock National Monument from a distance (it's on the Nebraska side) and we tended to agree with the pioneer-days native American name for the formation as something to do with resembling elk genetalia instead of the place where the smoke blows out. Can't you just picture the Euroamerican pioneers writing back home that they'd spotted the giant phallic symbol on the Oregon Trail and that hopes and dreams for a better future were just around the bend?

It's after midnight (mountain time zone) so that's all for now. Tomorrow: up towards Yellowstone on US-26 N. We'll see how Madge takes the high elevations! Keep on commenting!


At 02 September, 2007 14:01, Blogger Kat said...

Hi Girls: I was out of town last week, so I missed the beginning of the fun! I am all caught up on the reading now and am loving every minute of the adventure!!!! Miss you, Lis.

At 02 September, 2007 19:23, Anonymous Denise said...

If you are going to venture into Yellowstone National Park be sure to check out the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. Very cool BUT brave me could not come close to the edge or umm, look but from a distance. I was okay "looking" at the pictures that James took though.

Say Hi to the buffalo!

At 04 September, 2007 00:56, Anonymous anne said...

Those Nebraska plains shots are so so gorgeous. W O W. So expansive and achingly beautiful! Merci merci. Tee hee, like the history- sidenotes.

At 06 September, 2007 10:45, Blogger Lisaopolis said...

Jan Brady: can't wait to see YOUR Yellowstone pics. We didn't make it up to the canyon this trip but would also love to go back there some time..servs


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