06
Sep
13

9.6.13 … Go West … (And don’t miss the world’s largest prairie dog … I did) …

9.6.13, I 70, Columbia MO to Boulder CO: 

Last night I noticed there was an entire crew of  “apple picker” trucks for an electrical company in my motel parking lot.  I thought to myself, “Well, I have some strong men staying at my hotel.” This morning they were all eating breakfast in their  bright yellowy green shirts, and I asked them if  I missed a disaster.  They responded they were just in town on a project.  I was I was glad it was not a natural disaster. 
 
IMG_8006 IMG_8008
I left  Columbia at 6:20 AM … at mile marker 113 I  immediately crossed a river.  On the other side was  HEAVY fog.  Bad sign … 
 
From the interstate, I notice Katy Trail State Park, a train overpass, and wonder if it is a park made in the rail bed.  I’ll keep this one in mind …

Interested in a half-hour stroll or a five-day bicycle journey across most of the state? Whatever you prefer, Katy Trail State Park can be your answer. The park is the nation’s longest rails-to-trails project, stretching from the Machens to Clinton. There’s enough variety to keep you interested with tree-shaded areas, open fields, impressive Missouri River bluffs and quaint communities along the way. With frequent trailheads and information about the areas you are visiting, the Katy has enough diversity, beauty and access for anyone.

via Katy Trail State Park | Missouri State Parks.

 
Yesterday, I noticed how hilly and green with trees Missouri was between Columbia and St. Louis. Quickly after Columbia, the heavy tree foliage disappeared, although it is still green and rolling.
 
I smile whenever I see cell towers. I know otherwise I would not be able to communicate. I saw the sun rise in my rear view mirror, a nice bookend to yesterday’s sunset.  At mile marker 83 on I 70 in Kansas I hit the 1000 mile mark on my journey.
 
IMG_8014
 
It’s getting flatter.
 
Memories from traveling with my 3 …
 
Who makes the red tractors?
Who makes the green tractors?
It makes the orange tractors?
Who makes the yellow equipment?
 
 
Now if I were really making this a fun trip, I would have stopped at the Truman  library and home.

The Harry S. Truman Library, the first Presidential Library to be created under the provisions of the 1955 Presidential Libraries Act, was established to preserve the papers, books, and other historical materials relating to former President Harry S. Truman and to make them available to the people in a place suitable for exhibit and research. The Library building, which cost $1,750,000, was built by the Harry S. Truman Library Inc., a private corporation, with funds donated by more than 17,000 individuals and organizations from all parts of the country. The building and Mr. Truman’s Presidential papers were transferred to the Government at a dedication ceremony held on July 6, 1957, and attended by Government officials of both parties. Chief Justice Earl Warren delivered the principal address.

The Library, located in Independence, Missouri, President Truman’s hometown, crowns a knoll facing U.S. Highway 24 on land donated by the City of Independence. In 1968 and 1980 additions to the building were completed at a cost of $310,000 and $2,800,000, respectively. The present Library building, which is a one-story full basement structure, is roughly circular in configuration. The total floor space is about 100,000 square feet. The building contains stack areas for the storage of manuscripts, books, and audiovisual materials, a research room, staff offices, an auditorium, conference and seminar rooms and museum exhibit and storage areas. President and Mrs. Truman are buried in the courtyard, as are their only child, Margaret Truman Daniel, and her husband, Clifton Daniel.

via Truman Library History.

 
Kansas City
I found morning rush-hour traffic in Kansas City 😦
 
 Just drove by the Kansas City Royals Stadium. If I were Edward,  I would take a picture of it however it is rush-hour traffic. At this vantage point, I could see Kansas City in the distance.
 
Kansas City is generally an old looking city.  Although the newest building is its modern newspaper headquarters …  I think that is kind of ironic.  What is amazing is the road infrastructure that is surrounds downtown …  bridges and overpasses in a spaghetti Junction,  like Atlanta,  but right in the downtown area. I noticed a  big U-Haul building and wondered if it was  headquartered here. On the other side was an old, old downtown, an industrial downtown.  Given the infrastructure, spaghetti Junction like nature of the highway system,  and circling downtown, I find this city amazing … As I was leaving downtown I looked up and I saw what  looked like and  an Eastern Orthodox Church.
 
I  now entered Kansas, great home of Dwight Eisenhower
 
Over on my left,  rail yards.
 
Kansas City to Topeka
 
Well the first mile marker I noticed in Kansas was 420. I fear that means I have 420 miles. I think I’m going to be wishing that I wasn’t in Kansas anymore.
 
Fort Leavenworth … what happens there?  Federal prison? Also little did I know but I was now entering the Kansas Turnpike. I wondered what the speed limit was going to be on the turnpike?  Whoa … 75 mph which means most people will be driving 80 mph. And honestly, I do not like driving 80 …
 
I pass Historic Lecompton territorial capital, and the University of Kansas.
Definitely getting very flat and farmland, there still is some slight rolling nature to the land. Slight.
 
You may have noticed before but I really do love water towers, and there are lots of water towers in the Midwest especially Kansas. Also, my car which was spotless when I left North Carolina is unbelievably filthy. It’s like I’ve been in in the harsh winter in Chicago …  It is much more dusty in Missouri and Kansas than in the Southeast.
 
Topeka
The capital was encased in scaffolding so I assumed they were redoing the dome. I saw Bank of America watching out over me as well as another old AT&T. That’s interesting because the AT&T building was also significant in Kansas City. I assumed that I would have very good AT&T coverage in the Midwest. 🙂 (BAd assumption … )
 
Hummer sports barn: I wondered if that’s for the hummer car which in 2013 definitely an anachronism.
 
Not much going on in Topeka … continued on my way….
 
Topeka to Junction City
 
It’s definitely farming country, and now I see huge rolls of hay/straw. In addition, I am amazed at  how rolling the topography is. When does it get completely flat?
 
Welcome to Flint Hills… So maybe it doesn’t get flat. Maybe that was just in my mind.
 
I saw signs for Kansas State in Manhattan, Kansas. How is assumed the term the name Manhattan had something to do with the local east coast Indians, but is it a Dutch word. Must be a Dutch word. So did the Dutch come to Kansas?

The name Manhattan derives from the word Manna-hata, as written in the 1609 logbook of Robert Juet, an officer on Henry Hudson’s yacht Halve Maen (Half Moon).[39] A 1610 map depicts the name as Manna-hata, twice, on both the west and east sides of the Mauritius River (later named the Hudson River). The word “Manhattan” has been translated as “island of many hills” from the Lenape language.[40]

via Manhattan – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

So it is Indian … why Manhattan, KS?

Well, a Stuckeys! I haven’t seen a Stuckey in years. This one has a Baskin-Robbins attached.   🙂
 
I stopped at a rest area.  I loved its historical markers:  one about …  one word BLUESTEM.  Three things caught my ateention … 1. Chester train tracks run right alongside I70 and 2. there’s an observation deck upstairs, and 3.  they have locks on the rolls of tp . (I never would’ve thought to steal the toilet tissue from a public rest area.)
IMG_8024
IMG_8030
 
IMG_8026  IMG_8027 
 
Who would have guessed, there’s an Oz museum! Maybe next trip!
 
Junction city 
Next up Oz, and there’s an Oz winery, as well. Does every state have wineries nowadays?
 
 
Barn. With these words:
No God… No peace
Know  God… know peace
 
Cows, And lots of them.
 
Wildflowers in Kansas look a lot more like weeds. With the exception of the brown-eyed Susans.
 
So I passed by the Future home of  “national bio  agro defense program”?

Future NBAF Site: Manhattan, Kansas

Proposed NBAF Site Location

The proposed site for locating the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) is on the Manhattan, Kansas, campus of Kansas State University, immediately adjacent to the Biosecurity Research Institute (BRI). The BRI is a $54 million research/education facility having biosafety level 3 (BSL-3), BSL-3 Enhanced (BSL-3E), and BSL-3 Agriculture (BSL-3Ag) state-of-the-art research space. The site also has proximity to the KSU School of Veterinary Medicine and the KSU College of Agriculture which includes the Department of Animal Science and Industry.

via Future NBAF Site: Manhattan, Kansas | Homeland Security.

I was  a little slow. I  realized that the State Highway numbers on the green exit signs have a brown-eyed Susan shape around them.
IMG_8032
 
I then saw a warning sign that said “CAUTION Wind Currents.”  Which is interesting because I was just thinking it felt kind of windy.
 
Next: Prairie research national area …

Konza Prairie Biological Station (KPBS) is located on a 3,487 hectare native tallgrass prairie preserve jointly owned by The Nature Conservancy and Kansas State University. The KPBS is located in the Flint Hills of northeastern Kansas (39°05’ N, 96°35’ W), a grassland region of steep-slopes overlain by shallow limestone soils unsuitable for cultivation.

The Flint Hills region encompasses over 1.6 million hectares extending throughout much of eastern Kansas from near the Kansas-Nebraska border south into northeastern Oklahoma,  and contains the largest remaining area of unplowed tallgrass prairie in North America. Hence, the vast majority of Konza Prairie, and the surrounding landscape, has not been plowed and retains its native characteristics.

KPBS is operated as a field research station by the KSU Division of Biology.  The station is dedicated to a three-fold mission of long-term ecological research, education, and prairie conservation.  It is a unique outdoor laboratory that provides opportunities for the study of tallgrass prairie ecosystems and for basic biological research on a wide range of taxa and processes.  The station is open to scientists and students from throughout the world.

via Konza Prairie Biological Station.

 
Speaking of prairies, when I look out this is definitely what I think the west looks like … WIND FARMS … big WIND FARMS!
 
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IMG_8045
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    IMG_8040 IMG_8048 IMG_8046
IMG_8039
IMG_8049
 
 
 
US Calvary Museum and Custer House. Another trip!

The U. S. Cavalry Museum is located in Fort Riley’s historic main post district. Originally constructed in 1855 for use as a hospital, the building was remodeled and became headquarters to the Cavalry and Light Artillery School in 1890. In 1957, the building was designated as home of the Cavalry Museum. Visitors enjoy exhibit galleries that take them on a historic tour of the cavalry’s history, from the Revolutionary War through inactivation in 1950.

via Geary County CVB – Official Website – U.S. Cavalry Museum.

 
The Eisenhower Center… Wonder what’s there. I like Ike!

“When this library is filled with documents, and scholars come here to probe into some of the facts of the past half century, I hope that they, as we today, are concerned primarily with the ideals, principles, and trends that provide guides to a free, rich, peaceful future in which all peoples can achieve ever-rising levels of human well-being.”

Speech at the Ground Breaking Ceremonies for the Library, October 13, 1959

via Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum.

 
 
Junction City to Abilene
 
Motor cycle going 80
Nicest McDonald’s, ever!
Greyhound hall of fame  – A Tribute to Man’s Best Friend

Learn more about greyhounds at the Greyhound Hall of Fame in Abilene, the “Greyhound Capital of the World.” See interesting displays of greyhounds from ancient times to the present.

Here you will be greeted by our resident greyhounds, both retired racers. These greyhounds only chase after your heart and affection. Meeting a greyhound close up and personal will prepare you for an experience like no other. Walk through a story book of history and heroes.

via Greyhound Hall of Fame – Abilene, Kansas.

 
Abilene
Russell Stover
 
Siri doesn’t work … 😦
 
Second friendliest yarn store in the world in Salina ?  Really?

Yarns Sold and Told opened in 2005 and is known as the “2nd friendliest yarn store in the universe.” Come in to see why that is true! We have an active social stitching group on Tuesday afternoons and late Wednesday afternoons/evenings. Yarns is a Ravelry-friendly store. We have recently added Marilyn Parker as a new store owner.

via Yarn Hop | Yarns Sold and Told.

 
Salina
 
No Siri in Kansas. As soon as I entered Colorado it began to work again.
 
… Colorado, FINALLY not in Kansas anymore … 
 
IMG_8050 IMG_8055 IMG_8053 IMG_8051_2
 
Although there’s really no reason that I could tell, but there was an immediate change in CO.   The landscape became  dotted by evergreens, big ones for trees along the side of the road.   I did not see any in the last half of Kansas. I am now less than 10 miles into Colorado.
 
Burlington Colorado … very big prison
 
Darn it looks like Kansas again…
 
But at least Siri was  working…
 
Fences and telephone poles or electrical poles, old-fashioned looking ones that look like crosses.  I don’t think I have seen those in a long time or at least noticed them in a  long time.  They make a straight a, line cross the landscape.
 
Just saw a sign for a “living snow fences. ” What do you think of living snow fences?
 
Once i was near Peoria, I had a sense of  blessed relief I see some trees again for the first time in quite a while, other than the  living snow fences.
 
At one point I thought I could see the mountains about 40 miles outside Denver.  But then they were no longer visible.   I wondered if I just turned in a direction away from them. Very strange I am at exit 316, Byers CO.
 
As I traveled it seemed odd to me that I did not  see many modern farmhouse. I repeatedly saw abandoned farmhouses and barns, but very rarely a modern farmhouse. Where do the farmers live?
 
I finally began  to see signs of the city. I just saw a huge junkyard. But right next it were beautiful farms and barns. The landscape of Colorado never ceases to amaze me. I am 39 miles from Denver.
 
What’s the John Denver song about clouds?
Look at clothes from both sides  now…
 
AS I approached Strasburg CO,  all of a sudden I saw  neighborhoods and housing developments;  this was the first time since Kansas City and I haven’t really seen a large development, yet.  Of course,  right next to the  highway is a KOA which reminds me of the undercover boss episode. 🙂
I  saw a big billboard for  Rocky Mountain Seier services. To be honest I would not have thought that if you were seeking seier services you would respond to a billboard.
 
When you are 23 miles outside of a major city on the East Coast you do not see a single house plopped on a huge expense plan and nothing else. So this, the surrounding area to Denver,  never ceases to amaze me. Also I can now really see the mountains are covered in a haze but I can see the them …  I just loved that.
 
What looks like a really big church out in the middle of nowhere. It exit looks like a medieval European monastery. Check and see what that is. My marker 294 I am at 98,000 426 at 4:50 PM
 
An  airport park …  I must be near the airport …  And I am near the airport.
It is unbelievably hot and hazy I just checked the weather and it will be in the 90s through early next week and then it will drop 20° to the high 70s.
 
And after another long day … 12+ hours … I made it to Boulder.

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