Wichita to Denver

by Pat Todd on July 1, 2015

After an extraordinarily interesting lunch with Cynthia (including Brenda getting an autographed copy of her book, Incidental Finding, see prior post), we drove northwest on I-135 to Interstate 70 and west across Kansas to Denver.

It wasn’t as flat as I remembered it from 1963 driving from Oklahoma to Jamestown, Kansas. The Flint Hills on I-135 are low lying and verdant. I saw one oil well from Kansas City to Emporia; later, especially along route 70, there were a few scattered oil wells pumping. I saw only ONE farm house and barn along the highway all day. Occasionally a herd of black cows were huddled. The land on both sides for the 450 miles we traveled today was fenced with a low wire fence. There were only two windmill farms, granted there were a lot of windmills on each farm. And the road goes on and on and on to the horizon. The speed limit is 75; everyone, including the trucks, go 80. I traveled many sections of the road when there were no other cars around at 90 to 100 mph, without realizing it. It was 92 degrees when we left Emporia at 9:30 this morning. It was 102 degrees along route 70 by 5:30 this afternoon. Around 7:00 this evening, the sky was black straight ahead in the west, and the temperature dropped to 63 degrees. It was a challenge driving though the wind and the rain when we hit that storm. AND it was a challenge finding a place to have dinner. Every six to nine miles there was an exit for a “town.”  The towns were around huge grain elevators, or the grain elevators defined the towns. A knife and fork on the highway road sign beckoned, but that time, the only restaurant was closed, out of business. We finally found the I-70 Diner in Flagler, CO (population 561), just over the state line.

I wasn’t aware of a change in altitude. The landscape barely changed as we passed into Colorado. Unfortunately it was dark when we reached Denver, so I’ll have to wait until tomorrow morning to see the mountains.

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