Day Two: Free Land in Kansas
July 10, 2009
Yesterday, I drove across the prairie, and here’s what I thought...
1.) When I was 11, we moved to Colorado and I remembered my mom waking me up as we crossed the Mississippi so I could see the Arch. I didn’t really get why it was a big deal, but she kept saying it was the gateway to the west and we were headed west. I think in some weird way, she was trying to tell me we were almost there, but little did she know. She had never driven through Kansas.
2.) Kansas is long when you go straight across, and there ain’t a whole lot there. The camels were nowhere to be found. (Usually, they are just outside of Lawrence.) The fields were very green.
3.) In parts of Kansas (and Eastern CO), they give away free land. Can you imagine-- in 2008-- free land! The dream of the frontier is still alive. I thought of Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman in that movie I can never remember, but they go west and they fight for their land. And in Kansas, they just give it away. I’ll be darned if the American Dream isn’t still alive... it just takes a lot of driving to get there.
4.) I stayed in a town in Kansas where I was referred to this morning as “The Bicycle Lady” (because I had one on top of my car) and was also told that too many men ride bikes and there need to be more pictures of women in Moab riding. Well, the picture of me may not look too good, but I liked the sentiment.
5.) Denver still has a crapload of pollution and fog. I couldn’t even see the mountains until I was about five miles away from them. Still, right there, standing at the conversion of two distinctive places, the wonder of the mountains. It still makes me shake my head.
And finally, today, in Colorado with old friends and their new baby. It could not be more full circle from the place (and the self) I left here 15 years ago. Oh, and Boulder Beer’s Hazed and Infused was pretty good if you like a hoppy treat.
The new addition, Miss Amelia