Many people talk about how bad the drive from the front range of Colorado, back east to the midwest is. So I decided to take that route on my way home after a week of skiing. I normally go through Nebraska and Wyoming when I go to the mountains because there's some friends in Cheyenne, WY that I always stop to see. So I've never taken the infamous I-70 route that crosses the entire state of Kansas.
When I think of Kansas, all that really comes to mind is cows, wind farms, golden prairies, and cows. And honestly that's what Kansas is home to. On my trip home, I was in no hurry to get back and I just wanted to take my time crossing the so called, most "boring" state. Yeah, it was pretty boring at first. It was a cloudy day and the rain that I was driving through eventually turned into snow. I made a couple stops at the roadside rest stops to refuel on coffee and road trip snacks that you instantly regret eating. But I was taking my time and trying to take in all of what Kansas had to offer. Which honestly, wasn't much. The small farming towns along I-70 were fairly empty except for the diner's. I didn't go in any of them, but I could only imagine the conversations that were going on in there between the highly caffeinated old men: "Sure is windy out there today" or something like "Wish it would warm up a bit" You know, the kind of conversations that really matter.
I wasn't planning on driving straight through because I had to be in Kansas City the next afternoon to pick up my brother from the airport. So I was really in no hurry to get back since I had plenty of time. I drove about half way through the state and pulled off the highway to find a place to stop and sleep for the night. I first went to a state park that was by a lake to try and find a place to park, but the gate had already been closed for the night. So I turned around and headed back towards the highway. Just a few miles from I-70 I found a little pull off at a four way stop. It was dark so I couldn't see much, but it felt like I was in the middle of no where. No lights for many miles, no cars where passing by. It was just me and sound of the light wind blowing through the prairie grass. I crawled in the back and went to sleep.
I woke the next morning to the truck shaking from the fierce wind. I crawled out and started making coffee. There wasn't much around. All I could see for miles was the rolling hills that were a bright golden color that lead to the blue sky. Once the coffee was ready, I got back in the truck and read for a bit, as I still had time to kill before I had to start heading back east. After taking a slow morning, I packed up and decided to drive down to the lake that I was seeing signs for the night before. It was a fairly pretty lake, especially for Kansas. The water was dark blue that really made the golden hills pop. There was no one in sight. I drove around the lake for a bit wondering if any one ever comes out here? It was defiently a peaceful place though. I drove through a campground that seemed to be deserted, but I'm sure it was just the weathered look that it acquired from the long winter months. I turned around and headed back to the highway.
Kansas really isn't that bad. Yeah, there's not much to see while you're on the highway, but if you have the time to go off the beaten path a bit, I don't think you'll be disappointed. And that could go for anything, really. Not just being in Kansas. Going off the beaten path leads you to the unexpected and new experiences. Take your time and slow down. There's a lot to be seen even in the most boring of places.
Shot on 35mm film.