Saturday, April 25, 2009

Three days to cross to Colorado!

    By the grace of God and good weather, I avoided any disasters and made it to Boulder, CO, by 7:30 p.m. on Friday! The shot to the left is the early a.m. capture of Missouri - as you can see I pretty much had the highway to myself.
   I had a very near miss of an accident in Kansas. That state is so long and such a dull drive that I believe the driver on the other side of the highway who shot off into the median, spun around twice and stopped within feet of where I was traveling (at over 70 mph) on the other side, may have fallen asleep. As I sped through the dust cloud his accident created, I wondered briefly if I should stop and see what caused it. But as a single woman traveling alone, considering the possibility that my stopping could also cause an accident and not knowing who was in the other car, I decided discretion was the better part of valor and I drove on.
   Still, the suddenness of it all, the realization that any number of outcomes could have been disastrous for all concerned made me realize again how tentative a hold we all have. Did it slow me down? Not at all. But it did make me pay closer attention to the oncoming traffic.
   This historical marker at one of the rest stops pointed out that Fort Riley has been a military stop since Kansas was first opened up and it is a huge Army operation today.
   With more time I would have liked to stop to see the Custer museum. Talk about someone who was unwilling to listen to reason! And in conversation with my son as I was taking my rest stops, we both concluded that if the Europeans coming to this country had been "honorable" with the native dwellers, the outcome of history could have been very different.
   Kansas, as seen from I-70, is not what Kansas is all about I am certain. But to visitors to the US, this has to look like acres and acres of nothingness abandoned because of the constant wind and dryness. The wind was really ripping on Thursday - about 35-40 m.p.h on average - during the first five hours of driving. Later on, well past Topeka, it lightened up to gusts up to 25 m.p.h. It was hard to drive with such high winds crossing the highway, and it required a lot of attention on many levels. By the time I reached Colby, KS, I was ready to take a long break. Thankfully they had a NebulaDeer coffee place (originated in Seattle, you really do know the name of it but I'm not giving them free advertising here) and I took a good half hour to talk to my family and special friend while sitting in a comfy chair and sipping a latte.
   It was all I needed to convince me that I could make the remaining 185 miles to Boulder, CO. Feeling refreshed and fueled up, I started out and the winds were now minimal and more southeasterly so I had a bit of a push. I actually got over 26 m.p.g. for that last bit! 
   Soon I was passing Stapleton (Denver International Airport) and had the Front Range well in sight! I arrived at my younger daughter's home by 7:30 p.m. making it a 12-hour 'work' day for me, and completing over 1500 miles in three days. I have had the joy of seeing the country from a different route (I have driven I-40 several times.) and accomplished my goal of doing it alone. Not as much fun as sharing it with someone, but better than just sitting at home wishing things were different. Message to my readers: if you want your life to be different than what it is, take some action - any action - and see what happens. It really is all about the journey.

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