Tuesday, August 30, 2011


I haven't written all summer, I have been visiting the grands and last week I made the trip to Colorado to visit my parents.  I haven't driven for several years because of the steep gas prices.  They dropped to the point it was cheaper to drive than to fly.  I also had access to my son's new car.  It gets very good gas mileage. I will have to preface this by saying, I love to drive.  (it also lets me take with me things I wouldn't be allowed to take on a plane.  Like an Apple pie for my father, made the evening before.)

I was very lax in taking pictures.  I wish I was younger and could drive long distances with leisure, but alas I can't.  I had to zoom out there before my driving stamina ran out.  I left St. Louis at 6:30 AM and arrived in the Western Denver Area at 8:00 PM St. Louis time. 

I have no idea why people say they get bored driving across Kansas.  When I make the drive I see the familiar, the sites I saw when I was 12 on my first trip west.  I find myself wondering what happened to the neat little motels and homes I saw on old highway 40.  It is surprising how much you can remember when you were young. 

Then I see new things.  The delight I felt seeing the wind farms west of Salina.  In Missouri there have been arguments windmills destroy the environment, polluting the visual.  All I could see was the energy being
 saved and the happy feeling it gave me seeing them turning in the breezes.  They looked like a giant had plopped pinwheels all over the prairie.  It was more like a modern art sculpture not an abomination to the senses.  It certainly wasn't like the visual assault of the power lines.

Several years ago when crossing Kansas I went under an overpass on the highway, when I came out on the other side, a field covered, for what seemed miles, with sunflowers in peek bloom.  I had no camera at that time.  It was an awesome sight stretching to the horizon. Other trips out have not rewarded me with the view.
This year the sun flowers were past their prime, seeing them brought back the Van Gogh moment.

The Flint Hills in Kansas.  If I could take an ideal road trip it would take me a week to get to Denver.  I would want to stop in the Flint Hills area and see the homes and fences, everything, even the museums.  I am not a lover of museums, but would love to see everything the area has to offer. Maybe it is because I was so enamored with the Laura Engals Wilder books when I was little.  I anxiously look forward to seeing the first Fence Post  I can spy on the trip.  The thoughts of how hard the people worked to survive, how they made a life for themselves, entertain me while I am driving.  Boredom has no room to invade.

Then there is Hays, Kansas.  It is a dusty cow town sitting in the middle of the prairie, but I found little treasures there.  First I fill up with gas, going to the Mc Donalds across the street.  For some reason The double Cheese Burgers there are better than any other Mc Donalds in the Nation.  Maybe it is because I am so tired at that point.  Then (and only once) did I take time to run a mile down the main street to a little strip mall.  In that strip mall was the most fabulous quilt/fabric store.  I know the people in the area must cherish her.  She was stuffed to the rafters with fabric.  There was the most fabulous collection of flannel fabrics. 

As you are getting close to the western border of Kansas there is a town where they have collected old buildings and reconstructed them.  You can see the display from the highway.  I have always wanted to stop there and see them. 

Another disappointment I have when I travel by car is I can't take time to stop and visit cemeteries. I am not a morbid person, but I love to see and read head stones.  I wish I could have photographed some of the wonderful stones I have seen.

Kansas has a wealth of unusual old farm houses which can be seen from the road.  Some have now fallen to disrepair to the point they will eventually be torn down, but there is one which fascinates me.  It is boarded up now.  It is perfectly square and two stories.  It is made of perfectly square blocks.  I can't tell if it is limestone or sandstone or flint rock.  It sits lonely in the middle of a field with it's out buildings.

I think it is when entering Colorado there is a touristy thing that I always wanted to do.  There is a "light house" type of building which advertises you can see 7 states from their windows.  I first saw it when I was 12 from the highway 40 side.  It is still there.  I wonder each time if I were to stop if it would be open.  It is very downtrodden looking.

After arriving in Denver I headed up the mountains to a "little village" called Evergreen.  I can remember 47 years ago when my husband and I toured the west, Highway 40 was only two lanes.  Your mind raced with the fantasies of what it was like to be a pioneer.  The area was still uninhabited, except for the occasional mine poking its head out from the side of the mountain.  The roads barely scared the surface and the trees and rocks were so close you could touch them.

Now Evergreen is a budding metropolis for tourist.  My sister lives on the hills above it.  she has a cabin with hardwood floors and a stone fireplace.  It is about 900 square feet.  she has electric and gas, but there is no plumbing.  The following pictures were taken the evening I visited.

I have no idea the flowers names, and I had no way to edit the pictures while I was there to make sure I had decent ones, and re-take them if necessary.

A small purple ASTER past it's prime.

A yellow daisy type

An unknown white flower

These I would know anywhere.  They are a wild snap dragon.  They could easily become my favorite flower.  The were so delicate.  The blossoms were only as big as the nail on my baby finger.

Last but not least, just as I was leaving, This pair popped up outside the back door next to the snap dragons.

I wish I had more to share and I should have taken time to literally smell the roses.  I need to plan an extra day each trip so I can take pictures of the sights I see.  Memories I can share with you.

If anyone knows the names of the flowers, please share.

Thank you for visiting.  I hope to be posting more often with pictures of fall in Missouri. (Maybe even pictures of a garden being reclaimed.)

For more blogs by me visit at:
A blog mostly about quilting, but cooking, poetry, prose and a little gardening

Not a garden blog.  There are articles which have nothing to do with creating or gardening. 
There are blogs on the new born baby kittens we found and are mothering.  It is a blog where I will sometimes voice my opinions which will always be environmentally friendly.
As always, any pictures or writings are my own, if not credit will be given to the contributor.
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