June 19th, 2002
Day 63

Start: Denver, CO
Finish: Salina, KS


Miles Today: 454
Miles to Date: 6176
Trooper Mileage: 175097

Like I said, I started driving at about 3:30 in the morning. I went until almost 5:00, just before the break of dawn, then pulled over into a truck stop where I stretched across the front seats of the trooper and slept for about 2 hours. There seemed to be a lot of people sleeping in cars there, so I figured it was a perfectly acceptable thing to do. I woke up when the sun started to shine in my eyes.

I was still in eastern Colorado at this point - very flat, very boring landscape. I finally crossed over into Kansas and continued to drive until about 11:30, at which time I pulled into a rest stop, found the only available shady spot to park in, and napped for another hour or so.

Corn field in west KansasI was wakened this time by the heat and the sweat trickling down my neck. The sun had shifted, and so had my little spot of shade. I was reasonably refreshed, so I took this picture and continued on.

This was about the flattest spot in Kansas that I went through. Contrary to popular opinion, Kansas is not all that flat. That particular honor goes to Nebraska, from what I hear. I was throufh Nebraska in January 1975, and as I recall, it really was FLAT.

Actually, a lot of Kansas is quite attractive. Much of it is rolling hills, covered with farm fields, interspersed with tree-lined stream beds and small wooded areas. Certainly not the dramatic geologic formations of the more westerly states, but it was sure a lot easier to pick up radio stations, and the cell phone coverage was remarkably good.

Kansas rolling hillsIn the late afternoon I pulled into Salina, Kansas, a reasonably sized town with a local university presence which gave it some life. Some of the local signs, however, reminded me that I was unmistakably smack-dab in the middle of the Bible Belt. Regardless, I found another motel with reasonable rates ($30) and comfortable rooms, and managed to pass the night and morning without being struck by lightning or turned into a pillar of salt. I even managed to get out for a beer. Kansas, evidently, is not as dry as it was 25 years ago. They even have a state lottery now. Look out, Vegas.