Posts tagged “Kansas

From a Passing Train

I’ve begun posting shots from my trip to LA, but I will back up a bit here. We took the Amtrak (that’s the passenger rail service here in the states, for those unfamiliar) out to the coast, a 48 hour trip from Chicago to Los Angeles’ Union Station. I took a few photos from the train, though I packed the wrong lens on my carry-on and was stuck with my wide angle the whole trip. Here’s what I managed to get.

Sunrise, Kansas.


A mountain in New Mexico



New Mexico village, late afternoon

Getting There

Step one of any vacation to some place is “getting there”.  It took us two and a bit days to drive across the Great Plains into the Rocky Mountains, two days of mind numbing Kansas and Missouri, which in retrospect were not as mind numbing as eastern Colorado, even Nebraska was more interesting than eastern Colorado.


I promised an arch, so here it is, the St. Louis Arch!

We didn’t stop to stare, since we were just passing through and only stopped long enough to refuel and take a potty break.  I also bought a Snickers bar while we were refueling.  While I didn’t really want one at the time I felt that it is always good to have a little bit of chocolate available at all times, you know, in case Dementors attack us or something.

Next we had to drive through Kansas, all of it.  The neat thing about Kansas is that as you go from east to west if you have an altimeter on your GPS (as most Garmin GPS offer these days) then you can watch as you climb from around 1000 feet about sea level to around 5 or 6000 feet.  Seriously.  That is the most exciting aspect of Kansas.

Well, and all the dead corn.  This year’s drought walloped Kansas farmers very hard and it was hard to drive past all those fields of dead corn with out thinking of all those people who are watching their livelihood wither in the harsh Kansas sun.  Missouri and Illinois farmers had it tough, but I think Kansas is where we saw the most stands of corn that were black and dead.

In the meantime nature offered us a spectacular sky full of ominous clouds, with out a drop of rain.

We camped our first night in Kansas at what might have possibly been the coolest campground of the whole trip.  Of course, I might just be biased in favor of it since I am a crazy cat lady!  There was a whole colony of cats living there, the proprietor of the camp ground said they got a lot of abandoned cats, so she rounded them up, fed them, had them neutered and kept them vaccinated while providing shelter but not making them into housecats.  TNR at work folks!

The darling little SweetPea decided she liked the looks of us and spent the whole evening at our site, once we had eaten dinner (and yes, I shared with her) she alternated sitting on my lap and my fathers.


Given that just a couple of days before I lost my dear Xerxes to carcinoma I was a more than a little grateful for a kitty to cuddle with.  Oh yeah, big part of the reason my blog has been so quiet as of late.  I wasn’t coping well with that.  I’m still not, though vacation helped quite a bit my home isn’t the same without his quiet, calm presence watching over it.  I plan on doing a memorial post for him once I can get up the gumption to go through all the photos of him and select a few to share with you all.

The next day we made it to Colorado and passed into the Rocky Mountains.  If I could live anywhere in the USA, it would be there.  We were greeted by more stormy skies, but it didn’t do more than drizzle on us for a few seconds.  Upon reaching a peak I looked out the window, and saw this arch.