After a long hiatus from the road I’m shocked to find that while I’ve been hibernating, Spring has started to reveal itself. And Kansas seems to be a great place to take all of it in. The ground is spongy and the air is sticky. No wonder it’s such an agricultural state: it’s like one big flat greenhouse.
In Kansas City I stop in the area of town with art museums and shopping and parks. It’s a nice place to walk around on a warm sunny day. The lawn surrounding the art museum showcases a sculpture garden, but the only ones that seem to matter are the huge badminton shuttlecocks that appear to have been left by giants in the middle of a game.
I take a detour to a little town called Wamego to visit the OZ museum. For such a small town, it had a pretty neat collection of items related to both the books and all the movie and theater incarnations of the story. I’m not sure if there were many one-of-a-kind unique items: it was more like a very specific antique store. But it was neat to see everything all together.
The warm weather meant I was camping again, and it appears I’m the only one. Only a couple people stop by to fish in the lakes where State Parks in Kansas seem to be required to be, but nobody stays for camping this time of year. But, I think I found out why. The other night I was reading outside as the sun went down and it was getting cooler and then all of a sudden a gush of warm air came in from the opposite direction. And then it started to get windy. SUPER WINDY. I’ve never in my life ever experienced such extreme windiness. I was determined to camp though - to save money - so I put my heavy suitcases in the tent and barricaded myself in. I kept thinking, what if a tornado comes through? How would I know? I kept peeking through the tent to see if I could see one. I tried to sleep, but all the while my tent is flapping in the wind - like a loose sail on a sailboat. So, finally I told myself… I’ve got to leave. It was midnight. I gathered some stuff up and stepped outside. It was crazy. There were tree branches all over the lawns and the wind nearly knocked me over. I finally stuffed everything into the car and drove away to find shelter in a hotel.
The winds continued for the next couple days, pushing against my car on the highway and enticing tumbleweeds to run desperatly across the road. It seemed fitting: to experience such high winds in Kansas. And it's not like you'd expect it from such a seemingly peaceful landscape.