We left Kansas City and made our way west moving along Rt 36 and found what appeared to be a nice Kansas State Park. I forgot all that I had learned from traveling through West Virginia, which is, as soon as you drive away from the main roads you are in "No Where" signal land. It was a quiet evening. I walked dogs between rain events and read a book well into the night. No one said it made good sense. I collected an unhealthy share of "skeeter" bites. Mitch and I were ready to move on down the road rain or not early the next morning.
That, wildlife watchers, is the deer Stuart and I disturbed early in the morning. He was scampering to safety from my trusty hound.
Next stop was the lovely City Park in small St. Francis in western KS. The Police cruised by to say hello and to warn us that a neighbor nearby had recently reported the escape of his Gila Monster. It was recommend that small dogs not go lurking under bushes without supervision.
There was no electric but the fee was $0. and the showers had hot water so little to complain about. The night's weather, however, brought through one powerful, noisy thunderstorm, scaring small dogs and keeping Gray Haired Ladies awake. The morning brought high winds and sent both Mitch and I to our electronics to evaluate storm patterns. I called my cousin to report that I would not be arriving outside Denver in time to meet up for dinner.
We did take Stuart for a stroll down the quiet street of St. Francis. Mitch was really in search of some place that might be serving up a greasy burger for lunch but, alas, the town was too small to support even the typical Mom and Pop cafe. While resting up from the windy walk, there was a knock on my door and "home delivery service" from the RV next door presented me with the lunch below. Much healthier than that dreamed of burger, eh?
By 2pm the winds had died down and the sky was beautiful. The weather map said that St Francis was in line for another severe thunderstorm in the evening. Denver was looking to receive another hit in the late afternoon, but just east of Denver were we were headed didn't look so bad. We left.
Leaving behind the Moth trees. Imagine Hitchcock's "Birds" only with millions of moths. They were swarming around both trees as soon as the wind died down and the sun came out. Unfortunately, as Mitch and I were to find out, the Moths were not left behind so easily.
So we headed off towards southeast of Denver and the County Fairgrounds that had returned my call the fastest when we were trying to get reservations for a weekend anywhere near Denver. Lets just call it Denver out.
On the way we passed through the very front of a storm cell heading towards Denver. Luckily I could see it coming and knew that if we kept going forward we could be out of the way before getting caught in the worst of it. So there was an uncomfortable 5 minutes that seemed much longer as we drove much slower but still managed to get to the dry pavement on the other side. If you watched the news, Denver caught that storm cell full force and one block had so much hail that they had to come plow out the street. While looking at the film you could see green yards just beyond the piles of hail 6-12 inches thick. We caught a few sprinkles at the fairgrounds and I read that the area of western Kansas got hit with another severe storm in the evening complete with a few tornados. But we were not there to watch it. I like weather maps. Though they can't protect you from Moth invasions.
The clover shot is for my friend Carol. It was the first thing I noticed when I arrived at the fairgrounds. It made me think of her and her love for Colorado and her Colorado son and family. Carol, you will make it out of western North Carolina eventually and get back on the road.
The County Extension building complete with beautiful showers, bathrooms and laundry for $.75 a wash. The $15 fee is on the honor system on the weekends and they leave the key with one of the other campers.
Pretty scenery to look at while walking dogs.
The family tableau below appeared to be one of those, first time on this pony, events. They walked in circles for awhile before setting off across the larger fairground.
Stuart was sort of grumbly and jealous of these folk's fine dog run off the back porch until we walked past and the dog's owners said her dogs were giving her a hard time because they wondered why she wasn't taking them for a walk.
So here we sit outside of Denver while we visit with family and friends. It is undecided whether or not we will go over to the town down the road and visit the rodeo. Mitch likes cowboys you know but first the weather will have to look a little more stable than it has. I know the sky looks blue but wait an hour or so, that can change.