The Road Through Kansas


The day I crossed the State of Kansas I saw…

Green pastures and golden fields

White clouds and blue skies

Grain silos

Cell telephone towers

White wind turbines

Jesus smiling at me from the side of the road

The first piece of the national Interstate highway system ever built, in 1956 west of Topeka.

An upholstered armchair abandoned in the highway median’s grassy no-man’s-land

A senior citizen with a grey ponytail on a Harley motorcycle

A billboard saying: “Thanks Mom for Choosing Life”

A sign advertising the largest Czech yellow, sugar eggs in the world

A billboard proclaiming: “I Need A Kidney,” with a telephone number underneath

My dog panting in a humid 92 degrees Fahrenheit

Another billboard assuring me “Jesus is real”

An advertisement for organic stone-ground flour

Dwight D. Eisenhower’s hometown of Abilene, where his grave and library are

A two-lane highway leading to the ‘Oz’ Museum

A grey-black rainstorm hurtling down Main Street in Kansas City, Missouri.

The “Tiger Tail Saloon” owned and operated by my cousin from Los Angeles.

Unsuccessful attempt to pose Gunter under the “Paw Paw” sign
GOON DOG’S VIEW: After a full day driving that began in Colorado and ended in Missouri  (who knows what time it is now?) we spent a humid day in Kansas City. The drive was okay, except for the episode where she kept trying to pose me for a picture by a roadside sign and all I wanted to do was get back into my cool, air conditioned, bed on wheels.  Once in the city, I had to go into an elevator for the first time in my life and I have to tell you, I did not like it one bit. There are no windows to the outside. You are neither on solid ground nor in midair, but somewhere in between. What is this thing? Death?  I resist. Fortunately, the elevator debacle was more than cancelled out by its polar opposite: the best off-leash run-around I’ve had in ages. We drove with the cousin to a conservation area with his two dogs, both of whom I was thrilled to see for the first time in a year, after spending much time with them in California. It was a regular family reunion. They hiked for miles and we ran and cavorted on forest trails and then by a lake. I entered the lake and tried out swimming. This is new. Good practice for the rest of the summer. Cooled off entirely. We’re all filthy and feeling healthier after days in the car. I knocked myself out. No really. Knocked myself out. Could barely move the next day and just snoozed in the car. At my age I just can’t do what I used to with out feeling it the next day. Know what I mean?

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