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Saturday, October 3, 2009

Sorghum, road kill, and Dorothy, oh my

Okay, day three of this packing up and driving 300 miles daily, and I'm already tired of this crap. Maybe because I'm not up to par with my cold and everything.

By 9:30 a.m. we were ready to pull out of our site. Jim says what he always says, "Watch out for that side." Yeah, like I'm supposed to do something about it. It was somewhat of a tight turn pulling, Jim turned the truck, and I heard a loud snap! Yowser! It was the tree branches that were hanging over the trailer. There was nothing we could do but continue to pull forward. We pulled up in front of the office to throw our garbage out and look at the branch sitting on top of our trailer.



Jim got the ladder out to get the branch down. If he just waited a minute, the wind would have blown it down.



The majority of the day was spent on roads just like this one. Just a two lane road through the country.



We would pass miles and miles of fields of corn, but mostly this crop.



It was very hard to get a good picture of it, without it being blurred, even if I panned the camera. Jim thought the crop was possibly sorghum.

Kansas is a pretty flat state. So we could see these buildings a few miles down the road. They are granaries. They are EVERYWHERE.



Here is a HUGE pile of corn. To get an idea of just how tall that pile is, look at how small the tractors are in front of it.



Here is a different pile of corn. Look at all the trucks just waiting to load up.



Railroad tracks ran alongside the road for a long distance. We saw many trains. Here's one coming up.



And, again, because this state is so flat, here's the train as far as the eye can see.



We passed through some funny named towns like Cheney, or this one:



Or this one - not for the weak at heart:



I saw four identifiable dead animals on the road - a raccoon, a deer, a white spotted owl, and a skunk. I saw many unidentifiable smooshed animals - too bad I didn't have this guide with me:



Something typical you would see out in the country:



Something not so typical:



I have NO idea what those pots are used for, or if they are just decorations, but they are HUGE. Compare them to the trees in the background.

As far as interesting cars, I saw this old truck drive by. It's a little blurred, being that we were both moving. Look at the hat on that good ole boy driving!



This little VW Bug passed us up. I got a kick out of the license plate.



We arrived in Liberal, KS close to 5 pm. The campground owner was very friendly and nice. She came to our trailer to collect the money. There happened to be a field of that crop right next to the campground that Jim and I were wondering about and I asked her about it. She said that it indeed is sorghum, or milo, and is used to feed pigs, and also is put in bird seed. I walked over to get a closer, clearer, photo of the mysterious crop.





They had bales of hay piled up high. Here is a "study in hay".



I am attracted to barbed wire fence. Maybe it's the bad girl inside me wanting to get out. This caught my eye.



As I walked back to the trailer through the dried out weeds and grass, I was bombarded by grasshoppers. One actually hit me hard in the chest. I let out a yelp and walked faster, but those babies where hopping all over the place. It was like the fricking plague out there. I couldn't reach the stones fast enough. If anyone saw me they'd think I was crazy the way I was waving my arms and yelling.

I found out that right here in Liberal, KS, that I could have followed the Yellow Brick Road. That's right. They have the original model of Dorothy's house that was used in the 1939 filming of "The Wizard of Oz". They also have 5,000 square feet of animated entertainment including good and bad witches, the Munchkins, talking trees, winged monkeys, and Dorothy, the Scarecrow, Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion, and Toto, too. I was so disappointed to find out that the Seward County Museum, where this all is located was already closed for the day by the time that we got to town. And they don't open till 1:00 pm on Sundays and we'll be long gone by then. And listen to this! Next weekend is OZ FEST! They have actual MUNCHKINS from the movie come to town, they have a parade and everything. Doesn't that sound like fun? Gosh I wish we were passing through next weekend. Click this link for the best website I found with pictures of the Land of Oz.

Liberal also has International Pancake Day, which is celebrated with all-you-can-eat pancake and sausage breakfast on Shrove Tuesday (the day before Lent begins). This is after having 3 days of festivities such as cooking, eating and flipping contests, and many other events. After the breakfast on Tuesday, the races begin. Children's races begin at 10 a.m., with kids as young as 3 participating. Women over 50 race at 11:30 in the Last Chance Race, and then the Men's Pacer Race starts. The official International Race begins at 11:55 am. The shriving service is held at the First United Methodist Church, then a live web chat is held between the two communities and a parade ends the activities in the afternoon.

According to the Liberal Visitor's Guide,

"The Pancake race began in Old England when it was customary for the housewives to drop whatever they were doing and hurry to the church at the rolling of the bell to be "shriven" for their sins. In 1445, a housewife in Olney started cooking her pancakes to use up the cooking fat. As she had begun rather late, the church bell began to ring before she had finished her task.

Not wanting to leave her pancakes to burn, she hurried to the "shriving" wearing her house dress, kerchief and apron and carrying the griddle and pancakes running as she went. When she arrived at the church, the bell ringer gave her the "kiss of peace." In 1950, a Liberal businessman and veteran of the war, recalled the event as told to him by a soldier from Olney. Believing that international goodwill was important, Liberal and Olney began an annual celebration of the event. A kiss of peace is still bestowed on each winner at the end of the race."








This only proves two things:

1) Wherever you go, there you are.

and

2) Wherever you go, there's always something to see and learn.

8 comments:

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

Yea, but - do you have swollen knees?? :))

SquirrelQueen said...

Oh my Toto, we are still in Kansas!

That is cool that Oz is in Liberal, KS. I would have been very tempted to hang around for Oz Fest. And the International Pancake festival, wow Liberal is a busy town.

Teresa - in the Middle Side of Life said...

So, if you passed through Strong City (which is where one of my sister's used to live years ago), and you passed by the exit for Cheney, then you weren't too far away from me.

The Yellow Brick Road in Liberal is a very cool place to visit. We've only been there once (on our way to CA) but it was pretty cool. Even though we live in KS we've not headed west to visit since my sister (same one mentioned above) moved from Lakin (which is near Garden City). (LOL - she's lived in several small towns in Kansas.)

Gail said...

Thanks for sharing your journey.

Rae said...

Even though much of the view is the same in the Midwest, it must be nice getting to travel and see different parts of the country. I am enjoying this road trip.

Valerie said...

Pat, that was better than school lessons ... much more interesting. I enjoyed learning about the different places and the pictures were fascinating ... especially the wire fence.

WhisperingWriter said...

Nice pictures.

I would love to go to that Oz Fest.

Kathy's Klothesline said...

You seem to be having a good time in spite of your cold. I have a bit of a scratchy throat... but that is normal for my allergies this time of year. We have had lots of wind and it has been nice and chilly at night. Hope the wind is at your back!