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Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Dust In The Wind - Kansas

The kids have been great all week. Both have been behaving with little to no arguing. I'm proud of them and a little surprised. At home they aren't this good. I don't know if they have been bored into comas or if they are really enjoying seeing the country.

A couple days ago, as we drove out of Oklahoma and into Kansas, we could see the weather was getting really nasty. We talked about hanging it up early and then decided to get out of the area as fast as possible. The next morning, the news station told us there were 40 tornadoes spotted in Oklahoma. Thankfully, no major damage or deaths were reported.

We got another sample of tornado chasing on our way back from Colorado. We were cruising along a Kansas highway and could see a bunch of funnel clouds in the distance. Some broke apart before completely forming. Others never hit the ground. The truck got a good shaking up and a slight sandblasting as the dust from the fields whipped wildy. Otherwise, it was all good. As good as a flat state with nothing but wheat and cows to look at gets.

I'm sure Kansas has stuff, somewhere, far, far away. Actually, I'm lying. There was an Oz museum that we couldn't go see because it was too far south of where we were going. They also have the original Dorothy house but again, much too far away, according to Mr. Lane. I wonder if this man is aware of the 2,000ish miles we've already gone. I didn't know there was any such thing as too far, and neither did my numb ass.

We did stop at this one place. I think it was called Prairie Dog Town. They hyped it up so much, even Mr. Lane wanted to see the five legged steer, six legged cow and the largest prairie dog in the world. Along the highway for at least 75 miles, Prairie Dog Town was advertised on dozens of wooden, spray painted boards that read, "Come see the world's largest prairie dog. We've got rattle snakes, fox, coyotes, a six legged cow, a five legged steer and much, much more!" Mr. Lane read (in his best auctioneer voice) each of the signs as we neared. All the hype just was too much. It was a must see.

We arrived at a really smelly place. We paid $25 to walk around and see a bunch of freak animals. There were lots of normal animals too but the freaks were how these people attracted stupid fuckers like us. The best part about the place were the baby goats. A couple of them were only a day old. Because the mom goats were trying to score some feed from Mr. Lane, Lane 2 and I were able to sit near the babies. They walked up to us on wobbly legs and parked their tiny bodies at our sides. One of the babies literally climbed into Lane 2's lap. She was in love and melted. (Yes, I took pictures but have to wait to get them developed.)

On our way back, we found one more exciting thing along the highway. We pulled over for the biggest chimneysweep guy we've ever seen. There isn't much to look at as you drive the interstates of Kansas but this guy shone like a beacon in the night. I gasped at the sight of him.

Mr. Lane asked, "So you want me to stop?"

Lane 2 and I said in unison, "Duh!"

While we were in Kansas the day before yesterday, we stopped to do laundry. We found a tiny laundry mat in a one-horse town. There were no people anywhere to be seen. We had the place to ourselves. It was hotter than shit there. Mr. Lane turned on the swamp cooler to keep mama from popping a vein in her head. He's nice like that.

I don't know if it's because I've been out of the laundry mat circuit for more than a decade or if the signs in Kansas are just different than those in Illinois. Anyhow, above the washers they had big bold signs that read, "No tar! No grease! No horse blankets!" It was easy for us to follow those rules. They also had a sign supporting their high school team, "Go Colby Trojans", which reminded me of cheesy dicks, so I threw up a little in my mouth.

I doubt the above post will ever get me a job as Director of the Kansas Chamber of Commerce but that's about the most exciting way I can sum it up.

Tonight we are in a Comfort Inn in Clarksville Ark-can-sas. Yes, I have my wireless internet and am a happy camper. Mr. Lane and the kids are sound asleep, which means the beds must be comfy. Hell I'm so tired I could sleep on a picket fence.

We have to pick up in Conway Ark-can-sas in the morning, drop off somewhere in Oklahoma, come back to Ark-can-sas to deliver somewhere in Louisiana. Then we have one more trip, if there's time. We'll have to go back to Ark-can-sas and then to Tennessee. Mr. Lane said we should be home by Sunday. Keep your fingers crossed!