Good-bye, Kansas (for now)

Before I left Hays Wednesday morning, I stopped by the Soda Shoppe for another chocolate coke. I just love watching them fill Styrofoam with cola syrup, chocolate syrup, and soda water. And then I drove past western Kansas’s anti-choice signs Abortion signs along KS highway2, April 07(others include “Abortion Stops a Beating Heart”; “Adoption, Not Abortion”) and past the hay bales near the Rexford exit.Rexford Hay bales 2 KS Nov 2009 (1)

I got off I-70 at Oakley to visit the Prairie Dog Town and Monument Rocks. Alas, the prairie dogs had been put away for the winter (actually, on Labor Day). I didn’t mind too much, since PDT was so close to the exit and on my way south. Monument Rocks was at least a 40-minute drive south and east of Oakley; I wish I’d devised a route that didn’t require me to backtrack. At this helpful sign (note the “improved” state of Highway 83 eastbound), I saw a whitetail buck and doe.Monument Rocks 43 Highway 83 signs Nov 2009

The rocks rise straight out of the plain, which reminded me of Colorado with its yucca and other scrub. There isn’t any gradual buildup of ever-larger rocks; all of a sudden, you’re there. It was an eerie place, and the distant companionship of two guys from Texas didn’t change that.

The road went between two rock formations. This is a picture of the rocks on the right side of the road, where I started, taken from the rocks on the left side.Monument Rocks 39 view of right side from left Nov 2009

The two guys from Texas were on the left-hand formation. (See that black speck on the left side of the picture below? There they are, standing on top.)Monument Rocks 5 distant with 2 men Nov 2009

The rocks were perfect for swallows’ nests.Monument Rocks 24 swallows nests with hole Nov 2009

Sometimes the details caught my eye. Monument Rocks 37 lips adjusted Nov 2009

Sometimes I preferred a longer view. Monument Rocks 38 left side Nov 2009

Here’s a close-up of the right-hand formation from the picture above, which looks like a sphinx to me. Monument Rocks 18 left side sphinx Nov 2009

The rock formations were interesting, but I didn’t want to linger. So I drove my 40 minutes back to I-70, seeing more hay bales on the way. Monument Rocks 44 hay bales Nov 2009

Among other places, I stopped in Burlington, Colorado, on the way home. I was directed to a coffee shop along their downtown strip called the Main Cup.

And then I drove the rest of the way home in the dark I-70 Sunset west of Oakley Nov 2009and slept in my own bed for the first time in a month.

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Thanks for my sister and friend for putting me up. And thanks to all of you for reading these posts.