Friday, March 25, 2011

Dorothy, you're not in Kansas anymore!

 With just 3 weeks left before we hit the road again, moving on to our next job, we decided we'd better make a trip to Kansas, just to say we'd been there. Mr. Keith had crossed that state many times in his youth, but I'd never been there. Ten hours and 370 miles later, I can say I've been to Kansas! The first photo shows the countryside near Limon, Colorado. I love the golden colors, and the railroad bridge gives the scene perspective.

 We decided to travel old highway 24, which runs close to I-70, so we could see the little towns up close. We stopped in every single one! This strange tower was in Genoa, Colorado. It advertised that you could see 6 states from the tower. We did not go up. Genoa itself seemed to be completely dead. There were some occupied homes, but the downtown had only boarded up buildings. How sad.

 Bethune, another town with deserted buildings, did have some life, seen in these pretty horses. We wondered if the freeway by-passing the towns had something to do with their demise.

 This is Vona, typical of the other small towns we explored. One wonders what they were like when these buildings were first constructed and used. They are almost like ghost towns.

A few miles away from Burlington, a healthy, thriving town, we left Colorado and entered Kansas. The very first town on Hwy 24 was called Kanorado, also old and half abandoned.

 It looks like Kansas is preparing for a celebration this year!

 Here we see the grain elevators in Goodland, KS, which was another small but thriving town. We have noticed that just about every town is announced miles away by these huge elevators, most much more compact but equally as tall as these in Goodland. It's hard to imagine the vast amounts of grain they hold.

As we headed up highway 36 towards St. Francis, the final town on our way out of Kansas, I took this photo of the landscape. These metal towers I'm sure also hold grain. They were all over the countryside. This looks like last summer's corn crop.The land seemed to be divided into 640 acre sections. There were gravel roads arranged in squares every mile. It's like that in Colorado, too.

We enjoyed our very leisurely trip into Kansas. The wind blew fiercely and it was cold, but we had a productive, fun day. I now understand how Dorothy's house blew up into the sky and took her and Toto to the land of Oz! We did not see the yellow brick road, but we could imagine it!


Mr Mrs Crafty said...

I love the picture of you standing by the welcome to Kansas lol... I have one from many years ago - lol boy time does fly...

Julene said...

Ann, I grew up in Goodland, KS and am always excited when I see beautiful pictures of the grasslands around Limon, Colorado. Love the one in this blog post! I've written a couple of books about my Kansas experiences (please visit to read about them), and have been traveling around the plains giving book talks. I would love to feature your picture of the grasslands, with proper credit of course. My next talk is in Billings, MT on May 6. Any chance you could send me a copy of the image that I could use for that talk? It would have to be large enough to project well, and I would want to give you proper credit too of course. Please let me know. I appreciate your considering this request. Julene

yakimabelle said...

A number of the towns in Eastern Colorado and western Kansas were likely moribund long before the freeway was built. The depression of the 1930s decimated them.