A french press and coffee grounds were among the items that came into the Motel 6 with us last night. So at check out in the morning we filled the press with hot water in the lobby and had real coffee waiting for us when we got on the road. But first we drove over to the Village Inn for breakfast which was surprisingly good for diner chain food. With breakfast of omelet, rye toast, hash browns, and yogurt with granola and fruit consumed, we drove over to the Prairie Museum to view one of the eight great architectural wonders in Kansas. The hours were clearly posted on the window at the museum so it was confusing that it was actually closed. Then I remembered it was Martin Luther King Jr. day. Oddly we did meet two cats who had a camp just outside the door of the museum. Water dishes contained partially frozen water and a little insulated fort was made for them with hay bales. Eli shot some pictures of the barn and we hung out with the cats a bit before making our way back to the main drag and heading north on State Route 25.
After a little confusion with directions it was decided that 25 north was our new road until we reached Trenton, Nebraska where we hung a left on Route 35. Eli and I continued our hawk count by state and despite the brief time we were in Nebraska, we counted 35 hawks and American Kestrels, far out numbering every other state we'd spent half days to cross.
Beautiful farm and ranch land spread out all around us for a thousand miles. The road was flat at times, straight as a ruler. Other times it would rise and fall over rolling hills and round to the right and then left around hills and other obstacles.
We pulled into a gas station in Yuma, Colorado to refuel and get some sandwiches. Yuma boasts to be the home of the largest cottonwood tree in U.S. history. It was 100 years old and apparently came down in 2000. What remains is a cross section slab propped up against the wall of a municipal building. It was really big. Make a nice table.
Up ahead traffic was crawling behind a parade made up of trooper cruisers and boom trucks all accompanying a semi slowly transporting something gigantic, so gigantic the utility lines needed to be lifted until the truck and it's gigantic passenger passed beneath. We couldn't see what the thing was except that it was huge and green.
Back on the road after sandwiches, it wasn't long that we caught up to the line of cars waiting behind the parade of trooper cruisers, boom trucks, and the truck with the gigantic green thing. Then we were waiting too. Eventually the parade stopped and the line of cars were ushered on to pass. We got to drive right beside the gigantic green thing. It was still not revealed to us what it was. The thing was cylindrical and hidden beneath a green tarp. I could only imagine given the setting and the shape of the thing that perhaps it was a grain silo headed to a farm down the road. Less than an hour later, we repeated this as we passed the second mysterious and gigantic object on the back of another truck escorted with the trooper cars and boom trucks holding the utility lines out of the way.
Through Greely and finally onto I 25 at Loveland and moments later the snow started. Dense snow I first mistook for fog shrouded the interstate. It seemed like it was pouring down. We got to our exit in Fort Collins and it was still coming down. Down the road and a right turn, through town to the other side and then a left, another left. Soon we were pulling over the truck on the side of the Cache La Poudre River and there was Eli's friend Sarah and her dog Nepo. We brought a few things inside her house and then out to have some of Ft. Collin's finest beer at Odell's. At the brewery we met up with Jeanne and her daughter Sprout. When beer was done with, we picked up the ingredients at Sarahs, and went to Jeanne's house to make dinner. Dinner was a secret recipe for tofu burritos that originated in Bodega Bay, California. Again we find ourselves thousands of miles away from home, hanging with some sweet peeps and having a great time.
It was while dinner preparation was happening that I took a look into the weather forecast for the road ahead. What I found out was that tomorrow night the winds will pick up in Wyoming with 65 mph gusts possible. That means we'll leave tomorrow and try to get through Wyoming. The following day Pocatello, ID is expecting up to 36" of snow. So our planned trajectory may be changing. It might come down to a choice between the wind and snow. It seems winter has finally caught up with us about where I expected to find it.
Pictures to follow.
STATES: Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado
BIRD of the DAY: American Kestral
Josh's Road Name for Nebraska: Jim Jimmy Jeff Jack Johnson (Nickname: "Shorty")
DAILY DOWNER: Cattle Stock Yards