Friday, June 27, 2008

One day closer!

Day 2, June 27, 2008

You don't take a trip, a trip takes you," wrote John Steinbeck in his road trip book Travels With Charley.

And so it is, I think, that no matter how I plan a trip, at some point in the journey the trip itself establishes a momentum of its own. If I am willing, it can take me along for a magic carpet ride that I could never have imagined when I set out.

I woke early as usual today, full of anticipation and excitement; eager to get on my way. My route on Highway 56 took me into Oklahoma for 50 miles and then into Kansas at Elkhart. When I connected with Highway 83, the road took me straight north to Scott Lake. It was an easy, relaxing drive through and around very small- to medium-sized towns.

Stuff you might not know about Kansas:

· State song is Home on the Range

· State tree is the Cottonwood

· State flower is the native sunflower – though I’ve yet to see one

· State bird is the meadowlark

· State animal is the American buffalo, or bison

· State insect is the honeybee

· The western part of the state is referred to the “Golden Prairie”

· Dwight Eisenhower, Bob Dole and Amelia Earhart called Kansas ‘home’

Scott Lake State Park, Kansas

After driving 250 miles through flat country – wheat, corn, alfalfa, and some unrecognizable crops – the trees, green grass and spring-fed lake of Scott Lake were a surprise and welcome sight. Jeremiah II hums right along with nary a complaint. It was hot today – 103 degrees. Thank goodness for air conditioning and well-tinted windows.

After a quick sandwich, I walked over to the campground host to pay for the night. $23.20 and worth every penny.

The host asked if I’d like to join another camping family for a tour of the Steele House (normally only open on weekends). So in spite of the midday heat, I got my camera and a bottle of water and walked a mile to it. Mr. and Mrs. Steele built the house and outbuildings by hand in the late 1800s.

As I write this, Cat is at the window watching a baby rabbit enjoy the grasses and clover. Birds are serenading me. It is 9 p.m. and still light outside.