Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Back to The Flatlands

Eastern Colorado and Western Kansas aren't at their best right now. The landscape is flat to gently rolling, rendered mostly in shades of beige and gray. Corn fields ready for harvest are gray-brown. Just-plowed fields are brown. Roadsides are beige. Occasionally the monochrome pallette is broken by a field of maize in shades of russet-red. The only real color comes from the big green John Deere tractors, bright red Case combines spitting out streams of golden corn, and other farm equipment.

We proceeded east from Denver across 100 or so miles of eastern Colorado, then into Kansas. For the first half of the day, I didn't see a single rock except for the rock fence posts. Those rocks were quarried and shaped by early settlers because there weren't enough trees to make into posts. (Don't ask me where they quarried the rock; I didn't see any likely spots.) It's interesting that the rock posts have often been incorporated into new fences, like the one below.

Near Russell, Kansas, trees begin to appear and the landscape began to look more like North Central Texas. What didn't seem like North Central Texas (when we left on this trip) was the cold, rainy weather that set in in early October, and which has continued through mid-month. That, combined with the wind...and more wind...and more wind, has made the weather pretty disagreeable.

On the very bright side, though, has been the camaraderie of the members of the Escapee's Heavy Duty Truck group we joined in Hutchinson for their annual rally. Some 30 or so members spent the first week of October sharing stories, attending seminars and generally enjoying the fellowship of like-minded RVers. Many of the attendees are "full-timers" who live (and in some cases work) on the road. Others, like us, travel part-time, but pull their RVs with heavy or medium duty trucks. Their tow vehicles are shown here in our annual group picture.

Our truck is the one in the center of the front row to the left of the big blue Peterbilt. If you look closely at the closeup of our truck, you may be able to see Feathers "driving" and Nickie and riding shotgun.

After leaving Hutchinson, we traveled some 100 miles to Junction City, KA, for a visit to the New Horizons RV manufacturing plant where our RV was "born" some 12 years ago. We were there to have some minor repair work done on our coach, while a couple of friends were shopping for new fifth wheel RVs. We'll leave tomorrow and begin working our way back to Texas.

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