Travels Across the Great Plains: Breadbasket of America

From the Plains to the Rockies

After passing through St. Louis and the Jefferson National Historic Site, it was my intent to get a good number of miles on Interstate 70. However, with the sun setting in the West, it was best to find a place to stay for the night.

I pulled over when I saw a bargain “8” motel. This proved a joy as the young adult woman who registered me informed me she was from India after a short exchange. Hemi (meaning gold) informed me her father had made the purchase of the motel just two years ago. Formerly, he was the manager of a large farm in India. Hemi and her two sisters, with father and mother, moved to America. Her father joined the conversation after a while, and we had a fascinating discussion, comparing education in America, along with economics and environmental issues, with conditions in India.

The conversation became more complicated, and from my perspective, even more interesting when I greeted the two young adult construction workers and indicated we were talking about issues around the environment and conservation (specifically, wildlife being protected in India and my work a long time ago developing habitat for more ducks to be available for hunting). I thought to myself that they might be hunters. I was right. However, one of the men stated that he now enjoyed taking videos of animals and nature’s beauty.

After several more minutes, one asked me what I thought of the Confederate Flag. I responded immediately that I thought my opinion would be different than their belief. I was right. “It is not a racial situation. It is about my ancestors who died in the War,” he said. We accepted each other with different opinions.

Across 800 miles of The Great Plains, I was never bored. Single trees fascinated me. Listening to talk shows was almost too much to handle. Four different subjects: Politics, Economic Issues, Religion, and Sports.

Politics and Economics shows were Far Right & Beyond. Religion was All Believing and Broad Based (the Catholic worldwide broadcast system was alive and well in Great Plains of Missouri, Kansas and Colorado to the base of The Rocky Mountains). I found myself captivated by the Spirit of Humanity as a part of the Majestic, Magical, and Magnificent World of Nature. It all came together when the glory of the purple Mountain Rockies rose out of the Western Horizon, connecting to the landscape of golden wheat fields, fields brown from being tilled. In the morning sunlight, green trees around a farmhouse dominated my vision of wonder, and all was connected.

I thought back to the night before. Weather forecast for the morning was clear and dry. However, in late afternoon a bulletin came over the radio, “Strong thunderstorms with lightening and hail the size of quarters, heavy rain possible in Northwest Kansas!”

That’s where I am, I thought. The road turned to the North, where I had been watching dark clouds. The clouds were darkening. And the Music on radio stopped. A shrill whistle. Warning. Strong Storms in the area! About 15 minutes later, the lightening began and in another 10 minutes, without warning, the heavens opened up, and I felt like the car was under Niagara Falls!

Next dispatch: a report on storm with truck driver

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Betsy Shure Gross says:

    Gerry – there is a book forming as you write/think your passage to Yosemite!
    As Gary and I sat on the Allerton Overlook this evening listening to the concert, we thought of you!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s