Lindsay and I didn’t want to drive straight home without stopping like we did getting to Colorado so we picked a spot about halfway to stop for the night and explore, Eureka Springs Arkansas. We left Evergreen at about 9 AM and once the Denver traffic was out of the way it wasn’t a bad drive at all. The plains of east Colorado and Kansas were surprisingly nice to see. Rolling grassy fields with blue skies and puffy clouds disappear into the horizon.
Every now and then we’d see a brown sign letting us know a historical sight was ahead but we sped by too fast to get to look it up to see if we wanted to check it out. That is, until Russell Kansas popped up. They advertised this little town 50 miles or so down the road so I had plenty of time to make a decision to stop. Russell is a one brick street small town with a theater and not much else. I think I saw a sign that read it is the hometown of Bob Dole. Either way, if you’re traveling on interstate 70 in Kansas and need a quick change of scenery this is a good town to stop. Other than Russell, not much else is there besides massive wind farms. The turbines are huge and kind of scare Lindsay. She said they sort of remind her of the big tripod alien ships in War of the Worlds.
At the interstate 135 junction we turned south to Wichita. I didn’t see much there except for the cleanest and tidiest Wal-Mart I’ve experienced. We let the kids run through there like little terrors to let out some energy, bought a couple things and hit the road. After about 45 minutes we check the weather in Eureka Springs and confirm what we’d been thinking. Thunderstorms and same for the next day. So we make a decision to not stop after all. We’re going home.
Google reroutes us but the problem is we’re not on any interstate. We’re on country back roads in the middle of nowhere Kansas about 45 minutes out side Wichita. Google apparently doesn’t consider the amount of civilization around when computing the fastest route because for the next couple hours we drove through what have to me some of the most remote parts of Kansas. I get a little worried if something happens to the truck or whatever else….there is no one around for a long way and cell phones aren’t a real option.
But the adventure paid off. We got to see one of the most beautiful sunsets we’d seen in a long time. The bright glow of the sun really reflected off everything around. Grassy fields glistened and old abandoned barns and street signs alike light up like the sky. Just after sunset we noticed something else. Something I used to see a lot of on the Gulf Coast but not much anymore, lightning bugs! Hundreds of them everywhere. We pull the truck over, turns the lights off and watch. To me, it’s things like the sunset and the lightning bugs that really make a road trip.
Night falls and we keep driving. A small shack advertised hamburgers for $1. Too bad we already ate. I drive until just past Tulsa OK, which has a beautiful skyline at night and is much bigger than I ever thought. Lindsay takes the wheel and drives a long time. She takes us all the way to north Louisiana. Seeing the sunrise in the deep south was a good feeling.
I’m back at the wheel and want to make one more stop on the way home, Yazoo City. It’s early morning and the streets are empty. Yazoo is a very historic town and the old buildings on the main street are painted in bright colors and loaded with character. I imagine the street being busy during the day and hopefully I’ll pass through there again soon. I will say, however, once you’re not on the main strip the area looked a bit sketchy so I won’t be planning any stand alone Yazoo City trips in the near future. I drive for a couple hours and can’t do it anymore. Lindsay saves the day and takes us to the house in Pensacola arriving over 24 hours after we left Evergreen. The drive back was better than up there but more tiring to me. I guess we were a bit tired from the trip in general. And other than one biting incident, the boys did great again.