Sunday, September 24, 2017


On the second day of our cross-country drive, we saw lots of grain silos - every town seemed to have a big row of silos and a rail siding.

We really did appreciate the windshield tours of the towns to break up the trip. Seemed like some of the towns had contests to see which had the biggest church.

Occasionally, we'd pass some older oil wells.

We did our fair share of bug control. It seemed to take as long to debug the windshield as it did to fill the tank.

We stopped in one little town because we spotted a sign advertising the local University - a school that shared a name with Jeff's dog. The school was rather non-descript, but I liked the mural on a downtown building. It seemed to be working!

I wanted to stop in Greensburg, Kansas because I'd seen a picture of the staircase in the World's Largest Handdug Well. There's a dearth of light houses in this part of the country, so this will have to do.

The staircase creates the inverse of the classic lighthouse stair picture. Often I play the 'cheap' card and bypass sites with entrance fees, but I'm really glad we stopped for the earth cache, the pictures, and the unanticipated 'rest of the story.'

Turns out, Greensburg was totally destroyed by an EF5 tornado just over ten years ago.

In addition to the well, the museum highlights the effects of the tornado and the rebuilding process that the town has undertaken since then. With the government buildings destroyed, the town took the opportunity to build all the replacements to LEED Platinum construction standards.

Throughout the town there are empty slabs and other reminders of the tornado that tried to wipe the town off the map, interspersed with top quality construction of new buildings.

This is all that's left of one of the town's churches.

Western Kansas had a number of wind farms. No surprise to us, given the winds we were experiencing.

We were a bit concerned about the roads, but the Kansas roads were wonderful. Oklahoma, on the other hand, will be circumnavigated the next time I'm in the neighborhood!

New Mexico welcomed us with about 15 minutes of rain just before we got to our campsite. We heartily appreciated the welcome windshield washing!


  1. I love Western Kansas. We too, stopped at the largest hand dug well, and was as surprised as you. The hostess and I compared pre/post tornado stories with pre/post Katrina ones. Many similarities, but I think Greensburg came out on top.

    1. It was sobering to realize the extend of destruction in a relatively small geographic area and then extrapolate to the hurricane season this year. Hard to fathom the extend of the destruction.

  2. This was really fun, to see little snippets of places along the way. I think a road trip in that direction some day would be nice. And I hope you love NM!