From Kansas to Colorado – the Tornado’s Aftermath
Left Wichita early, around 7am and drove to Greensburg to see the tornado damage. The town is not only completely gone and wiped off the map, but over a month later and it there are still massive piles of ruble everywhere. The town, despite all the thousands of hours of work and cleanup looks like the tornado hit it just a few days ago. One particularly funny moment, a house with no roof had a spray painted message on the side, “for sale, central heating and a/c, make an offer.” I continued on driving and stopped in Cimarron to say hi to uncle Tony at the barbershop and to get from him the phone number of Mike and Jennifer Stauth who live in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. I drove further on and stopped around noon to gas up and make a sandwich for lunch. Far western Kansas and eastern Colorado are barren, hot, and ugly, but the straight empty roads make driving a breeze. Before I knew it I could see the far blue Rocky Mountains, as the terrain around me became rolling sand hills. In just a short matter of time those far off small mountains were looming all around me as I entered a valley and began driving up the mountain pass. One of the most interesting and odd experiences is when you drive uphill for 7 miles, going up thousands of feet, only to find yourself back on an open flat plain. The air was noticeably cooler and the architecture and designs of the town changed to pine wood and cabin like buildings. I drove through several beautiful little towns with cool little hip coffee shops. After gassing up again I drove through some more beautiful scenery and found a nice campsite in southwestern Colorado that was surrounded by tall pines and just a few feet from a cold mountain stream. As evening was coming on I set up a bare bones camp and got out my new fly-fishing rod and set up the line and leaders and starting whipping some line around. I immediately enjoyed feeling the 20 feet of line whip back and forth thru the air. Since it was my first time ever using a fly rod I just worked on the basics of the traditional cast. After my toes went numb from standing in the stream, I went back to camp, had dinner and went to bed.