Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Back to the trip -- Nebraska and Kansas

Sunday night with Brent was nice, but Monday morning was back on the road. Fortunately, the price of gas is pretty consistently under two bucks now!

About an hour after leaving Brent's, we arrived at a little box where we could put three bucks apiece and then head down a drive to Panorama Point, elevation 5424. Even though we were over a mile high, it isn't what you'd call a mountain. It's just the highest thing they have in Nebraska. The best part of this one was the field of buffalos we had to drive through to get there. MASSIVE animals. Beautiful. Back to the road and we headed south via Colorado to Mount Sunflower in Kansas.

Mount Sunflower is another nice little drive-up highpoint. At 4039 feet, also not a mountain. Very nice little display of iron-art at the high point and very welcoming signage by the property owners. One more to go.

The trip into Oklahoma was perhaps the biggest adventure of the trip. After hours on the road, we wondered how it would take us as long to get there as my GPS said it was going to. We found out. About 20 miles or so from the Oklahoma boarder while still in Colorado, we turned onto gravel roads. We drove and drove until the road started curving around. The road narrowed. And narrowed. And narrowed. Before we knew it, we were on a two-track with grass growing up in the middle of it. So we're 800 miles from home, in the dark in the middle of nowhere with NO lights in the distance in any direction. We drove for about 10 minutes on the two-track before crossing the unmarked boarder into Oklahoma. A house appeared. The road turned back to gravel. And soon we were on paved roads again. We saw three HUGE raccoons on the road in front of us and stopped to watch them until they got bored with us and wandered off.

And five minutes later we were at the trailhead to Black Mesa, the highest point in Oklahoma. Now we just needed a place to spend the night.

We drove into the small town of Kenton, about 5 miles away. Small town. It was around 9:30 pm, but the streets had been rolled up a couple hours earlier. The next nearest towns were 30-40 miles away, so we drove around and found a state park with an open bathroom and camped in the van for the night.


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