Boulder, CO

Male Western Tangier

This is a very wet year. The entire Mississippi River valley is in flood. The height of the Great Lakes are expected to be at record levels. As our gaze turns westward, the implications of this very wet spring are also becoming apparent. When the spring rains and expected higher than normal summer temperatures combine, the rain will fuel vegetation growth, which will become fuel for fire. We saw this last year in Glacier. It rained most of the days that we were there, but come August the place was a tinder box and many notable landmarks were destroyed. Our planned visit to Rocky Mountain seems to be similarly cursed. At least we’ll get to see this “Notre Dame” before it too is burnt.

Today was an epic day of driving, almost 900 miles. Much of the day was spent dodging yellow thunderstorm boxes or not. This weather was all across western Kansas. The most interesting episode entailed having to emergency break on ice. It had hailed, but to such an extent that it looked like snow. Anyway, we made it. We won’t be camping in the Rockies. It’s too cold. The motel is inexpensive, but nice. We saw the tangier in the parking lot after dinner. I’m ready to leave the Midwest storms behind. We’ll explore Boulder and the mountains tomorrow.

We’re listening to Jack Kerouac’s On the Road. The thought is what better story for a roadtrip than a book about a roadtrip. Kerouac’s story even covers some of the geography that we traveled today. We’re only a quarter of the way through the book, so there are still many more miles to travel yet on the road. Long day.

Come From Away

Lobster-Claw

Wild night! Yellow thunderstorm boxes turned to red tornado boxes. The first one passed north of us, but a second one soon appeared over us. The Cards punted and postponed their game until today. It all worked out well though. We suffered no storm damage and sheltered in place at the Fox. Come From Away was the musical that we had come to see. This one act show tells the story of a small town in Newfoundland that unexpectedly hosted 7,000 visitors, when their 38 planes were diverted there in the wake of 9/11.

Unfortunately, it was very difficult to understand many of the lyrics and I don’t think that any Newfie accents were the cause. I suspect poor sound arranging. The Fox is a big house and filling it led to more noise than music. The parts that could be heard were interesting. I just wish that more of it could have been.

Anyway, the hockey team clinched their Stanley Cup playoff berth. Go Blues!

Atmospherics

Tobacco Curing Barn

One of our last stops along the Natchez Trace was this period tobacco barn. In it tobacco bandeliers were hung from the rafters to cure and dry. Although, website photos show it decked out with bundles of tobacco, there was only one still hanging when we were there. Anne posed her suspicion that kids might have stolen the rest, but I think that that is just the teacher in her blowing smoke.

I had a dentist appointment this morning, which meant that I had to drive out to far west county, or just east of Kansas City. On the highway out, I was treated to a spectacle. Rolling Thunder the Vietnam veterans motorcycle organization was passing through town, eastbound, heading towards our nation’s capitol and their Memorial Day appointment there this weekend. The police were treating them like a presidential motorcade. They had stopped traffic on all of the highway entrance ramps. The front of this parade was a phalanx of motorcycle cops, with lights flashing and sirens whirling. Their V-formation was similar to that used by Canada geese. Behind this tip were hundreds, nay thousands of other motorcyclists riding in a loose continuous stream that filled all three lanes and ran on for eight miles. At the very end was another bunch of motorcycle cops and three MODOT trucks, each sporting a large LED sign that I read in my rearview mirror, “Do Not Pass”. Saint Louis really does love its parades.

I enjoyed seeing the motorcycle version of Rolling Thunder. I’m not so sure how much I will like mother nature’s tonight. The weather system that has been roiling Texas and Oklahoma is scheduled to hit town tonight. The Blues hockey team is playing in town and they hope to clinch a Stanley Cup playoff berth for the first time in fifty years. Plus, the Cardinals are also playing in town tonight. We have dinner and a show at the Fox tonight, so it could all prove interesting.