Day 1

Death of a rural American town
Today, my dad and I drove from Colorado Springs to Abilene, Kansas. Here I am, in lovely Abilene at the Abilene Victorian Inn. It really is lovely (see picture below, not above), full of old Victorians and a quaint downtown. Can’t say much for the food or nightlife, but with the trees blooming, it is very pretty after a long, long drive.

Driving from Colorado Springs, which is out in the flat part of Colorado below Pike’s Peak, to the Kansas border is just about what you’d expect. Lots of horses, cows, tumbleweed, and even antelope. Crossing into Kansas, a state that neither my dad nor I have been to, we decided to stop for gas in Kanorado, just a mile or so into the state. We were ready for a break, and just the name itself warranted a stop. The town wasn’t right on the interstate, so we had to drive down a little highway and across the railroad tracks that passed the grain elevator. As soon as we crossed the tracks, my dad and I were shocked: the pavement ended, and we were in a town with no paved roads.

Kanorado, KS, is the saddest, most depressing town in America (see picture above). We drove a few blocks and saw just a few people huddled outside the senior center, which appeared to be the only building on main street not boarded up. It was just plain creepy, and as we drove out of town, we passed the deserted gas station and abandoned cafe along the old highway that used to be the main road in Kansas before the interstate.

Kirby Mansion, Abilene, KSThe rest of the trip was pretty typical of Kansas: flat, billboards for the “World’s Largest” something, and a million grain elevators, not to mention the anti-abortion sign about every 50 miles. But when we got close to Abilene, we started to see trees for the first time. We drove into Abilene, and I was quite proud of myself for finding this cute little town in the middle of no where. Tomorrow we go to the Eisenhower library, so I’ll write more about Abilene later.

You can see pictures from the day, including our stop at Fort Hays, on Flickr.

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2 responses to “Day 1

  1. OMG!!! My high school buddy and I ALSO stopped in Abilene on our cross-country trip! I think the Eisenhower House was why she picked it (this explains a lot about my friends, huh?) but it was closed. We DID go see this really weird lawn-art-sculpture gone awry called the Garden of Eden.

  2. I live in Abilene and although it is a nice town with cool historic buildings and alot of really pretty trees, it is a very boring town. There really isn’t that much to do here, but its nice I guess.

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