Preface: My Kansas sinecure sputtering to an end, I found two weeks at my disposal with nothing to do. Therefore, I turned the hood of my trusty Taurus northwest to visit the Suches, my alternate family, in their montane abode near Lyons, Colorado.
Here I am at the Suches. Mountains, trees, and green are welcome after many weeks of wheat, feedlots, and dust.
I rode out to Meade with Reed. An interesting fellow. We talked about grad school, alcohol, women, wildlife conservation, and especially hunting.
Seven more road hours awaited me. The trick to making good time, I've discovered, is to not stop. I only did so once, in Stratton, Colorado. Even when my head and lower back allied themselves in affliction, I pressed westward, straining for the hazy purple outline of the Front Range after miles and miles of plain.
Found the house (a cabin retreat by most standards) by following landmarks and flashes of deja vu up the network of gravel roads. The family is as loving and hospitable as ever. Bushtits, Steller's Jays, Magpies--yes, I am definitely not in Kansas any more.