My trip to the 140 Characters Conference was bookended by three-hour drives across the Kansas prairie. Most of the drive looks like this:
Ignore the dusty dashboard.
If you're lucky, you get to see some cattle, horses or sheep. I also like to play "spot the hawk."
My biggest fear was that I'd hit a deer, which is why I chose to stay overnight on Monday rather than drive the mostly two-lane, unlighted highways after dark. The only deer I saw on the trip were dead on the side of the road. There were many equally unfortunate coyotes, raccoons and skunks to be seen as well.
I brought my trusty road companions, Pete and Inga:
Pete didn't have much to say, other than occasionally shouting, "K-A band!" when we were approaching a highway patrol speed trap. That's basically his only job, but he's good at it.
Inga is a lot more talkative (and sometimes a bit snippy), but on these trips she got to save her voice because after "continue 95 miles," there's no room for color commentary.
When I first started out, I thought it might be nice to just travel with my own thoughts instead of playing the radio, but I gave up on that as soon as I started feeling sleepy. The landscape is pretty hypnotic.
Hey look! Cows!
So I turned on the radio and scanned around to find anything that wasn't country music or a preacher. Ultimately, I ended up listening to light rock most of the way. The next time I take a long road trip, I'm loading up on CDs that contain distorted guitar.
I didn't stop at all on the way to Hutchinson. I'd packed a peanut butter and cheese sandwich, a banana and an apple, which fortified me until I got there.
On the way back, a water and snack break was called for. I had quite a few opportunites to stop, but I held out until I reached the Flint Hills One Stop in Strong, Kansas, where I happened to run into Guavalicious and her husband.
The trip back seemed faster than the trip out, but I'm still a bundle of sore muscles from the drives. It's trips like this that make me wish I had cruise control.
Still, I always enjoy hitting the open road and the freedom of driving my own car to a travel destination. I'm thinking my husband and I need to plan a road trip vacation next year sometime.