Friday, October 7, 2011

I'm in the Mountains Now!

Yesterday packed a real punch weather-wise!  After I finished my post on the wind I was watching the telly (after Big Bang before Person of Interest) when I noticed a severe thunderstorm warning on the bottom of the screen.  Not knowing the counties of western Kansas (or even the one I was located in) I hauled out the atlas and looked.  Not my county but counties to the south and west, since most of the weather on the plains comes from the southwest in the summer/fall, I continue checking updates.  Next up is a tornado warning for several counties including the one I am in!  Tornados are serious business and I have all my stuff in a motel room!  Where would I go if it was coming to me?  Solution:  the bathroom-lots of walls close together.  I moved all my stuff in there and continued to watch the weather.  Turned out the possible tornado storm passed just to the west of me, whew!  All this time the wind continues to blow against the window and door of my room (dirt blows in around the door until I stuff a towel under it) and about 10:30pm it began to rain.  As my Granna would have said "It came a gully-washer!"

This morning, on the other hand, dawned clear and nearly windless!

First up today I went here!
The Prairie Museum of Art and History

I've driven past this place so often and wanted to stop but there was always something (it was freezing cold out-frying hot out etc).  They have several buildings on the grounds that date from earlier times and I enjoyed walking through them.

First up was the 1930's farmstead.  Depression years so they talked about dust storms and this:

I thought of you, Ann, and Australia's "rabbit problem".  Behind the house was a small barn where some 4-H kids had their black-faced sheep (black-face sheep always make me think of Jenna).  The sheep were pretty curious about the lady with the camera!

There was a herb garden complete with an unusual windmill-called an umbrella.
Weird, huh?

A lovely white Church or Sunday School as they were originally called, built in 1915.  Love the "fish scale" shakes, although "clam shell" would be a better name as any quilter would tell you!

There was a sod house, very common on the plains as there were very few trees (there are more now because folks planted them-we primates like our trees!)  I have seen lots of photos of them but I've never been near or inside one.  I was especially  taken by the thickness of the walls.  This one had a wooden floor, windows and wood covering the sod by the windows-I think I've read that those thing were later additions.

Cactus growing on the roof!  In many photos the roof is covered with sod and sometimes there are wild flowers blooming!

These walls must be two feet thick!
There is a one-room school house and what is billed as the "largest barn in Kansas".
Isn't that sky a wonder?

The main building houses 21,500 square feet of art and artifacts! Wonderful collections of glass, buttons, coins, military uniforms from WWI to the present, bridal gowns, china, toys and dolls (my favorite).

I enjoyed this stop tremendously, and I bought stuff in their gift shop!  See!
Another glass ball to hang in the Kitchen-only 6 empty hooks now! Where am I going to put that cookbook? And another history book  (I am most intrigued by 19th century women and children-in spite of my current research into the Town of Kansas this is what I love.) I really hope I don't own this book-I might!

So, after that I was off on Interstate 70 again, soon leaving Kansas behind for Colorado.  It seems greener in Colorado-the trees are only hinting at fall color, strange.  I leave the Interstate at Limon for Colorado Springs via US 24.  I have never driven this road and it is odd to always have Pike's Peak in view, as it usually disappears as the northern peaks come into view.  I arrive in Colorado Springs at 1:30 pm MDST and decide to just keep on.  Ended up at Mountain View.  There is new snow on Pike's Peak and the aspen are turning!  I was told at the hotel to take all food in out of the truck as there is a bear about!

1 comment:

a good yarn said...

Really pleased to read that you missed out on the tornado. Close shave, huh? The Prairire Museum looks really interesting (love historical stuff). Great buildings too. Sod houses are back in fashion as they are very eco-friendly. Good thermal/cooling properties. Guess our ancestors were smarter than we realised. Yep those rabbits cause utter devastation, along with the mice and grasshoppers. ann :-)