i took a short road trip this past weekend. just up into nebraska and then back down into kansas city by way of manhattan. it was a fun little trip--great to see my friends (pictured left, along with the great swedish yard game kub). i always enjoy getting out on the road, though it was nothing compared to last year when i drove over 7000 miles on two trips from san fran to maine. and tomorrow i leave for san fran again (don't worry, flying this time) for a friend's wedding. but throughout all these travels there is definitely something i love deeply about the midwest.
i always hear people complaining about the drive across western kansas. "there's nothing out there" they say. well i think they just must really be looking then. there is so much beauty. not only a little in the sky where i have seen some of the best cloud formations ever save from above in an airplane, but also all along those great plains. they truly are great. i was driving through nebraska the other day, and its slight hills covered in corn stalks. those fields would give way to golden wheat fields, many recently cut and rolled into bales. and when i say golden i mean golden. so bright and beautiful.
i've been to the mountains of colorado, vermont, banff, alaska, switzerland, heck even the flint hills. i've been to the atlantic, pacific, arctic, and mediterranean seas. volcanoes. islands. ruins. and they are all so beautiful. probably more beautiful than the midwest, sure. but there is something in a field, lit up by the hanging sun. i don't know if i can explain it. maybe it's just my kansas roots, but i truly love it. take 177 south of manhattan to wichita and then try to tell me that kansas isn't beautiful.
of course the stillness of straight fields yields its own power in other ways too. on my way back through manhattan i got a look at some of the tornado damage. pretty crazy stuff.