After a memorable week in Zion National Park with 5 painter friends and two of their spouses, we began the traverse east. Our scheduled route was I-70 west of Denver, but they were expecting a blizzard with 15 inches of blowing snow and chains required for commercial vehicles so we scrapped all our reservations and decided to head to a tried and true route through New Mexico on I-40. However, since we had to get to near Chicago we decided to cut up through Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, and Iowa on our route to Chicago. Well, we went from the possibility of driving through a blizzard to driving through an amazing dust storm near Dalhart, TX. If you read the economy section of this entry you will see why it is probably in the state it is regarding dust!
We saw motorcyclists abandoning their bikes and tow behind RV's toppled on their sides. Our car felt like it was being sandblasted while we rode a bunking bronco with very little visibility as everything was dust colored--the sky, the road, the street, and the tumbleweeds were pouring over the road and the fences on the side of the road. After this 3 hour nightmare where we drove about 150 miles in these conditions, we emerged in Kansas into slightly better, but still tremendously windy conditions.
After several more stormy days, we finally are seeing blue skies again. The daffodils and tulips are out here as are flowering magnolias, the peonies and hostas are inching upward, and there is lots of GREEN GRASS.