Day 69 – August 13, 2001 – Day 69! We want to know the address of the website where they are taking bets on whether we actually make it back to Texas! Somebody somewhere must be setting odds.
We left Canon City early this morning since we had a long drive today, over 260 miles. We are on the final run for home and the countryside is hot and flat. We figure we can go a little further than when we were climbing mountains every day. The mountains ended with the area around Canon City and, as Ben promised, everything else was flat (or nearly so). The traffic was heavier than we expected (not too many roads going cross-country, I guess) but the first 50-70 miles was four lane. Then, it dropped back to two lane and we were dodging cars again.
My brother-in-law, Roy Russell, had told us to be sure to stop in Rocky Ford, Colorado, a great fruit-growing area. We pulled into a nice-looking fruit market called Smith’s Corner for a few cantaloupe and wound up staying almost two hours. Greg Smith, the owner, is a Model T man himself and just happened to have a few T parts in the back of his antique shop next door. The guys followed him around to his garage at the back of the building and found floor-to-ceiling auto parts and accessories. Not all were Model T parts but he had enough to make our group happy. Now what are the odds that we would pick the one fruit market in a town brimming with fruit markets where the owner knew what a trembler coil was?
The drive into Kansas was long and tiresome. The country has a stark kind of beauty but, once again, we were in a very remote area, with miles between communities and only one road connecting everything in a long, straight line. At one point, Ben and I saw something on the road ahead which we thought was an animal. We finally realized that it was a car, miles ahead, that we could see because the road was so flat and straight. There was an occasional farmhouse, surrounded with gigantic old trees, and everything else was totally flat. (Are you getting the idea that it is really FLAT here?)
We arrived at our motel in Garden City, Kansas, around 8:45 pm. We didn’t realize that we were going to have a time change (finally back on Texas time) and that, combined with the stop at the fruit market, made us later than we would otherwise have been. Ben hopes for an early start in the morning and, if all goes well, we’ll be in Texas by tomorrow night. We are only 100 miles from the Texas border but we hope to spend the night in Childress, Texas, another 250 mile drive.
P.S. Ben asked me to mention that we have additional photos taken by Jennifer and Ross on their conventional cameras that we could not use because we don’t have a scanner on this trip. If you are interested, we will be adding some of those, probably as an addendum, after we return home.