The Traveling Steve's

Windmills on the Plains

‘Twas yet another work week in rural western Kansas. Although I didn’t have an early flight, DOS and I stayed at the Orlando Airport Hyatt as we had been away for his birthday weekend (at the Cypress Creek Hyatt!) and wanted it to be a nice and relaxing end to his birthday weekend for him (and me!). IMG_7184Today (Monday), was actually Dos’s birthday, so I gave him the last of his weekend birthday cards, and a bluetooth adapter for his car as he doesn’t have one. As he drives to and from Orlando from Sarasota each week, I thought the bluetooth adapter would be a practical gift when he’s chatting on the phone.

We had a nice breakfast at the Hyatt restaurant Hemingway’s, and by now we know several of the wait staff, who are always so nice and friendly welcoming us back. The breakfast buffet there is always very good, and the servers even bring us mini bottles of Evian along with our coffee! After breakfast, DOS headed back to Sarasota, and I headed downstairs to my American Airlines flight to DFW, connecting to GCK.

On this trip, I flew into Garden City Regional Airport, a tiny Kansas airport with one gate. I was supposed to fly here a month or so ago when I had my in-flight emergency on the way to Dallas, and ended up flying to Wichita instead.  I was actually on the same first flight to DFW, which fortunately made it to DFW ok this time.  Of course it’s never comforting when you land and see this smoke welcoming you in the distance! IMG_6223


I think it was a fire drill of some sorts for firefighters and possibly airline employees, as there was a mock-up of the plane where the smoke was coming from.  We also saw the huge Qantas 380 superjumbo as we were taxing to the gate.  I always think about my Australian friends when I see that, and our upcoming trip to Vietnam on a Korean Airlines 380.IMG_6220

After a short layover (for DFW that means at least an hour for me) I was on my way to Garden City, Kansas.  I actually like small airports most of the time; that is when flights are on time. If there are delays, either mechanical, crew, or bad weather however, you have no other choices in flights so that’s a definite draw-back; but most of the time it makes for a more relaxing and enjoyable trip.  Here are a couple pics I took shortly before we landed in Garden City, Kansas. I always like viewing those circular symmetrical farming patterns from the air.









Fortunately I had no flight issues this time either way outbound or flying home on Friday.  Here is the tiny Garden City airport with its baggage claim area and a view of my plane as I waited for my luggage.

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Here is the front of the terminal where I picked up my rental car.

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I did drive quite a bit throughout Kansas as my 3 job sites were spread out over several hundred miles of wide open farmland; i.e. the Plains.

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I stayed the first two nights at the Hampton Inn in Hays, Kansas, probably the best place in town. Hays was a big city compared to the other surrounding towns where I worked.  It had several hotels, restaurants, a mall, and lots of fast food places!.  The other small towns I was working in had only a tiny main street, no traffic lights or fast food places. Like how I judge a city by the availability of fast food places? LOL!
I drove about an hour and 20 minutes the first two days to Ness County, along mostly 2 lane roads thru the farmland. I actually enjoyed the drive; it was quite peaceful and relaxing with hardly any other traffic.  As mid-western Kansas is so flat, I could literally see for miles, and saw some amazing sunrises, sunsets, and the most beautiful full moon along my travels as I started early and finished after dark. I did had to be conscious of the deer that roam the plains at dusk and dawn; fortunately I was safe in my travels.

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I loved seeing the barns, and especially the windmills.  I saw this mural painted on a downtown IMG_7271 (1)storefront as I came into town,

and some scattered homes on the plains as I drove along.  This house reminded me of a farmland scene from the EPCOT attraction boat ride ‘Living with the Land’, with its windmill out back.

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Further along I sand this gigantic windmill up close later in the day along one of the rural country roads.

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It’s such a simple, yet important piece of America, and like the moon symbolizes all of the hard work and simple life of the American farmer.  It’s nice to stop, think, and be grateful sometimes even for the simple things in life as we hurry on day to day in the midst of our busy lives. I always thing the Moon symbolizes God looking down from above; in a subtle way, but begging you to pay attention to him and the beauty of the world.

As my work-week was quite busy, I didn’t have a lot of free time with the travel distances, but as always enjoyed taking photos along the way.

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And soon enough it was Friday, and Halloween weekend!  When I checked out of the Hampton Inn on Friday, I was reminded that Oct 30 is National Candy Corn day!  Who knew?

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