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Issue #181, Epic Road Trip, June 3, 2018: Salina, Kansas

June 3, 2018

Waking up in Salina KOA Kansas. We finally made it the 472 miles here after having to get a total of three tanks of gas. When Paige was driving for a spell, I realized that we were only getting 13.5 miles per gallon, no doubt because of a heavy load and bikes on top of both sections of our travel entourage, Volvo and Cricket.

The bikes on top of the Cricket were swaying uncomfortably due to the wind, and even before we had made it out of Boulder, I had to stop and readjust the straps.

This is a pleasant KOA; even though trucks have been driving past on the highway which is uncomfortably close, it’s very clean and there is a pool that the kids enjoyed for about an hour after we got set up - and ‘setting’ up is considerably easier in the Cricket, compared to setting up tents, shelters, chuck-boxes, etc - something Paige commented on as we prepared for our first night in our new camper.

While the kids were splashing in the pool, some guy came by to comment on “how efficiently we were using our space” with the Cricket rig. He was from Edmonton, Canada, and he and his wife had been down in Texas for a month where he reported being “drenched in sweat” and he also said that it was good we were taking kids now, “as it may not always be that way”.

This morning I got up early, after a difficult night of sleep, with lots of noise both outside on the roads and from the kids above shuffling in the cots. I had disturbing dreams about unsuccessfully trying to rent cross country ski equipment. I had my sketching stuff prepared, and after escaping from the dreams, I slipped out of the Cricket before the sun came up and went over to the field next to the KOA where there is a museum of all this old farm equipment arrayed next to a small white church, and I set up my easel and sketched as the sun rose.

Edge of the wheat field
Before the dawn of the day
Sketching with wet feet

A chain on his tie
Sharply-dressed evangelist
Steps out of trailer

The space above me
Kids shuffling, cots creaking
Submarine quarters

Green grass, endless road
Kids happy with their movies
Paige studies the map

Endless green expanse
Where buffalo used to roam
Chased by Cherokee

Dead armadillo
Just outside of Truman Lake
Central Missouri

Not a cloud in sight
And yet my ears are ringing
Osteola wind

Setting up breakfast
While the camper next to us
Empties his sewage

Pre-dawn sulphur glow
Of lights beyond the wheat field
Melted by the sun

solo/group kukai
jonathan machen