ALL 50 - Ray’s Journal Entry for: Day 33 - Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Colorado Springs, Colorado to Hastings, Nebraska

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I head north to go back and get a picture of the Air Force Academy. It was dark last night when I arrived in Colorado Springs. As I get off the freeway, there are a number of people parked and looking towards the academy. 

Air Force Drill Team Practice, US Air Force Academy

Kansas State Line

Dodge City, Kansas

Sign, Rt. 36, Geographic Center of Lower 48

Geographic Center of Lower 48, Lebanon, KS.

Nebraska State Line

The Air Force drill team is practicing over the stadium for graduation. Very impressive. That explains, in part the slow traffic on the freeway in both directions.

After several minutes a gentleman pulls up behind me and we discuss the jets and my Corvette. Handing him "The Card," I find out he is a pilot for Northwest Airlines. He proceeds to tell me he almost bought '73 Vette, but if he would have, he wouldn't have tuition to finish college. Decisions of life.

I forgot to get his name, however he told me that a famous landmark in Colorado Springs, is the Garden of Gods. He describes it and suggests that I should go there. Heading south, the traffic is heavy. I can see the top portion of the Garden several miles to the West. Another road trip.

I go by Pikes Peal International Speedway and turn east in Pueblo on Route 50. This area is still at 3500 feet in elevation, but dry. Leaving Rocky Ford, Colorado, I get pulled over by a State Trooper in a Z-28 Camaro. Trooper Lambert politely asks to see my registration. Handing him "The Card" and explaining why I'm here, I take the folder out of my briefcase to get the sales receipt. He questions why is the registration on the right front windshield. I once again say, "ask California."

I just wish California, after 5 weeks could get me my registration and plates so my daughter could forward them to me. I can't believe it has taken this long.

Returning in as few minutes, Trooper Lambert returns my paper work and wishes me a good day. In handing me the paper work, was included a card with his name and badge number. I thought this was a great idea by the State of Colorado.

There is now a strong south wind blowing. Fields that have been plowed, have blowing dust. I could just imagine this area in the "Dust Bowl" days.

Karen has tried to talk me out of coming to Dodge. The lure of the West, I just felt I had to. Dodge sits just above the Arkansas River and is flat and wind driven. There ain't much there. Now, I understand the phrase "Lets get the Hell out of Dodge!"

My travel guide, Karen has also suggested to me that there is a place that is the center of the continental Untied States. I have to head east and north anyhow, so I find Lebanon, Kansas on the map.

The sign on Route 36 indicates that I now have to travel 4 miles north and 1 mile west. Its interesting to imagine that the lower 48 would balance at this point.

That I'm here, must mean that I'm a well centered individual?

The roads have been excellent in Kansas and I debate heading north into Nebraska Trooper territory or continue east on Route 36.

There has not been much in the way of lodging and its getting late, I should be able to reach Hastings Nebraska.

Heading north on Route 281 and entering Nebraska, the roads are night and day, I am getting a head ache from all the cracks in the road. The only saving grace to this part of the drive, the sun is setting and is a brilliant orange fireball at the horizon. A beautiful picture, only I'm out of card space! (I know what I'm doing tonight...downloading pictures.)

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