Thursday, January 8, 2009
The Red Cliffs of Kansas
The Blog Mistress has landed! And in an awfully nice place, too.
More about that later. But first, I want to get down in writing the two Events of the day before I go to supper.
On my way to my destination, Ashland, I drove through Greensberg which is the Kansas town that got blown away by that F5 tornado a year or so ago. I guess I thought the town would look more rehabilitated, with more spaces filled in, so I was truly shocked to get there and see a place that looked as if the tornado had gone through last weekend. Of course, the debris is gone. And nice new buildings, small ones, are up. And there is construction going on everywhere, and there are handwritten signs thanking many, many people and agencies. But I'm telling you it is still shocking. First of all, it is flat ground, so you can see forever, wherever you stand. And what you see is blocks and blocks of streets and black, twisted trees. The houses are gone. There are some rebuilt on the south side of town, but the old neighborhoods? Gone. I was in Greensberg a few years ago--saw their meteor and The World's Deepest Hand-Dug Well--and I recall it as one of those cozy midwest towns with porches, shades trees and white clapboard homes. Gone, except for the winter-bare trees, which look very spooky.
What also shocked me was to see how big that twister was. It's unbelievable how wide it was, and since the ground is flat and nearly everything on it was flattened, you can see the twister's width, from side to far side. There are people who saw it from a distance and thought it was a storm wall, because their brains refused to compute a tornado that big.
I was surprised that it made me want to cry. I didn't, of course. Would have been rude, with all the hopeful work going on, but that's how I felt--shocked, really shocked, and weepy.
The next Event was happier. There was a point where I made a left turn and pointed south and from there on the scenery was GORGEOUS. Rolling ranch land, but craggy and rough, and very Western-looking. There are red cliffs and when the setting sun hit them today they looked bright orange. I could have driven that road for hours.
And now I'm at the Wallingford Inn, with a king-sized bed, and Victorian decorations, and I'm going to supper!
Y'all come, too.