Finding The Heart Of Slow Travel On Kansas’s Konza Grassy field

Finding The Heart Of Slow Travel On Kansas’s Konza Grassy field

Finding The Heart Of Slow Travel On Kansas’s Konza Grassy field


Konza Grassy Field. Flint Hills, Kansas. House to the Konza Grassy Field Biological Station, run by close-by Kansas State University. I see carefully rolling hills– covered in long grassy field turf, green melting into yellow into scorched orange. When I pull over and get out of the cars and truck, my canine, Reuben, gazes at me from the rear seat. He’s attempting to determine what I’m doing. I hear the wind– no rush of automobiles, simply wind. This is not part of our rhythm, this middle-of-the-day stop. And yet here we are. I look out at the trailhead for a minute, and after that I reverse, unlock, and get the canine.

The noise of wind as it whispers and hushes through grassy field turf is something I never ever believed I ‘d appreciate. Now I understand it’s something I’ll always remember.

1: 40 p.m.: Driving through the flat stretches of Kansas is beginning to warp my mind. It does not matter that I left I-70 for a few of the mild curves of the regional two-lane highways, surrounded by sunflowers and corn. Whatever, ultimately, begins to flatten and liquify– the heat of the midday September sun sizzling on asphalt and eliminating the line in between here and oblivion. The only thing that keeps me in my mind is the periodic whine from the rear seat of my 11- year-old canine, who long earlier quit on sitting or lying and is rather surfing every turn and brake, every relocation making him more distressed.

We’re a bit more than half-way through our journey, and as Kansas hurries by the corn and sunflowers begin to vanish, paving the way to large fields of turf. With every whine and whimper, I seem like I need to hurry to get to my location as rapidly as possible, so I can get Reuben out of the cars and truck and into his brand-new life.


When my partner and I chose to cross the nation, we concurred that he would look after closing up the home then fly, and I would race with the cars and truck and the canine and some necessary to our brand-new house.

The strategy was easy enough: obtain from Portland, Oregon, to Durham, North Carolina, in as little time as possible. Around 2,800 miles, cutting a line directly through the middle of the nation. I might burn through that, I figured. It’s not like there was anywhere I required to stop. After speaking with maps and dog-friendly hotel sites and discovering inexpensive camping sites, I chose I might do it all in 4 and a half days. Less than a complete work-week. Simple.

The last time I had actually driven throughout the nation, I had a co-pilot who might drive when I burnt out, and we stopped at Wall Drug in South Dakota to take a look at the garish, stretching traveler drop in the middle of South Dakota. Then we went to Glacier National forest to glare at the huge rocky mountains and dip our toes into a glacier lake.

This time, nevertheless, it would simply be me and my old puppy, burning rubber.


1: 54 p.m.: Reuben’s whining is getting bad, and he’s beginning to rate and kip down the boundaries of the rear seat, stepping on his bed and his water bowl, scratching at my armrest. I hesitate he’s going to wind up smashed into the headrest if I need to brake unexpectedly, and I begin to determine how far we need to go up until our next designated stop. We have a schedule, after all. I’m expected to drive for around 6 more hours, up until we reach the borders of St. Louis.

It’s day 3, I inform myself. 2 more days to go. One and a half, actually. I can do this. Then I peek in the rear-view mirror and I see his eyes, virtually pleading for relief.

Prior to I understand what I’m doing, I discover myself turning left onto a dirty one-lane roadway simply beyond Manhattan, Kansas, surrounded by turf.


We chose to leave Portland due to the fact that it was ending up being all the important things we didn’t desire. Hectic, pricey, a self-satisfied mess of individuals who never ever stopped discussing the death of Old Portland and how inexpensive whatever utilized to be. Leaving wasn’t a simple choice: Portland was the only location I ‘d ever called an adult ( plus the donuts are bomb). I moved there when I was 19 and became their adult years because city. It had actually been my partner’s house because his household immigrated in the early 90 s, and when we fulfilled he informed me he was a lifer, that he would never ever live anywhere else.

However ultimately, we wound up analyzing our lives and choosing that it was narrow-minded to presume that there was just one location, one city, that was ideal for us.

I’ll just ever reside in a city, I as soon as stated. And I might never ever live back on the east coast.

Needless to state, we shocked ourselves when we chose a brand-new house in the middle of North Carolina, however we chose to simply roll with it. We might constantly move once again.



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