Salina, Kansas: This is a flat town.

7:24 Central Daylight time, SALINA, KANSAS — Well, here we are, halfway across Kansas. It looks like we’ve still got 10 hours and 630 miles to go, according to the MapQuest M pulled up inside the 24/7 station next door when we stopped to pee at 7:45 last night. So we drove from 1 CDT (noon MDT) ’til 7:45, took maybe half-hour for lunch at Subway in Burlington, Colorado, a quiet — eerily quiet? — town near Kansas border and then stopped for gas at WaKeeney, KS. Gas has been cheaper here in KS than elsewhere, $3.60 something at WaKeeney, where M bought her Kansas magnet for Nina, something about Dorothy and Toto, as most of the souvenirs here seem to be about — also there’s’ the Kansas weather T-shirt: changing every hour, with tornadoes twice later in day. And also the gas here is $3.59 or so — maybe that’s because of the oil produced here? We saw oil pumps somewhere near Hays. When M started driving, I was more able to look. I drove 1 til 6. M took over at WaKeeney. She found a pamphlet for some Smoky Hills Scenic drive, which might be neat. It crosses some old Butterfield Trail. But, then, we were in a goal-mode, but beyond that, how much history does a dude need, you know? F*ck, Kansas is desperate: there’s a “deepest hand-dug well” attraction marked in our Rand McNally map.

Posture — letting the head and shoulders be where it takes the least energy to maintain them. Usually it’s straight up, not my normal hunched-over post. That’s what [chiropractor] V. said, too — good posture is when your head feels balanced. What’s odd is how quick it is, how easy to forget where it feels natural and start hunching over without even noticing the extra energy it takes, in the form of tense muscles, until later, when muscles start aching, I get headache, etc.

I’m sitting here in a conference room, the Cottonwood Room, capacity 49, near the breakfast area in this Holiday Inn Express. It’s not as nice inside as outside, but this was the nicest-looking hotel I saw [while] driving around Salina (pronounced “sa-LINE-ah,” according to weather guy on KAKE, “cake” they called it, TV out of, I believe, Wichita). We actually went 9th Street through town — this is a flat town — lots of flat around here. Clerk at 24/7 advised we go south for food, so we did, ate apathetic food served apathetically at Fazoli’s, and then we went back to Candlewood (Suites?) Inn and checked out of the room we had just checked into. It was an odd sort of room, the last one she had, with double queen beds, handicap accessible bathroom (no shower tub, just floor), and a kitchenette — but it had a slightly odd smell and M was bothered by it. She was already a bit anxious, and she made a face at the room smell before recognizing, wow, that’s what my mom does — and so while we ate, M got online with her phone and got the number for Holiday Inn and called — talked to India, she said, made reservation, and we checked in here at about 9:30. So we have a ways to go yet today — to Kansas City, up to Des Moines, and home — but we couldn’t have gone much more last night, anyway.

[From journal of Mon., 11 August 2008, Journal 103, pages 385-7]

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