Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Things I've Learned About Kansas

When we started the whole process of moving to Kansas to Illinois in the spring, I expected some changes. However, there are a few surprising things I've learned about Kansas that I couldn't have prepared myself for.

1. Kansas is hot and dry. Did I say hot?'s hot!
Since we've been out here, the average temperature has been 100 degrees. The first day it was 104 but it was the most pleasant 100+ weather I've ever experienced! There is very little humidity in SW Kansas because basically it is a desert out here. It rains very little and precipitation is often measured in hundredths; a measurement too small to bother with in the midwest. Since there is so little humidity here the heat can be deceiving and zaps your energy quicker than you realize. For the first week I had to take a nap every afternoon but I think my body is finally acclimating to the climate. Yip and Yap didn't seemed phased by heat at all! It's amazing to me how flexible kids can be.

2. The Arkansas River that runs through Dodge City doesn't have water in it.

Yep, that is the Arkansas River you see right up there. From what I understand, the lack of water isn't due to dry conditions but because it has been damned off at it's source in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.

3. If you live in SW Kansas you had better learn to like the smell of cows.

This is a cattle feedlot, where cattle are fed to slaughter weight, and they are all over Kansas. DR drives by one everyday on the way to work. In fact, there are more cattle in this area than people! Of course cattle have their own aroma that takes some getting used to!

4. If you plan on living in SW Kansas you had better like to drive.
The nearest WalMart is 30 miles away in Dodge City, not a bad drive. The closest Target is in Garden City 45 miles away. The nearest Lowe's however is in Hutchinson, KS 175 miles away!

5. There aren't a lot of people out here.
Our telephone book covers 1/4 of the state, all of SW Kansas and it is smaller than the phone book for Lafayette, IN!

6. You don't drive fast enough to live in SW Kansas.
Everyone out here drives at least 70mph. But don't worry, I'm practicing!!

7. A town isn't a town in SW Kansas without a grain elevator, often two!

This is a shot of our main street, right in front of our house, at 8 o'clock on a Saturday morning. Hoppin' place isn't it?

There, a few surprising things about SW Kansas and I'm sure there is more to come too!

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