To experience 40 mph winds bucking you in your car is one thing when the speed limit is 70 mph, but to see semi trucks flipped over on the side of the road is quite another. Very sobering site as we passed five such scenes going west on Hwy. 70 bound to Denver. Too windy to roll down the window to take photos as we slowed down while state troopers swarmed the tragic scene, so none exist for this blog entry. Similar to seeing a downed elephant, regal yet forlorn. I have high respect for these drivers and their rigs who crisscross the country with their loads, they are normally very good drivers. I hope none of them died or were badly injured in what must have been empty trailers being caught in the strong gusts and then making the truck up front start to fishtail. Later we saw three trucks and trailers driving on the shoulder of the road probably going 30 mph close to each other, gingerly since they probably had a deadline to make to return with their rigs, high winds or no.
We also saw the wind farms that had their tall towers with the three propellers stopped. That also looked a bit haunting through the thick, chestnut colored dust that was carried away from the farmers’ topsoil. If the brakes had not been put on the props, they would have been spinning wildly in the severe wind and perhaps do more damage than good. Looking at some of the farms as we passed on the highway sometimes at 60 mph or less, I wondered how they managed to eke out a living, things looked so dry. Also, with all the wind that was there and the absolute dryness, I’m sure prairie fires had wreaked their damage to many a farmstead in the past.
Finally, what is notable about Russell, KS (besides being the birthplace of Robert Dole) was that they have a kind of limestone rock that farmers and rangers used for fence posts. This rock was used because wood posts were so hard to find on the treeless prairie OR if they were used they would burn with the next prairie fire. One could see them in the fields holding up the barbed wire fencing all along the way about 25 feet apart from each other standing about a yard high. So this stretch of area grew rock instead of trees but also what is underneath is oil that is being dredged out.
We have four more hours to drive to get to Denver but the weather could turn worse with snow and sleet showers. Weather reports sound off with tornadoes and high winds behind us, blizzards north of us and floods to the northeast of us. Wow, spring is coming in like a lion and going out like one! I’ll keep you posted as to when we finally arrive into Colorado, this is becoming a perilous journey but my husband is an old hand when it comes to tricky driving up mountain passes. It will start looking like Almaty, Kazakhstan the closer we get to our destination.