Just as we were contemplating putting an offer on an out-of-date farmhouse on Shelter Island, N.Y., we did the next logical thing: we got outta Dodge, both figuratively and quite literally. Figuratively, ’cause we decided to do an about face and look in the West for our next project, and literally, ’cause we stopped at (and left, of course) Dodge City, Kansas along the way.
Now we are in Colorado Springs, Colorado — the state we intend on scouring rather seriously for a nice property that a Baby Boomer would like to call home in a couple of years.
The farmland is doing better than I thought, especially after seeing how deserted the country was along a more southern route (see Week 14 — America: Up for Grabs). The main reason: Corn. Now I know not of what I talk, but I could see that many a square inch was stuffed with corn, and what wasn’t soy beans were. Perhaps it’s the ever tasty high-fructose corn syrup; perhaps it’s ethanol, but I can tell you, there should not be any corn subsidies going on right now. I’m not sure, but I think while we stopped at a Cracker Barrel for lunch, corn was planted in the vacant parking stalls on both sides of our truck. (I swear office, it wasn’t there when we parked!)
Along with the plantings, there is no shortage of cattle especially in the feed lots in Western Kansas and at Dodge City, which stinks of “money” as someone in town called the mucky, earty smell of raw cattle and their final excrement as they are hung up and “processed” by the thousands. Dodge City made it’s name from butchering and shipping cattle, and it is still the primary source of income for the bustling heartland town.
While our decision to attempt to live in the middle of the country hasn’t sunk in, Jack really stuck it home today, when he said, “Daddy, next time when we go to the beach, I want to bring my metal shovel”. Ouch… not sure when we are going to see the beach again, but there is a lot of pretty things to enjoy in the mountain country, so we’ll see how long we can last.
Look closely at the pictures towards the middle of the slide show. It’s a town in Kansas that got levelled by at 200 mph+ tornado two months ago.