WellesleyWeston Magazine

SUMMER 2018

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: https://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/978308

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grassy, yet otherwise desolate land along the highway was dotted with oil rigs; Kansas is surely a fossil fuel-friendly state. Heading west, one after another, the upward slope created an illusion that the road and the sky were merging ahead of us, and we were driving right into the cloudless sky. By late afternoon, we arrived in Goodland, Kansas, near the state line with Colorado. The expansive view of both sky and land imparted a sense of unobstructed openness and unfettered freedom. Near the RV park, an old house stood in an open field under the broad sky, empty but full of old-time magnetism. As we ambled in the field, a woman let us know she owned the house, had recently moved it from another part of town, and was contemplating how best to renovate it. The house was special, and so was its owner. At the other side of the RV park, we saw a wheat field, and the "amber waves of grain" that so impressed Katharine Lee Bates when she passed through Kansas during her historic train trip from Wellesley to Colorado Springs. In Goodland, we had a good view, a good meal, and a good chat. What more could we have asked for? When we entered the Eastern Plains of Colorado, driving on I-70 was a breeze amidst flat farmlands. Close to Denver, we could see the Rocky Mountains touch the sky. On our way to the national park, we enjoyed the view at varying vistas. The height, the depth, and the scale Once out of Ohio, we quickly passed the farmlands in Illinois and Indiana, and by late afternoon arrived in Independence, Missouri, the birthplace of Harry Truman. A little early for dinner, we ventured into Kansas City, just a short drive away. For the largest city in the state of Missouri, we found the cityscape to be underwhelming in its horizontal and vertical dimensions. We returned to Independence, and had dinner at A Little BBQ Joint. Reflective of the restaurant's popularity, its sizable parking lot was full so I had to park the RV on a nearby street. Once again we were the only people of color in the crowd. The air was saturated with ethanol, the menu filled with red meat options, and we got a true taste of America's heartland. "Be careful," said the waitress as she returned my credit card at the end of the meal. I started to feel a bit uneasy, unsure if her words were just the Missourian version of "take care," or if it had something to do with the NAACP's travel advisory for the state. Walking out of the restaurant, we found that the other drivers had thoughtfully left some space ahead of our RV so that we could easily get out. After touring the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum the next morning, we spent the entire afternoon crossing into Kansas on Interstate 70. Because I missed my usual morning coffee, the with- drawal effect was starting to get me. Once on I-70, we were surprised by the lack of service; the Kansas part of I-70 has a few rest areas, but none has a gas station or a store. I had to exit I-70 to buy a coffee. The hilly, Goodland, KS July 1 From Sea to Shining Sea W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | s u m m e r 2 0 1 8 118

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