Sunday, April 27, 2014
POST 1303; APRIL 27, 2014; GREENBURG, KANSAS
Two weeks ago I was sprinting up 8% mountain Roads at 7,600 ft altitude, but the WIND took headline first place. Locals said April was typically windy. I could not breathe in the high winds
OK, am now at something like 4,000 elevation. Am told the Plains of Kansas are typically windy April through mid MAY with 35 mph winds forecast for today.
I began walking just after Sun Rise in MEADE, Kansas. It was blowing at something like 45 mph, nearly blowing me off US 54. Fetched SPIA-2 and drove the 10 miles to FOWLER, Kansas, hoping for better walking conditions.
Stepped out of SPIA-2 into winds I estimated at 60 miles per hour. The horizon was becoming hazy from a rising dust storm. Put on my "brave" hat and walked into that monstor wind, returning to SPIA-2 after two hours.
As I returned to FOWLER, planned to walk East for two hours, taking me to the town of MINNEOLA, Kansas.
No way. Not into still rising winds.
Drove to MINNEOLA, parked, and walked back West on US 54 into ever stronger wind. The nearby fields were still visable, but the horizon was eaten up by thick dust filling the sky. Returned to SPIA after 1.5 hours. Climbed into the car, gazing into trees bent double from the gale (Gale = 45 mph wind), measuring my options.
40 miles further East on US 54 waited the historic small city of GREENBURG, which in 2007 was TOTALLY DESTROYED by a Class E-5 Tornado fully 1-mile wide. In two days, I would reach GREENBURG walking. In 45 minutes I could drive to GREENBURG which I had been told had been rebuilt. I opted to drive to GREENBURG.
Leaving US 54 in MEADE, Kansas, where I received wonderful help from locals.
Approaching FOWLER, Kansas, some 10 miles East of MEADE.
Parked SPIA-2 at the Convenience Store and walked back West toward MEADE. Wind was now gusting to over Gale strength.
Came across this V-8 Gasoline Motor rigged as a water pump. The motor was running at about 1800 rpm, the output shaft spinning while connected to a shaft of the Blue Deep Well Water Pump.
A 6 inch water pipe led from the base of the pump past the roaring motor, and depositing water into a short stand-pipe which disappeared into the ground.
Grain Storage Silos.
Trees wind bent nearly double as I set out on my third attempt of the morning.
MINNEOLA Grain Storage Silos.
Arriving in GREENBURG, the sky was dark with wind blown sand. There was no way to stand safely. Forget about any walking.
The City was laid out in broad newly surfaced concrete. City block after city block in all directions had new multi-story buildings. I found the SHERIFF's Office, introduced myself, asking where they would like me to spend the next couple nights while waiting for the now even STRONGER wind to die down. Was told of a "Park-On-A-Lake a few blocks away which had ample parking, Picnic Tables, Toilet facilities, AND public fishing.
The Sheriff also suggested the new BEST WESTERN MOTEL would probably welcome my use of their WII-FII facilities to publish today's blog. Am presently at Best Western, nearly comlete with the Blog update.
Already visited the lake, having selected my over night spot.
Please say HELLO to CHARLIE (in blue) and ARROW (yes, his name is ARROW which goes with BOW and ARROW).
Charlie was fishing with a Ocean Surf Rod capable of handling a good size shark. What is in those waters, I asked. CAT FISH up to many feet long, was ARROW's response.
Please say HELLO to CHARLIE, who has launched his web site BOWTIE FLOAT.COM., for fishing equipment. I have not accessed Charlie's site, so do so at your own discretion.
Please say HELLO to ARROW.
Plan to stay in GREENBURG, hoping the wind abates to allow walking the 40 miles we just drove. Will spend more time with Charlie, Arrow, and Sheriff JEFF as I roam the new constructions of rebuilt GREENBURG and wonder at the block after block of flat empty space which prior to May 2007, was a bustling city.
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I see no purpose of predicting the next couple days. Must wait to see if Mother Nature calms down.
Perhaps Charlie will loan me a fishing pole !