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Day 3 – Tuesday May 1: Weathering OZ

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<– Day 2: Monday April 30th: Life’s Twists & Turns | Day 4 – Wednesday May 2: Old Friends –>


Day 3: I thought there wouldn’t be much to share from yesterday, but boy did we find a wide range of weather! I’m a bit rummy after our long drive… hopefully most of this makes sense. Here’s Tuesday’s route:


We drove from Rawlins, WY, to Topeka, KS on Tuesday.

We began Tuesday driving in the snow and 30 degree temps through Wyoming. Brrrrrr. As we dropped into Nebraska the temps improved. Turning south, we drove into Kansas asthe temps rose to 82 degrees! It felt like summer, with blue sky surrounding us.

The only problem we faced regarding Kansas is that Ann is banned from driving there. Here’s the story:

My wife is banned from driving in the state of Kansas (and as far as we know is still banned). Yes, you read that correctly. It’s a funny story of how a comedy of errors coupled with some brain damage can get you banned from a state.

Many years ago Ann was driving a Ford Explorer (with Purple Heart plates) she’d just bought through Kansas with her grandmother in the back. Her granny had been in a car accident and suffered brain damage. Ann herself has some slight brain damage from Khobar and, when driving, sometimes get’s tunnel vision, so it is prudent of me to make sure we don’t miss exits (otherwise, she’s a very good driver). I’m sure the two were quite a pair.

With granny in the back seat asleep, Ann had the music on and was cruising down the freeway. At some point she noticed there were police lights in the rear view manner. So, she pulled over. The officer who approached her window was NOT happy, explaining that he had been following her for “some time” and that she had been speeding. Ann told him she was unaware she had been speeding and didn’t hear the sirens over the music.

That’s when things go interesting, for granny popped up from the back seat and started calling Ann by the name Kathy (Ann’s aunt’s name) and wanted to know where Kathy was taking her in a manner suggesting granny was being kidnapped. This caught the officer’s attention. Asking for her license and registration, the officer soon discovered that Ann’s boyfriend at the time, who worked at a dealership and sold her the Explorer, had not properly registered the Explorer.

To the cop, the whole situation was suspicious. Any officer would be suspicious about a woman who 1) wasn’t who she claimed, 2) was kidnapping an old woman, 3) driving an improperly registered vehicle, 4) speeding, and 4) not pulling over in a timely manner.

So, off to a small town jail they went. When they arrived at the jail, it turned out the jail was flooded, so they had to be ‘held’ at the local diner. Eventually, all was sorted out, but it took a while. The next day, they were released and off they went.

Sometime later, Ann received a letter from the State of Kansas claiming she was banned from ever driving in the state again.

Not long after entering Kansas, we noticed storm clouds off to the east. Here’s a pic from Phillipsburg, Kansas:


Philipsburg, Kansas, town square with the storm behind it.

Feeling it was best not to temp fate and drive into the storm, we elected to drive to I-70 before turning east. That turned out to be a brilliant strategy as, we learned later, everything east to us was getting battered by tornados, hail, and rain.

When we reached Hays, we heard the weather report: storms and more storms. We pulled up some forecasts and saw the I-70 was under siege about 30 miles east of us, but that it looked like it might break in a while. So, we ate some BBQ at Billy Sims’ place (it was good).


It’s named for (owned by?) Billy Sims, former Oklahoma and Detroit Lions running back.

With some full bellies, we hopped on I-70 and did our best to outrun the storm. This we did until Ann spotted something about a large egg in Wilson, Kansas, right off the highway. Curious, we pull off to take a look.



It turns out that Wilson is the Czech capital of Kansas and they have an egg that is the largest Czech egg in the world. Who knew?

2018-05-01-egg-czech-wilson1 2018-05-01-egg-czech-wilson2 2018-05-01-egg-czech-wilson3With the storm still north of us, we didn’t linger long. We were soon back on the road.

For the next two hours, we drove east on I-70 as lightning exploded around us and the winds rocked us, but we never saw a drop of rain. However, to the north, the area we had planned to drive through was still getting hit. Here’s a map showing I-70 below the red areas. You can see our car in the middle heading east on I-70.


Luck was on our side this time and we escaped all the hazards. We knew our luck had changed when, as we entered Topeka, at some point the speed dropped from 75 to 70. At that point, we passed a cop. He tore after us. The speed then dropped to 65, as did I. With a mile to go to our exit the cop roared up, then switched to the passing lane and came right up beside us. I looked over at him and smiled, but couldn’t see through his tinted windows. He must have seen that I was a tired looking old man not worth stopping, so he dropped back and took the exit. We pull off a the next exit … whew!!

Tomorrow we head to Whiteman AF base (Ann’s base of record, still) to see if we can pick up a new ID for her. Then we will visit some of her old friends from the area.

<– Day 2: Monday April 30th: Life’s Twists & Turns | Day 4 – Wednesday May 2: Old Friends –>


10 Comments on “Day 3 – Tuesday May 1: Weathering OZ

  1. Seth

    She is lucky, as far as driving goes Kansas is probably the most boring state in the union.

    You look beat.

  2. David Eilers Post author

    Seth: I had some strange intestinal issue for a couple weeks before the trip that didn’t clear up until two days before we left. Well that and I’m lucky if I can sleep for more than six hours any more.

    Gmwillys: Agreed!

  3. Colorado Ranger Bob

    Glad you made it to Topeka safely. I myself like to drive in Kansas. The Flint Hills are beautiful in the spring.

  4. CraigInPA

    Under the driver’s license compact, Kansas should not have been able to ban her from driving there. But, I wouldn’t tempt fate.

  5. keith rhodes

    Me thinks the po po were joking with her. Banishment is forbidden to US citizens in all the states. what would be curious is if you could find a local cop and ask him to run her DL through the computer.

  6. Dan B.

    I want to hear more about being held at the local diner. Were the flapjacks and coffee involved?

  7. TJ

    Being a retired cop, I can’t imagine they could “lawfully” do that, however I would not push it, as it is ammunition to tease the wife! Probably a result of just what I call; “A bully with a badge”. I worked with an officer who I didn’t like, who could not deal with a mental father and son pair, that frequented our Transit Mall Bus Station. He decided, that they were “Trespassed from the City of Salem.” Good grief!

    I let them hang out, after being told to “arrest” them, for merely taking in air in the city where they lived. My brother has a saying that explains it; “Common sense is not that common anymore”.

    Working on my plan to get to Ohio, will advise.

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