Tour 2015 – Day 18: Clovis to Dodge City

To Kansas we went

Texas and Oklahoma

winds blew in our face

Cargill feedlot, Dalhart, Texas.
Cargill feedlot, Dalhart, Texas.

We said goodbye to Starbucks yesterday in Ruidoso, NM, with none expected ahead for a few days. Clovis has the Java Loft, where we stopped this morning on the way north to intercept U.S. Hwy 54, which would take us deep into Kansas, across the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles. The New Mexico plateau gave way to the Great Plains in a spectacular drop off  a mesa topped with wind turbines.

The highway passed alternating massive feed lots and cattle-feed crops, following the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe rail line toward Topeka and Atchison, directly into a stiff prairie wind.  Gas mileage suffered: we topped off the tank when we left Clovis, and again in Dalhart, arriving in Dodge on reserves.

We stopped for lunch in Guymon, OK, no thanks to the GPS:  the business directory predates the recession, and the Midwest was hard-hit, wiping out many of the restaurants and motels in small towns, some of which have resurfaced under new names, and the towns that haven’t disappeared entirely have expanded beyond recognition in the recovery, so the services aren’t even close to the locations of the ones in the database.  We found a café with all-day breakfast, and a few offerings without meat.

In mid-afternoon, we turned north to Dodge City, pulling in to Cup of Jo-Nes coffee shop just before closing to get on WiFi to make lodging reservations and find a laundry.  Judy’s older iPad has increasingly refused to connect to WiFi networks in motels and coffee shops other than Starbucks, but it did connect at the laundry.  It’s going to be a long two months, with marginal computing connectivity.  The big laptop is behaving once again, thankfully.

A trip to the grocery after doing laundry made it a day.  The grocery is called “Dillon’s,” so we surmised that, after Marshall Matt retired and settled down with Miss Kitty, they started a small grocery…  Or not: Marshall Dillon was a fictional character on television, but based on the real Marshall, Wyatt Earp, for whom the main thoroughfare is named.