Photo Story: Driving Through Kansas in 1975

In the summer of 1975 I spent a couple of weeks traveling the USA with my graduate school roommate.  He’d driven to the west coast from Connecticut to deliver his younger brother to (as I recall) the University of California at Berkeley.  I, on the other hand, flew into Los Angeles for the purpose of riding shotgun for the drive back to New England in his green Mercury Capri sedan via Nevada Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas, and from there pretty much straight through to Massachusetts where he dropped me off. The experience was terrific… all except the night I spent hanging over a toilet in a campground in Colorado after consuming burritos and refried beens in a hole-in-the-wall restaurant in Silverton, CO.

 Along Interstate 70 in 1975
Kodak Retina IIIC rangefinder film camera
50mm Focal Length
Kodachrome 64 (likely)

This photo represents my (unfair?) view of Kansas.  Flat as a pancake and a highway as straight (almost) as an arrow.  This photo was taken along Interstate 70. My recollection is that we were near Salina, and it was just after a thunderstorm blew through.  

One of my strange recollections is of spending the night in a campground off the highway.  We pitched the tent in a field. Usually, we would pound the tent pegs into the ground with any nearby rock.  But in Kansas we could find no rocks! Growing up in New England where farm fields are often lined by stonewalls, I found this rather amazing. I also remember it blowing like crazy all night and wondering if small dogs and young girls were flying through the air on their way to the Land of Oz.

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