After all the Fa La La of yesterday's post, here I am, overnighting at a Comfort Inn in western Kansas: Goodland.
Sometimes, when my Dad was very vexed, he would utter "Goodland!" and we knew he was very mad and we should not comment. At all. Silence all around.
About two hours' drive before Goodland, I noticed a very sudden change of landscape. That which had been mediocre in its winter browns and ochres suddenly was vibrant with winter whites of frosted tumbleweeds and wheat stubble. So pretty: a powdered-sugar world of nature. And soon thereafter, the cedars began looking ...beautiful! Who would have guessed?
And then, just as suddenly, the visibility went to 1/4-mile.
How do I know what 1/4 mile is? Well, we can backtrack thirty-three years, back to when I was a flight attendant for a small commuter airline in central-coast California, where it always seems to be foggy. The FAA rule back then was that if visibility was less than 1/4-mile (which is pronounced "quarter-mile visibility"), the flight did not take off. There was a small mountain/large hill exactly 1/4-mile from the runway. If we could see it, the flight was a go. No hill? No takeoff.
Fast-forward to my life in rural Kansas, and I have a bridge exactly 1/4 mile ("quarter-mile") from our house. Most days I can see the bridge, and also the curve down the way which is 1/2-mile. So I can gauge 1/4 and 1/2 from our home. But some days render our visibility somewhat. And it doesn't affect driving so much, but I always remember VFR on those foggy, grey days.
And so here I sit, in Goodland, Kansas. The hotel is fully-booked. About ten miles before this exit, six cars had slid off the road in vicarious configurations, not to mention two semis who had pulled off onto the shoulder. And so, I opted out at 3:00 pm this afternoon, turning in to Goodland ("Goodland!") I hope to be out soon in the morning, but who knows what tomorrow brings.
Fa La la.