Day 1 – Dodge City, KS

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A delayed flight and early storms kept us away from the good stuff on Saturday. We drove from Denver to Dodge City, KS hoping to catch the tail end of a line of thunderstorms. The southern flank of the line had a monster supercell that cycled for hours and hours producing at least golf ball size hail. We bailed on it after driving hundreds of miles and settled for drinks, dinner, and a hotel room in Dodge City.

Supercell on Oklahoma Panhandle that was like lucy with the football

Supercell on Oklahoma Panhandle that was like lucy with the football

Even though we didn’t see much besides some awesome clouds (you could see the line of storms more than 100 miles away with beautiful anvils and overshooting tops) the drive though Kansas is beautiful. I figured the driving through such a flat part of the country would be boring. At least for your first time it’s not at all. The little towns have a lot of character and the scenery changes every few miles (seriously, it does). Large farms, small farms, huge wind turbines, cattle, etc. There are also a handful of creepy places like Ness City, Kansas but those are definitely the exception.

One of many wind turbine farms. This is near Cimarron, KS.

One of many wind turbine farms. This is near Cimarron, KS.

We stayed at the La Quinta in Dodge City, KS last night (on Wyatt Earp Boulevard, naturally). The city is affectionately (I guess?) referred to as the “Queen of the Cow Towns” due to its role in the cattle trade.

El Capitan!

El Capitan!

The old school saloons that we hoped to see have been replaced by bars in strip malls but we did have a pretty awesome dinner at the Bad Habit Bar and Grill followed up by a quick trip to the Boot Hill Casino. Today it’s off to Scottsbluff, Nebraska. Monday we’ll visit Mount Rushmore and the Badlands and Tuesday we’ll be chasing storms in South Dakota. It looks like a reasonably good setup for some big storms though we’ll have to watch the cap.

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