Kansas, Prairies and cowboys

We overnighted in a delightful RV park called Lighthouse Landing in South Hutchinson, near Wichita.

Stuart was intrigued by a big vehicle on a big vehicle-that’s be standing beside it…

Then we continued along Highway 50 towards Colorado today.

Mostly wheat fields to the horizon.  Farming here is done on a massive scale.  We are currently in a place called Deerfield.  We are now only about 3 hours of driving to Colorado Springs, but we are still in Kansas.

This land is flat and hot.  It was 32 deg c today with a very hot strong wind blowing.  It’s amazing any crops can grow in this unrelenting heat.  Apparently, it’s only the humidity that keeps the crops alive.  We did notice lots of water pumps that must tap into the water table and some fields have irrigation-the rivers look dry.  Of course in the winter, it would be hellishly freezing here.

As we approached Deerfield the land turned more from crops to cattle.  Now, I thought cattle grazed on the wide open prairies here and cowboys went riding out to round them up (That’s what they did in Rawhide and Bonanza and High Chaparral).  Anyway what we saw today was seriously intensive beef farming.  Lots of cattle to a pen, no grass.  They stand on dirt and eat (presumably grain) from a feeder.  They have no shelter, no trees.  Those cows in NZ have it pretty good!!

Near Deerfield we took a wrong turn and had to make a big turn around.  We drove through a farm and one area had hundreds and hundreds of small white plastic domes in it, all in neat lines.  The domes were about 1 meter high, half meter wide.  I couldn’t figure out what they were, but as we drove past I saw each one had a new born calf in it.  A pickup was driving down one of the lines with a man on the back throwing a milk bottle in a feeder, one a second,  on the front of each dome.  This really is factory farming on a scale I’ve never seen before. These cows have a terrible life from the day they are born, they are so far removed from the animal they should naturally be.  They probably never see grass, yet here they are being raised on the great prairies.  As Stuart said, it’s more cost effective to bring the food to the animals than have the animals go out and graze.  I’m sure sure I can eat beef here…  This town has a huge meat processing plant and not much else. I guess the upside is that it’s keeping a lot of people in work.

I saw some cowboys on horses in these cattle pens-it looked grim.  That is not how I thought a cowboy in Kansas spent his time.

Tomorrow we reach Colorado, that’s if we don’t get blown off these plains overnight, we are parked up and it’s howling outside buffering the coach quite a bit.  Lightning too but S says no tornados’ predicted…  Probably 80-100km winds-Stuart is fast asleep

The coach is going so well.  We have hardly any issues with it, very impressive considering it’s brand new.  We feel very at home on it now.

The video that relates to this blog is on my Youtube channel, and can be found at this link: