Last month a turn in my search for Monsieur had taken place. An early morning drive from Kansas on 35 South in the misty rain, placed me on the heels of amour. Pale grey skies and XM radio blasting “Jump” by Kriss Kross had created a sense of urgency throughout. The white Audi S5 weaved in and out of traffic carefree to the dangers of the wet road and the hands of the state troopers. I hid behind numerous 18 wheelers, keeping pace with them as we whipped through sheets of rain. I tried not to be spotted by Monsieur as my curiosity was sparked to why he was traveling this way. There where two colleges in this direction, Emporia State and Wichita.
One thing I noticed during this trip that I hadn’t on previous ones, the beauty of the Flint Hills of Kansas. (Officially, The Flint Hills Scenic Byway) This 48 miles of beauty is the last remaining vestiges of tallgrass prairie in North America. The colors of rusty browns, black and burnt orange stood out in the rain. It was if the colors were reflected in the drops that came splashing down. The landscape itself is vast and unblocked by billboards boasting products. You are left to imagine what the days of past travel in wagons and horses might have been across the prairie. This is a natural beauty that even I did not appreciated until now. Just as fitting was the song, “Promise of a New Day” by Paula Abdul over the airwaves.
Later in the afternoon, light began to break through the rain clouds as I pushed on, crossing the state line of Oklahoma. Leaves continued to hold on to the scraggy branches with their colors of gold, yellow and washed out reds. Plowed, red clay dirt could be seen throughout my drive as I continued winding through the old Route 66 state. During this time I also found out that two deaths occurred in the same day, that of Joe Frazier and Heavy D. My drive ended on the outskirts of Ft. Worth, TX. The next morning, my appointment with Dr. Michael R. Warner DDS, PhD at 10:00 involved an interesting turn in my adventure. I was meeting with him, a consult, regarding residual numbness after a root canal. As I approached the front door, an expensive, dark blue silk tie laid in front of it. The quality was that of expense and I wondered who could have left such a thing behind. I looked around, turned to enter the building when a car horn caught my attention. It was Monsieur, driving away in the white Audi S5 as he gave a quick wave through the car window. He had won this round but not for long. I smiled, then stepped into the building awaiting the next turn in the quest for Monsieur.
Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve www.nps.gov/tapr/