Thursday, June 22, 2017


Brother-in-law Mel's cattle in the far pasture. They might be curious because they had never seen a lens as big as my telephoto. At least it kept me at a safe distance.         

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Did They Know She Was Coming?

More from the Salty Dog Saloon. When my wife was younger people called her Kitty. Some of her family still does. I never liked it and have always called her by her given name, Carolyn. But she is from Kansas, of course. Readers of this blog know that I usually refer to her here as Mrs. C. Quite a bit of coincidence.       

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Salty Dog Saloon

Out in the rural prairie you find your entertainment where you can. It's nothing to drive 25 miles in a huge, fuel-sucker pickup to a convivial place like The Salty Dog, located in a tiny hamlet just north of the Kansas - Nebraska line. If you click the link you will learn that the place is "biker friendly", although we didn't see any Friday night.

The food is actually pretty good. And cheap, by urban standards, but you better be carrying cash. No plastic. That's Margo, the owner, taking an order in the second shot. She didn't care if I took pictures but the family told me that you better not cause trouble because she's pretty tough.          

Monday, June 19, 2017

Nebraska Sunsets

Seen after dinner at the Salty Dog Saloon in Steele City, Nebraska (population 86). The state line is near Mrs. C's family farm in Kansas. She was born in Nebraska because the nearest rural hospital was in the town of Odell, NE.

The sunsets aren't all good in the Cornhusker State but there were more storms in the area, creating drama. The wind farms, of which there are many these days, add to the strangeness.

I had my picture taken in front of the saloon.       

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Prairie Storm

Looking north from the parking lot of our motel in Marysville, Kansas.  This can be a land of violent thunderstorms. The town lost power for about three hours Friday night and Saturday morning.      

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Sights of Kansas City

Kansas City is Missouri's other major metropolitan area. The region is smaller than STL but the city proper has more population since KC lacks our extreme suburban balkanization. We enjoy our visits and did a little tourism on our way out of town yesterday.

The picture on top shows Union Station in the foreground with downtown behind. The striking Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts (better seen here) is on the left horizon and the iconic rooftop Western Auto sign on the right. 

There is a stunning World War I museum in the center of the city, on and under a hill topped with this memorial column, visible from many parts of KC. We were aware of it but knew little until we heard an NPR feature about it and the hundredth anniversary of the U.S.' entry into the conflict. We were there almost two hours and didn't see half of it. The best part was talking with the military veterans who serve as volunteer docents. We may be back here in a month and will return.

The top picture was taken from the north slope of the hill. There are a pair of strange sphinx-like creatures whose wings (perhaps) shield there eyes. One of the volunteers explained that the one facing east cannot bear to see the horrors of the war, while the figure facing west looks into the future (how American) which no one can foresee.          

Friday, June 16, 2017

Goodbye, Julian. See You Later, Celina.

We usually spend the night in Kansas City, a very nice town, on our way to see Mrs. C's family farther out in Kansas. KC has a good restaurant scene and Julian has become our favorite in recent years. When I was about to make a reservation I saw online that it was closing after the Fourth of July! I quickly made a reservation on Open Table.

I got a call Wednesday night from chef and owner Celina Tio. Did I know that they had a special menu planned, a five course tasting menu that she prepared when she won on Iron Chef? With wine pairings? No, clueless, but don't cancel our reservation.

OMG, it was heaven. Food and wine that was simple on the surface but oh so subtle as you paid more attention to each course. The highlight was almost inconceivable, lobster shepherd's pie, seen below. We were so glad we stumbled into the occasion.

The last photo is the rare image of Mrs. C and me, along with Celina and the wine guy (never did get his name).  She has another place, The Belfry, that we hope to visit soon. We may be back here in a month.