Doussans Be Tripping Blog Days 15-17 Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas
It often boggles my mind the depth of connection we can make with others within a 48 hour window. I feel like we met long lost brother and sisters with the Gardner family on the hemp farm in Iowa, and I am already thinking about how to route through Rowley next year so we can spend some more time with each other. I found it difficult as we said our goodbyes, but there was no wiggle room in our schedule to squeeze out an extra day on the farm. The road is calling and we must answer.
Farmlands. Miles and miles of farmlands. Unfortunately, what we learned about farming on the organic farm doesn’t hold true for many of the farms across America. Evolution in technology has bred laziness, and the continuous use of chemical fertilizers have rendered many farmlands infertile all while providing the consumer with poisoned produce. I highly recommend watching the documentary Kiss The Ground to learn more about the devastating effects of conventional farming and how we can repair our farmlands to aid in reversing the effects of global warming.
Anyway, I digress. The destination for the evening was Pfanny’s Farm, about 40 miles northwest of Omaha. This was a hip camp find and was to serve as one night stay between Iowa and Kansas. I didn’t get into the details of whether or not it was an organic farm, but it was beautifully manicured and proved to be a perfect spot for a relaxing evening. We walked the trail that ran along the perimeter of the property, and we ended up just sitting on the edge of the corn plot just watching the leaves blow in the breeze for a while. As night fell, we enjoyed a game of Yahtzee in the common area. Gene and Julie, our hosts, joined us for conversation until it was time to retire for the evening.
The next day was more of the same. Farmlands and more farmlands. There were more cattle farms on this drive. Cattle farms with no grass. Just cows in dirt fighting to get to the trough to eat lord knows what. I don’t want to turn the point of this blog into the importance of organic farming and grass fed beef, etc., but this stretch of highway has reiterated to me that I should continue to be picky about where my food comes from.
We arrived in Goodland, Kansas Sunday afternoon to find our friends, the Guillot family, all together in their home. You see, the last time we passed through, only Chris and Hayes were out here. Lisa and Anna were still back in New Orleans. It was great to see them all together, and decided quickly that we would be staying with them in their home rather than camping nearby. We immediately picked up where we left off, conversed over a beautiful dinner, and I’m having trouble remembering what happened between dinner and bed, so it must’ve been good.
We had a few errands to run on Monday, but kept it pretty relaxed as we had a show that night. While we ran around town taking care of our needs, The Guillot’s set up for the show which was meant to be a fundraiser for Chris’ wrestling team.
Chris is the head wrestling coach for Northwest Tech, the local 2 year college that focuses on trades. Everything I’ve heard about this school is amazing, often setting their graduates up to go directly into interesting, well paying careers upon graduation. It also offers talented athletes an opportunity to be seen and move up to the next level. That’s where Chris excels. He sees potential in people, and he believes in them. Just this past year, he produced four All Americans and two National Champions.
August and I arrived at the venue to set up while Maggie stayed behind to get ready. The venue is an old storefront on Main Street in downtown Goodland. Old tile, and glass, and wood brought me to a vision of what life might’ve looked like here in years past. The interior reminded me of the Maple Leaf in that it was long and slender. The New Orleans themed art that adorned the walls sent me there as well. The eye bolts that came up from the old wooden floor suggested that the room was used for gymnastics of some sort at some time. I spoke with a woman after the show who told me she used to work in clothing retail in this very room. I felt that the past was alive in this building, and it literally was.
The energy is good here. August and I soundchecked ourselves and prepared for the show. The room filled quickly and every seat was taken. Still inspired by the response to our show in Iowa, we found our groove early and played well. August is becoming an important part of the show at a rapid rate. His youthful energy, pure smile, and ability to laugh off mistakes make him a joy to share the stage with. It’s interesting as well because none of this was rehearsed. We could’ve at least benefited from a few discussions about microphone etiquette. Nonetheless, our energy has been infectious, and it proved to be so once again in Goodland. The crowd stood in applause as our last notes rang out.
After the show, we met new friends and said hello to others we had met last year. The vibe was strong and it proved to be a successful way to gather the community in support of such a good cause.
I always feel so fulfilled leaving Goodland. It’s a combination of reconnecting with our old New Orleans neighbors and feeling so much love from the surrounding community. And also, I know my friend, Chris, is doing great things out there. He’s changing kids lives. And seeing the support he receives from his family is inspiring. I guess there’s a lot of positivity I associate with Goodland, Kansas.
Well, until next year, Goodland. In the meantime, be good to yourselves and each other.