January 13, 2020
Literature classes and reading how noted authors described foggy days served to spark my interest in trying to produce a photograph that shows the beauty of a foggy day or night.
I’ve seldom captured with a camera what I feel when the area is blanketed in fog. My emotions run the full gamut from terror to delight.
As a college student, I sometimes went for a foggy campus walk just to see how the fog changed the campus and the students. I have little interest in returning to the campus to watch an athletic event but I would like to return for weather events. I’d like to stroll the campus on foggy, snowy and rainy days and observe how the students react to the weather challenges and the changes in the campus appearance.
Monday evening Superior was blanketed in dense fog. I was all eyes as I walked home from the office about 11 p.m. The town both looked and sounded different.
I enjoyed being out but was thankful I didn’t have to drive somewhere for I’ve been lost more than once in the fog.
I remember the early foggy morning I had to drive the country roads connecting Nelson and Lawrence. There were two of us in the vehicle that morning and we both were lost. We were just going north and west while being careful to not cross either the Missouri Pacific railroad track or Highway 4. With those boundaries we were certain if we kept going north and west we would eventually reach Lawrence. We were relieved to find the St. Stephens Church which allowed us to reoriented ourselves.
Another time I was riding with my father trying to get home in a dense fog. As we approached a railroad grade crossing on what for us was familiar road, Dad asked that we all roll down our windows and listen for a train. We didn’t see the train but thankfully we heard it in time to stop.
Another time I left the Kansas State University campus about 10 p.m. and headed for Superior. Enroute, we encountered dense fog. That night my travelling companion lived in the Webber area and we planned to take the Courtland Road from Highway 36 north to what is now Fir Road. By mistake we turned too soon and instead were on the road that connects the highway with the Pawnee Indian Village Museum. Though that road is not straight, we didn’t realize our mistake until we were confronted by a fence which marked the north boundary of the museum parking lot. Had we been going any faster, our vehicle would have plunged off the hill overlooking the Republican River valley.
Foggy days and nights are best enjoyed when one can travel about on foot. They are not for flying or driving which reminds me of the time a vintage Ford Tri-motor airplane landed at the Superior airport.
The plane was enroute to its home airport in the west from an air show in the east. The planned route was to take it from Topeka to Grand Island. The plane didn’t have the instruments of a modern plane and the pilot who regularly flew commercial airliners were flying by visual observance when he encounter fog and decided he couldn’t make Grand Island. He found the Guide Rock water tower and with that visual reference planned an unscheduled landing in Red Cloud. Instead of following the highway west of Guide Rock, he came east to Superior.
I enjoyed getting acquainted with the people on board. Last Friday, while trying to find someone else’s business card, I ran across a card given to me by a reporter accompanying the plane. I don’t recall reading her story but I’m certain the unscheduled landing in Superior provided a twist she didn’t plan.