Green Cow Study, Burlingame, KS

May 23: I started out this trip with lots of good reasons for doing it but now increasingly the rationales and pretexts don't seem to mean anything. I keep wondering what I am doing and why. Today I remembered David Byrne's comment: "It's almost artists' responsibility not to know what they're doing."

May 24: This afternoon I drove off to look for the Flint Hills but was stopped by a thunderstorm. Pulled the car over to wait it out -- didn't feel so well. Napped. Drove a little more, making quick studies and sketches here and there -- one attempt at a cow.

The transition from Salida has been a big one, and a sadness about leaving the West (and a fond friend I hadn't seen for 20 years) overshadows anything I might have looked forward to in Kansas or stops beyond. But, as usual for the trip -- and a good thing! -- bad moods, etc., do not seem to take a deep hold. They're more like weather systems moving across a map: Here, then gone... and the big country remains.