Day 5: For Amber Waves of Grain

Forget preconceived notions, I thought Kansas was pretty awesome. I got to Lawrence over an hour before I was supposed to meet my couch surfing host, so I wandered around the main downtown street. There were a lot of well maintained vintage buildings, music shops, boutiques, flower pots, and people on bikes. Everything seemed clean, eclectic, sunny, and smelled of fresh mowed grass.

When I stopped in the local record store, Love Garden Sounds, to check the new releases, I was greeted by its two resident cats. They convinced me to spend my meager funds on the new album from Delorean, Subzia, which came out this week. No regrets. The dynamite beats these Spaniards crafted sent me flying through the first two hundred miles of Kansas freeway.

I met my couch surf host at the biweekly get together of Lawrence Couch Surfers. We convened at The Bourgeois Pig, ‎a cafe that specialized in espresso, infused liquors, and the combination of the two. Delightful. This second couch surfing experience was much more what I was expecting. Good conversation with fellow travelers, a safe place to sleep, a warm shower, and a tasty breakfast. Much thanks to Cody, especially for the tornado tips and tales of local lore.

Eastern Kansas is sweeping mesas, hay fields, shady creeks, roaming cattle, and the biggest wind farm I've ever seen. It looked like a Mark Twain novel or Clint Eastwood movie. This is America as how I romanticize it. Western Kansas is so impossibly flat and expansive it seems surreal. I wouldn't want to drive through that sort of scenery all the time, but I'm glad I got to experience it for this first time.

About the same time the lanscape started leveling, I felt compleded to listen all of Brand New's LPs in chronological order. No much makes me more wistful or introspective than Brand New, and there was absolutely nothing to distract me. It made me cry softly, a few bittersweet tears that I suspect I've secretly been yearning for. Though it's probably too early into this trip to be expecting huge revelations of solitude, I had a few new ideas.

I am the reason I am alone, on this trip and more generally. No matter how strong outside influences have been, my life is still almost entirely the sum of my own decisions. I've made myself, and I can truly only be beholden to myself. I am responsible for my current reality.

As I hurtled into Colorado at 85mph, a deadly sick looking storm began to form, a towering column of shadows outlined in livid contrast. By Denver lighting crawled through the skies, the air was electric, and it began to pour warm rain. Such fury can only spend itself quickly. The smell of rain ushered me into Boulder under brilliant shafts of light that illuminated the surrounding mountains.

Last night couch surfing before several days of camping. Not sure, if I like this town yet or not. Review of Boulder and Rocky Mountains National Park tomorrow.
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  1. Hey Girl-

    I hope all is well. I'm pretending I'm along for the ride even though its only for about 10 minutes of the morning surfing the net haha. We miss ya!

    Best wishes and stay safe!


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