Coming to the Internet from Kansas City, Missouri today. It’s a little confusing looking at a map. There’s Kansas City, Kansas and Kansas City Missouri. They’re all but conjoined twins if it weren’t for the Missouri River cutting them in half. And judging by the bold special map text, they’re both about the same size too.
I think they should have a war. Just to settle who’s the real Kansas City after all.
Yesterday was a good day. For me, anyways. Not the Kansas University Jayhawks. I almost messed up too! Trying to stay on Eastern Time almost got me. These are the things I knew:
- The game started at 11AM local time
- That translated to 12PM watch/laptop/car clock/GPS time
- Salina, KS was roughly 2 hours away from Lawrence, KS
You’d think that’d be enough for me to figure it out, right? Ha! I even surprise myself sometimes. For whatever reason, I thought leaving at 8:30AM would give me an hour and a half before kickoff to find a place to park and buy a ticket. And it wasn’t until I parked, was walking to the stadium, and heard the PA announcer talking about the starting lineups did it hit me that I was about to miss the opening kickoff. I kept wondering why it looked so odd that there were tons of cars around, but not a huge crowd of people. Because Kansas fans are smarter than me. That’s why.
It did kind of end up working out for me though. Like I said, I didn’t have a ticket to the game so I was originally planning on buying one at the ticket window and, unfortunately, paying full price for it ($50). But since the game had just started, there were plenty of people selling tickets so that they could either get inside to their own seats or leave for the afternoon with cash, instead of tickets, filling their pockets. I know Kansas is a basketball school and all, but I’m pretty happy with myself that I managed to talk a guy down from his initial price on a 35 yard line ticket, on the home side, against a top #10 Oklahoma State team. And I was only out $25. Good day!
But like I said, not so good for the Jayhawks. They actually held it close for a half, as they were only trailing 20-14 at halftime. But Oklahoma State blew them out of the water in the second half and won 48-14. It was good just to go and watch a football game without having any invested interest in either of the teams. I got to shake my head when either team had a dumb penalty or dropped a wide open pass. I got to walk out of the stadium with my mood no worse than when I came in because the home team got blown out. And it was really cool to see the nuances and quirks of another team’s gameday experience. The tailgating was non-existent, but I’m sure it’s because they’re a basketball bunch instead of a football one. I did walk away with a souvenir cup though! I’m still regretting not grabbing one from Auburn a little bit.
After the game, I actually headed back West to Topeka, KS. I know I don’t like doubling up routes and doing the same thing several times, but this was a unique situation with the game being so early. And Topeka was only about 20 minutes away. Just to trick myself it was something new, I took back roads and avoided the tolls. It was rolling hills the whole way, so the drive was a good one.
But the reasoning for going back to Topeka was the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site. Honestly, I didn’t have any invested interest in the segregation issue as I’m white and grew up in a day and age when I went to school with blacks (and any other race). So I was going mainly for the stamp in my passport. But I walked away having learned a lot. For instance, I didn’t know that the “Brown v. Board of Education” was actually several lawsuits lumped together – 5, to be exact. The “Brown” case took place in Topeka and became the recognizable name due to it being the first, alphabetically, listed. But what was interesting to me was that one of the 5 cases included was actually from South Carolina. In Clarendon County at Summerton High School in 1947. Who knew, right?
The Ranger was also really helpful. Or maybe it was just because I was the only one in there and he wanted someone to talk to. Either way, it worked out for me! He recognized all of my Clemson garb (even joked about “being from North Carolina, right?”) because he was a Hokie fan. He even gave me a heads up on where I could get all of my passport stamps in West Virginia in one place! They had a Lincoln exhibit set up too, tying in the work he did for freeing slaves and the whole Civil War deal with segregation and equal rights. But I just glanced over some of that stuff since I’m going to try and hit some of the Lincoln national sites when I go through Illinois and Kentucky. And with that, I hit the road for Kansas City to call it a day.
By being in Missouri, that means I only have two more states to hit on my trip: Kentucky and West Virginia. And really, I’ve been to WV before, so Kentucky’s the only state (other than Hawaii) that I have never seen in the United States. I don’t think the realization that I’m almost done has hit me yet. Once I get through West Virginia and have to head South, I’m sure I’ll hit it like a brick wall. But for now, I’ll just keep on trucking and seeing some cool stuff!
Before I go, I have one quick beef to settle with you Internet lurkers and followers. My mom and dad are the only two consistent readers who leave comments. And that makes sense because they’re contractually obligated to have that whole “unconditional love” deal for their own son. What doesn’t make sense is why the other 25 of you readers (I’m averaging 27 readers a day in November… October was 28, so who got scared away?) who check my site every day can’t man up enough to leave a comment! I’m going through every single state in the country and the rest of you can’t find anything you might relate to, have seen before in your travels, or piques your interest? Really? That’s weak! In 6 months or a year when I go back to read these entries, I’m not going to remember the notes you left me on facebook or texts or phone calls that correspond to what I’ve seen. The idea is to possibly write some sort of book after I’m done and anything I can add to that will only make it better. So help me out some! This is my work I’m putting together for you to read and I wholeheartedly welcome criticism, new ideas, or just pats on the back every now and then. It takes an hour to type these up with pictures and all. What’s a comment take? 5 minutes? Less? So feel guilty and get busy 🙂
Thanks! Hope everyone had a great weekend!