Part Seven: Kansas
Updated: Sep 28, 2021
I crossed the State of Kansas in a day. By the way, what have I been listening to?
How do I follow up the events of Part Six?
Well, after I may or may not have apologized to the ghost of Molly Brown for masturbating in front of her and all other ghosts (which I apparently didn't even do), I took my redrum latte and traversed the mountainside from Estes Park to Lyons, which is a glorious little mountain town that I unfortunately didn't spend much time in.
Once I hit the open highway, it was nothing but the hills and plains of eastern Colorado, then Kansas. The border came and went with little fanfare.
As you pass miles and miles of prairie, you had better have a good playlist ready. That, or have some podcasts handy.
Here's what I listened to on my trip: A collection of albums, playlists, and podcasts. No, I did not make a playlist for this trip, though I should have. These are just an assortment of what I happened to reach for when seeking tunes to blast with eight hours of road time ahead of me.
A few albums with their Spotify links:
Dreamland, by Glass Animals
Gaslighter, by The Chicks
Titanic Rising, by Weyes Blood
Premiers Émois, by Vendredi sur Mer*
Psycho Tropical Berlin, by La Femme*
*No, I don't speak French.
And how about a few playlists:
*Tout Suite Café is a coffee shop and cafe I used to work at... maybe I still listen to the café's playlist from time to time. Enjoy.
And some podcasts to round it out:
The path from Denver to Wichita, where I'd be sleeping for the night, was an eight hour meandering highway with nothing but open road. I'm caught up on my podcasts and playlists, by the way. Oh, and The Chicks? I was a big fan when I was a kid in the '90s (my parents really should have known that I'm gay). Catching up on Gaslighter was a gift; it was watching (listening to?) Natalie Maines rise like a triumphant phoenix. We love to see it.
Along the way, one thing that did stand out against the drive was the seemingly random 80-foot easel with a reproduction of Van Gogh's Three Flowers in a Vase off the highway in Goodland, Kansas.
From Kansas.com, “Goodland and Sherman County produce more sunflowers than anywhere else in the state of Kansas,” said Mike Solomon, Sherman County’s economic development director. “We are the sunflower capital of Kansas. And that painting shows this is what we are about. Once people get past the painting, they sometimes come down our downtown brick streets and visit our businesses. We see it as an opportunity.”
For the Goodland community, the reproduction mirrors Van Gogh's affinity for sunflowers with their own landscape. To the local art league, it's as though Goodland has taken fine art and used it as a means to promote pride in American agriculture. It was sweet to see Van Gogh honored this way by a community that sees a connection with the artist by virtue of their main crop and his familiar subject.
I rolled into Wichita at a cool 9PM... literally cool. Who allowed Wichita to be 72 degrees and breezy in July?
- NOTICE -
COVID-19 TRAVEL PRECAUTIONS I IMPLEMENTED
Though this blog is written with a carefree, fun, and exploratory nature, please know that I took every precaution behind the scenes.
I tested negative for COVID-19 prior to taking this trip.
I avoided other people at all times.
If person-to-person contact was unavoidable (such as my accommodations in Part Six of this series), I was wearing a mask. That being said, person-to-person contact was a very rare occurrence.
I only booked accommodations where I could have the whole place to myself with no spaces shared with other people (except for Part Six).
I only booked accommodations where I could check myself in. Again: No person-to-person contact (except for Part Six).
I took sanitizing wipes with me and gave every accommodation a good wipe-down.
Though I talk about food and coffee here, I also brought a lot of non-perishable food with me which I ate in the car while driving. Any and all food that I did purchase was done so over the phone and picked up to-go.
Photos posted to this blog and my Instagram featuring me without a mask were only possible outdoors, distanced from other people - and the mask only came off for the photo.
If you are choosing to travel during this time, please be aware of all of the precautionary work that you must put into your trip to ensure that you do not contract the virus and do not spread it to other people.
If you cannot guarantee that, do not travel.