it's a nine-hour drive through Kansas and the eastern plains of Colorado (also known as Kansas) to get back to Denver from Kansas City. (Doesn't matter which Kansas City.)
Kansas is roundly disparaged by Coloradans who refuse to believe that they, too, live in the Midwest. I like it fine, but I like the ocean better.
There's plenty to gape at in Kansas if you're willing to look around you, but I was ready to get back to Denver's hot, stony summer.
I blew by Lawrence with the windows down, catching curves of farm on the winding backroads and smelling their dry grass.
Equally waved at was Abilene (modest birthplace of Eisenhower), Salina's own "second-friendliest yarn store in the universe" (next time!), and Wakeeney, whose motto -- "It's Affordable!" -- shrieked at you with a scraping-the-barrel frankness that is matchlessly Midwestern.
Denver's heat and traffic, one always made worse by the other, hit me like a wall and I slowly rolled my way towards my tiny studio in the middle of the city.
At a red light, I let the pleasant dysphoria settle in of having been blazing through a vast, green grassland only a few hours ago.
I thought about the long road, the wide sky, and "Carry On" by Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young whipping through the car with the wind and smell of cow shit as I got closer to Colorado.
By the time I unlocked my door and stepped into my funny, sunny little place, bringing my bag up seemed plain old silly. I knew it wouldn't be long before I'd be leaving again.
The question was: where?