Day 8: Driving, driving, driving

Trip Start Sep 08, 2005
Trip End Sep 25, 2005

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Flag of United States  , Kansas
Friday, September 16, 2005

Here's the short version of what we did today: we drove. And here's the long version: we drove and drove and drove and drove and drove....
In the true spirit of the "Git-r-done" mantra on the back windows of so many pickups we've seen, we blitzed our way from St. Louis out into the prairie, making it the whole 350 or so miles to Wichita, Kansas. We were slowed, briefly, by rain and rush hour traffic outside of Kansas City, MO, but overall made very good time.
Julia's wish to see expanses of rolling prairie without any trees as far as the eye can see was granted, and she took an accordingly high number of similar-looking pictures. The land is actually less flat than expected, with pretty little rises in the land. It's a little bit hard to imagine the hills covered in buffalo, but I suppose they were once.
Wichita, though we could have made it a little further, was the most convenient place to stop for the evening. (The next town with a hotel in the direction we're heading was another hundred miles from Wichita.) The biggest town in Kansas, boasting a population of 344,000, seems to imagine itself too big for its britches, but is in fact much too small for them. We are staying near downtown, which really isn't much, except for a building that looks like it belongs in a Superman movie. Aaaand, that's about it. Dinner in "Old Town" took us to about a block's worth of shops and restaurants arranged around a small square, most of which were closed.
Even though we will miss the real 'southern hospitality' shown to us thus far, we are glad to be getting farther out west, and look forward to the second (but last) week of our trip. We've done eight states (MD, WV, VA, TN, KY, IL, MO, and KS) in eight days, and we still have four left (Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and California). But they are the largest four...
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