March 24, 2012: Wichita

I got up at five thirty, showered and got ready to go.  Andrew was supposed to meet me at the house at six thirty but he accidentally fell back asleep and didn’t leave his house until well after six and he is about forty minutes away from me.  So we are rushing a bit to get up to Wichita in time.

I ran out and fueled up the car, put air in the tires and got it all cleaned up while I had some time to kill.  Andrew got to the house and woke up Dominica while I was out.  She didn’t realize that I was out fueling the car.

It was just after seven when we hit the road north.  The weather was awesome today and we made really good time through north Texas and on in to Oklahoma.  The drive up Interstate 35 to Oklahoma City roughly runs along the Amtrak Heartland Flyer train route that I took last week so this is an area that I now know.  Once we got to Oklahoma City, though, everything from there on was new territory to me.  I have only been in Kansas in the southeast corner and not even a mile into the state.

There is little remarkable on the drive through central Oklahoma and Kansas.  The terrain is actually not nearly as flat as I thought that it would be.  There was a decent amount of roll here and there.  I mean, it was flat, but not crazy flat.

The drive went by pretty quickly.  Highway speeds out there in the flat nothingness are quite high.  It actually ended up taking only five hours to get to Wichita including two gas station stops.  Three hundred and fifty miles exactly and thirteen point one gallons of fuel.  The old Mazda is still pulling nearly twenty seven miles to the gallon.  Way better than I would have guessed given the rough shape that it is in.  That car is eleven years old now!

It was about a quarter after twelve when we arrived at the Old Chicago in Wichita.  Bob from Kansas City was already there waiting for us.  There were four of us total making long haul drives in for the event.  We made great time and could not believe that we were up there with plenty of time to spare.  That really worked out well.

The SpiceCorps Wichita meeting ended up going really well.  The venue was a really good choice too.  Good food options (pizza, fish & chips, salads, etc.) and good beer options with a quiet back room where they were willing to turn off the radio so that we could actually talk.  We had a great turnout with eighteen people which, I do believe, is a record for an initial SpiceCorps group.  Very impressive.  It was a good group too with good interaction and a lot of potential.

We hung out, Andrew and I, until the very end when the last people were leaving.  So it was well after four when we finally left Wichita.  We fueled up the Mazda, a single completely full tank just barely gets me from home to the middle of Wichita, and got back on to the Interstate to go back to Texas.

The drive south was completely uneventful.  The Oklahoma sunset was awesome.  Searing orange behind us to the right with the world encircled in flamingo pink.  Not something that you get to experience in New York or Texas.

It was just before ten when we pulled into Carrollton.  Andrew headed back home and I played with Liesl for just a little bit before putting her to bed.  Luciana was already long asleep.

It was a long but ultimately very good and productive day.

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