Quick trip through Nebraska and Kansas

Lincoln was gray and a bit rainy, I walked through the neighborhoods and through the construction to an empty downtown. I stopped into a coffee shop to write a bit before getting in touch with Molly and Kirby, they were in town from the west for a graduation, Molly's brother. We had a couple beers and caught up, I watched the exact moment where Molly became dead set on going to Burning Man, the gears were in motion.

I parted ways with them and wandered eerie streets of the small city, winding up back at the apartment I was couchsurfing in. Sam came back, I headed to a party with him and his girlfriend. It was somebody's birthday, a handful of people in a basement skipping through music and dancing, changing every song before it could finish. We stayed a little while, someone handed me a home brew at some point, soon we were done for the night.

The next day I caught the local bus to the edge of town where I stuck out my thumb pointing towards Lawrence, Kansas. I'd heard good things about the town, it was about time I check it out. A guy in a pickup truck gave me a lift, we stopped at his nearby property where he let me pick a bag full of tomatoes for the road, I'd be munching on the cherry tomatoes throughout the day.

He went out of his way to get me further down the road to the next junction, from there I began walking down the wide open road until finally a convertible stopped for me. That ride got me another hour, just a family man kinda guy out to enjoy a drive through the country, "I'll just drive until I'm done, maybe go to Mexico", he'd joked when I'd first got in.

It wasn't much of a town where he left me, I stood by the railroad tracks thumbing for a while, more than an hour, it wasn't until I crossed the tracks in favor of the shade that I got picked up. Two women in front, and the passenger seat's son in the back. At first he was complaining about picking me up, but only to her and only for a moment, he became friendly after that, all of them wanted to make sure I was comfortable and pointed me towards the big bucket of food in the trunk. They were heading towards Dallas on a bit of a road trip.

They dropped me off just shy of Lwarence, I walked down a ramp and on to the freeway where I was quickly picked up by a young girl heading the same way I was. She told me about good times to be had in Lawrence, she'd grown up in the area. She took me directly to my next couchsurfing host's apartment complex, which I later found out was the exact center of Google Earth in the United States.

I then met Tim and Sara, two chemical engineering students at KU who'd be putting me up for a couple days. I hopped in the shower and we were out the door right away, they were eager to show me the town and I was excited to see it. We walked the main strip and landed in a big high ceiling bar where they said the beer was cheap as well as the wings.

We drank the night away, meeting a big group of their friends and chowing on wings until they wouldn't fit anymore. That night we played "drunk driving", playing Mario Kart while drinking a beer, the trick being to finish the beer and then the race first without holding the controller when drinking.

The next day I went to the campus laboratory with Tim and Sara to play with liquid nitrogen and electron microscopes. They showed me a bit more of the campus and town too; a mexican place they loved, a local brewery and ended the night at a bar they liked.

In the morning we said our goodbyes, I waited around their place for Max to arrive, a guy I hadn't met yet who'd be giving me a ride out to Denver for the first North American Hitchhiking Gathering.