Posted by: athike2011 | July 28, 2011

Day 15, 16–Wichita, Kansas CIty

Day 15

After what turned out to be a nice nights sleep at the rest stop I took off for the next 200+ miles to Wichita. It took a little longer than I thought it would due to road construction. It also felt like forever as Kansas, despite my hopes, is not the most interesting of states. In all honestly, Dorothy should have stayed in OZ. I got to Wichita around 3:30 and met up with my friend Jake.

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Jake, who is fresh off the trail, was happy to sit around for a while and talk about his hike from the point we separated on. It was interesting to hear what the rest of the AT was like beyond where I stopped walking. I took a quick shower and we headed out to a local bar for the afternoon. Later in the evening we ran into an old friend of his and, as Wichita seems like a fairly smallish place, lots of people who had not seen Jake back yet had a lot of questions. All in all It was nice to take a break for the day and see a friend I hadn’t seen in a while

[googlemaps http://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=I-70+E&daddr=I-135+S&hl=en&ll=38.42347,-98.305664&spn=1.486842,2.90863&sll=37.851001,-98.085937&sspn=1.498551,2.90863&geocode=FegcWAIdYIjr-Q%3BFW4ZPwId7Bgz-g&mra=me&mrsp=1,0&sz=9&t=h&z=9&output=embed]

Day 16

Last night was one of the best nights sleep I have gotten in a long time. My sleeping area was set up in Jakes basement, which was amazingly cool and dark and let me get the rest I really needed. Before I left town we went out to breakfast at a local diner. I was thrown off a little because you can still smoke in this restaurant, which I am not accustomed to in any way. Once we finished our breakfast we headed back to his place and I set out on the road towards Kansas City.

My friend Eli’s (who’s wedding I am driving to) uncle Gehrig lives in Kansas City and invited me to come stay with him and get the KC experience. We pulled into town around one and met up with Gehrig, who was happy to see that I had arrived hungry.

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We left Sierra with a full bowl of water under the shade tree and set out on a tour of Kansas City. Gehrig has an amazing knowledge of history and just about everything going on within his city. We took a driving tour all around the city. We explored just about every area of Kansas City, including the ball stadiums, as Gehrig is a big sports fan, some of the newer libraries, the new preforming arts center, and to a viewpoint were we could see the very swollen Missouri River, which is currently about five to nine feet above flood level.

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The tour culminated with our arrival at Arthur Bryants BBQ. For years I have been given bottles of Arthur Bryants Sweet Heat BBQ Sauce from Eli as gifts. You can’t get the sauce outside of the KC area, so it was always a big deal. However, I had never actually tasted the food. As we walked in the smell was overpowering. I could not wait to taste was was creating this amazing aroma. I asked Gehrig what I should go for, he told me not to worry, he would take care of it. A platter with a pound of brisket, a pound of sausage, and a half rack of ends was brought to the table, along with a plate of fries and a medium red cream soda, which I was told is also part of the experience.

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The brisket was really delicious, juicy and had a nice smoky flavor. The ribs, sadly were the low point of the meal. Gehrig announced after taking a bite that they were disgraceful and had Arthur still been around they never would have been served. He was sure they weren’t even todays ribs. Luckily we also had the sausage, which is a large thick sausage sliced on bias  into thin strips. Honestly it is not something I would have ever thought to order had I shown up on my own, but it was by far the best part of the meal. Perfectly seasoned, deliciously juicy, with an amazing 1/2 inch smoke ring on each side of the meat, I don’t think I’m going to be able to leave town without picking up a bit more to take with me.

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Completely stuffed we drove around for a while longer before stopping at one of Gehrig’s favorite local brew pubs for a nice local beer. From there we headed back to his place to check on the dog and let her run around for a bit. The rest of the evening was spent watching baseball at his local watering hole and finished with a very late BLT dinner.

[googlemaps http://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=US-54+E&daddr=I-35+N&hl=en&sll=37.675125,-97.163086&sspn=6.007165,11.634521&geocode=FeLhPgId7Esy-g%3BFa6WVAIddKNc-g&mra=me&mrsp=1,0&sz=7&t=h&z=7&output=embed]

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