Note: This entry is being written in Denver, due to the fact that a time-relevant update was impossible last night. No wifi and had to stop in the middle of nowhere to rest for the night due to exhaustion and weather. It will be narrated as I would have had I been able to update late last night.
SUCCESS! I am in colorful Colorado, and there is SNOW ON THE GROUND!!! I couldn't believe my eyes when I first saw it. It is October 28th, and there is snow on the ground. I fire off a bottle rocket to celebrate the snow, since I've already used the good stuff at the welcome center (see photo). I'm sure that was quite a sight - me, completely underdressed for the sub-freezing temperatures, arms raised in "V-for-victory" style, just before midnight lighting off fireworks at the Colorado welcome center. In a hilarious example of resourcefulness, I ran out of matches that I got with the fireworks due to prevailing winds rendering them useless, but was unwavering. I ran to my car, light the cigarette lighter (glad I drive a '96 Ford - made when it was still PC to put a cigarette lighter in a car) and ran back to the firework site I choose in time to light it before the wind and cold knocked out the heat. What a feeling. Fireworks were really the only option for this kind of celebration. It's worth noting here that getting to Colorado wasn't the only cause for celebration, but leaving Kansas as well. It's the last 300 miles of solitude that get you. It was pleasant at first - if you can't find peace within yourself on the American highway at night in Kansas, you are truly troubled. But as the night wore on, the mundane repetition and total lack of human element took its toll on me. I started stopping for gas, water, coffee, etc. all separately as an excuse to break things up and hopefully talk with someone for a moment. I'm by no means lonely out here - I am relishing every second of the freedom that comes with it, but the plains of Kansas are character-testing. I encountered about a 30 mile stretch where it was raining - again - and the most intense of phenomena occurred. Apparently in Kansas they are biased against marked roadways, and the highway had no lines. Just black tar pavement and what looked to be Post-It notes marking the center line. In the downpour, I could've sworn to you I was driving across a lake. A Kansas lake road. I would have photographic evidence of this, but I feared that if I took my focus off of the Pac-manesque center line for one second my car would sink. Thank you for understanding.
With optimism in tow, I'm off to Denver.
Currently listening: Bobby Bare Jr. - Young Criminal Starvation League