Kansas’ state motto is “through the stars, through difficulties.”
I think a better motto would be “to Topeka, through the chocolate factory.”
But, if Kansas wants to keep their ‘star’ version, I guess we can relate – we should just about be in space right now with the amount of difficulty Topeka, Kansas presented in finding a
solid craft brewery.
There were only 3 breweries in Topeka. Actually, if you google ‘breweries in Topeka’, an insurance agent comes up on the list. I guess when your city only has 3 breweries and your last name is ‘Beers’ (sweet last name!), that would happen.
But seriously. The population of Topeka is 127,6something- and they only have THREE breweries? No wonder these folks are entertaining themselves by creating laws that ban the hunting of whales – in Kansas. Yep. With no coastline, or whale fostering bodies of water within its borders. Kansas also has a law that bans singing the alphabet at night- wouldn’t want that. Somebody get these people a few more kegs of beer! They’re getting desperate!
Luckily, we did find a brewery to drink the ‘weird/is-this-real-life’ evening of our presidential elections away. Although, realistically, I don’t think drinking all of the beer in Kansas (again, based on volume, it seems like a realistic possibility) could undo the ‘weird’ of that night. The Norsemen Brewery was broadcasting the election, so we joined several other patrons in an ill-fated attempt to drown our impending sorrows together. Surprisingly enough (for Kansas) we were surrounded by folks touting “I’m with her” buttons. I guess liberals like beer. We paired our beers with some delicious burritos from the burrito joint next door (NOTO Burrito). Because burritos are good.
But enough about beer (or lack thereof), burritos, and elections…
We parked Dyna at this pretty sweet county park with a running trail that made a 7 mile loop around a goose (poop) filled lake. I liked that trail. I didn’t like the goose poop.
We found downtown Topeka to be mostly big buildings with the names of big banks sprawled across them. We got a treat when we visited the U.S. Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka landmark, which declared racial segregation in public schools to be unconstitutional. It’s a national park (a much different version than the ones that we’re used to!), and is staffed by park rangers. We spent several hours discussing race in the past, present and future tenses with a park ranger named Dexter. Dexter was extremely good at his job – and good at fostering really insightful, provoking, uncomfortable conversation. We fully recommend checking this place out if you ever get down to Topeka – and hunting down Dexter for a convo. You should have plenty of time to do that; there isn’t much else to be done there. Except compare the state capitol building to every other state’s capitol building. And realize, yep, it looks the same as every other state capitol building we’ve seen so far.
Peace out, Kansas. We’re headed towards beer… in St. Louis.