SyneRyder - journal

USA Trip 2005 - Part 5

July 2005


The car-trip from Colorado to Kansas took several hours, but seemed to pass quickly. Kansas was very relaxing and homely, a chance to unwind after the hectic Denver conference schedule. I stayed with friends, which gave me an opportunity to experience life in small-town America.

Fields in Kansas

I wanted to do simple things here, like shopping at Wal-Mart (since we don't have Wal-Mart in Australia). Even though it's the same as most department stores back home, I still had some "culture shock" experiences. When we were trying to decide what to buy for dinner, almost everything I talked about was called something different - Capsicum are called Peppers, Sultana Bran is called Raisin Bran, and Spaghetti Bolognaise is called Spaghetti with Hamburger. Even the bread is made by Sara Lee!

I spent the rest of the time walking around town, barbecuing with friends, and also going bowling with them. One of my favorite things was going Geocaching - it's a treasure hunt with GPS (Global Positioning System) devices, like a modern day orienteering. You're given the latitude and longitude co-ordinates of a where the treasure "cache" is hidden, and you have to find it by using the GPS locator device. When you find a cache, it's filled with small goodies, each worth maybe $1 or $2. The rule is that you're allowed to take one as a souvenir, as long as you replace it with something of your own. Finding the caches was a great way to explore the area.