Following CU's win over CSU at a sold-out, record-crowd Coors Events Center, the Buffs headed to Lawrence, Kansas to take on the #6 Kansas Jayhawks. Naturally, my roommates and I decided to come along for the ride.
Our trip began at 5 PM Friday evening, with a slightly delayed departure from Boulder. I packed peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and some oranges, along with a backpack of clothing, and brought my pillow for the car ride. On our way out of Boulder, we swung by Denver International Airport to pick up my cousin Joe, whose quarter had just ended at the University of Oregon. With Joe in the folds, we set off after the other car on our trip which had left before us.
Just after crossing the Colorado/Kansas border, we received a phone call from my roommate Griffin, in the other car about two hours ahead of us on the road, saying that he had left the game tickets in Boulder. After a significant and highly believable series of ploys from Griff, we were convinced to get off the highway, turnaround, and head back to get the tickets. The prank is one of the best I've ever experienced, and the ten minutes of dread we felt contemplating adding an additional five hours to our nighttime drive was priceless in Griffin's eyes. After a fairly uneventful drive, including trips to a few memorable late-night truck stops, we pulled into our friends' house in Lawrence around 4:00 AM.
Following a few much-needed hours of sleep, we were treated to a great breakfast after a morning walk through downtown Lawrence, which I really enjoyed. It has a very hospitable, small town feel that is full of Midwestern charm. However, the humidity coupled with the openness of the landscape makes for a bone-chilling cold that was very unexpected but present nonetheless. The sky was very grey, and my hoodie and jeans did not really blunt the stiff wind that followed us around campus. We made it to Allen Fieldhouse about an hour before tipoff. Outside the stadium, we met a tailgate full of CU alumni from Kansas City. We talked with them and were generously provided with some food, and it was great to share some Buff pride almost two states away.
The game was very memorable, for mixed reasons. In short, Kansas won 90-64. However, I felt like the trip was well worth the ticket price of $55. First, it was great to bring the black and gold with us to another school, especially an old rival like Kansas. Secondly, the atmosphere surrounding Kansas basketball was unreal. The game of basketball was invented at KU, and the court is named for the famous Dr. James Naismith. The stadium had a very intimate, old-school feel, and the place was a living cliche that reeked of history. The fans were extremely knowlegeable and passionate about the game, and it was really a basketball experience to behold. As a fan of sport, it was a remarkable event that I am glad to have taken in.
Our hosts, friends from high school, were extremely hospitable, and following the trip back to Boulder on Sunday, we had completed an inexpensive, great trip to the Midwest. I cannot wait for more trips in the future.