Delay doesn’t dampen spirits

The back of Daren Miller’s pickup truck was full – barbecue grill, cooler, tent, clothes.

“I really want to see The Flaming Lips,” Miller, a 28-year-old computer technician from Wichita said Thursday.

He and a friend had been stuck in Wakarusa Festival traffic along Kansas Highway 10 about a mile north of Clinton State Park on the South Lawrence Trafficway. They had been inching along for an hour and a half. They have another 90 minutes to go.

“It’s not so bad,” Miller said, gazing at the long line of cars ahead. “Since we’ve been here, I’ve probably burned an eighth of a tank of gas. Of course it’d help if I didn’t have the air conditioner running, but it’s hot.”

The temperature at 2 p.m. was 100 degrees.

“It’s hot in Kansas, we’re not used to this,” said Kari Friedman, a photojournalism student at the University of Montana. She and her friends were coming to hear the bands Government Mule and Jerry Joseph and the Jackmormons.

“But Kansas has really nice fireflies,” said a voice from the back seat. “We don’t have fireflies in Montana.”

Earlier, Friedman and her friends were stopped by Kansas Highway Patrol officers and asked to show identification. It seemed like a big waste of time, they said.

“We don’t have police in Montana, either,” said the back seat, prompting a laugh, after which Matthew Emslie, who was driving, chimed in, “We came to see The Police, except, oh, they’re not playing.”

Ashley, who declined to provide her last name, and two girlfriends – all students at Pellissippi State Technical Community College in Knoxville, Tenn. – didn’t mind the long wait in stalled traffic.

“It’s just part of it,” said Ashley, who was holding an hourglass-shaped drum in her lap. “It was like this at Bonneroo,” she said, referring to the giant music festival outside Manchester, Tenn.

“But you know what would be nice?” she said. “Some random Porta Potties.”