Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Road Trip

A man travels the world over in search of what he needs
and returns home to find it.

George Moore

The people who live at the foot of Pike's Peak probably don't think about taking an afternoon to ride the cog train up the mountain. Orlando families don't visit Mickey Mouse when it's vacation time. The folks who live near the Grand Canyon don't take in the majesty in their own backyard until their out-of-state relatives come to call.

Even though the rest of the world may not think there's much of anything to do or see in Kansas, there are plenty of places to visit and explore. And they don't even consume a whole tank of gasoline.

For our 30th wedding anniversary celebration, we decided to spend a day in Lindsborg. That little town was one of the big-time winners when it came to the 8 Wonders of Kansas program sponsored by the Kansas Sampler Foundation.

Coronado Heights just northwest of Lindsborg was chosen as one of the 8 Wonders of Kansas Geography. But it seems more like a Spanish castle, appropriate because the explorer Coronado is said to have climbed to the top of this southern-most bluff in the Smoky Hills and viewed the prairie from this lookout point 300 feet above the valley's floor.

In 1936, the "castle" and picnic facilities were constructed under President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Works Progress Administration program.

The day was overcast and the lingering effects of spring pasture burnings helped give the scene a fairytale effect.

The views from the upper floor windows would have been even more beautiful on a clear, sunshiny day. But even as it was, you couldn't help but imagine what the early explorers to Kansas saw as they looked over the plains.

We ate our International Waffle Day lunch at The Butcher, The Baker, The Candlestick Maker. I don't know whether they had the best waffles, but they had the best name, so that's where I chose to partake of the heart-shaped waffles topped with lingonberry syrup and whipped cream.

We toured the Red Barn Studio and the Birger Sandzen Memorial Art Gallery. The Sandzen Museum is one of the 8 Wonders of Kansas Art.

Even though the Messiah Lutheran Church on Bethany College's campus wasn't one of the official winners in the Kansas Wonders contest, its stained glass windows rivaled the brilliant colors of Sandzen's famous landscapes housed across the street.

The church was open for a blood mobile. I only felt a little guilty that I bypassed the bloodmobile and took photos of their beautiful stained glass windows.

On our way to Salina, we took a detour to the Mushroom Rock State Park in Ellsworth County. Randy had taken the kids there when they went camping at Kanopolis on one of their father-child adventures. What does it say that the kids don't remember their visit to the five-acre park?

I couldn't help but laugh when we pulled up and the first thing I saw was this giant round ball of rock. It reminded me of the ball of twine in Cawker City, another Kansas site that the kids were less than impressed to see.

Maybe it's one of those things that improve with age ... not the rock's age, but the viewer's age.


  1. What fun! Do you set out on adventures like this with the intention of blogging them, causing you to do more...see more...enjoy more in the process? This blog seems to be reason to make a great life...or is it that your great life is reason to blog. Either way, I love the way you share.

  2. Marcia - I think it's probably a combination of the two! I think blogging causes me to look at life a little differently. I know it's caused me to pay more attention, which is a good thing. One of the reasons I began was also to share about rural/farm life. And I appreciate the folks who stop by to read!