Kansas Travel Blog

Chronicling changes to KansasTravel.org and Keith's exploration & photographing Kansas restaurants, attractions, museums, festivals and art. Contact him.
Art Prints

Hays City Boot Hill
Thursday - November 1, 2012: I had lunch at Chilli n Spice, the Indian Bistro at 133rd Street and Antioch in Overland Park. It had been about 6 months since I last dinned there and there have been a few changes. The buffet has been rearranged and now has fewer main dishes, but is still good. Although they still fail to ask buffet customers if they want to drink anything besides water, they now have ice in the water.

This evening, Wonderscope Children's Museum in Shawnee, Kansas had a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Nursery Exhibit sponsored by Shawnee Mission Medical Center. We took advantage of the open house to photograph the museum which does not admit adults who are not accompanying children.

We followed the open house with dinner and soft music at Renee Kelly's Harvest which is also in Shawnee. They have live music most Thursdays. 

The menu changes with the seasons and the winter menu was introduced just a couple of weeks ago. I thought apple and winter squash soup with roasted pecans & creme fraiche was very good, but the red wine honey reduction on the "Happy Beef Tenderloin Filet" was not a successful. 

The 1/2 pound grilled RK Bacon Burger was good with its melted cheddar cheese, caramelized onion, truffle aiole and bacon.


Chilli n Spice - Overland Park, Kansas Chilli n Spice

Wonderscope Children's Museum - Shawnee, Kansas Wonderscope Children's Museum

Renee Kelly's Harvest - Shawnee, Kansas Renee Kelly's Harvest

Saturday - November 3, 2012: Linda and I drove to Pittsburg, Kansas to enjoy a tailgate party at Gorilla Wesley, the United Methodist campus ministry at Pittsburg State University.

It was just a two block walk to go on to PSU's final home football game of the 2012 season. The Pitt State Gorillas were hosting the Lindenwood University Lions from St. Charles, Missouri. It seemed appropriate that Pitt's Carnie Smith Stadium is nicknamed "The Jungle."

Although Pitt outplayed Lindenwood play in, play out, Lindenwood had a strong victory because of several big plays by Denodus O'Bryant, a senior running back who is the school's all-time leader in touchdowns, scoring a touchdown on average every 6 times he touches the ball.

Following the game, we drove to Cherokee, Kansas to check out Big Ben's BBQ Station, which has been open just one year. The baby back ribs were very good and I liked the spicy sausage. The best sides were the sweet baked beans and the tender baked potatoes.

Big Ben's is in a former gas station and the hoist has been turned in one of the tables in the dinning room.


tailgate party at Gorilla Wesley - Pittsburg State University Gorilla Wesley 

Pittsburg State University football Gorillas taking the field

Big Ben's BBQ Station - Cherokee, Kansas Big Ben's BBQ Station

Saturday - November 3, 2012: Linda and Pat joined me in checking out the new new Vintage Bar-B-Que, which opened this weekend in Shawnee, Kansas. Nice people, but they seemed a bit out of their element. I will wait a few weeks before returning, there are many bugs to iron out.

I was surprised when the sandwich in the picture to the right came out. It was called a chicken dinner and there was a picture of pieces of smoked chicken on the picture on the menu next to it.


Vintage Bar-B-Que - Shawnee, Kansas "Chicken dinner"
Friday - November 16, 2012: I left work a little early on Friday and headed west on I-70 to Junction City. Junction City has two Korean restaurant which I really like, but it had been two years since I had been to either one. I drove straight to Korean Garden, a simple, clean little restaurant where I have dined twice before.

This time. I ordered the Ojinguh Bokum (stir fried squid), which I've been told is hard core Korean food, and the server made sure I knew that it was spicy. Although it cleared my sinuses, it wasn't that hot, and it tasted wonderful, with a spicy, sweet sauce that was so good that I wanted to lick the plate. It came with a number of small dishes including pickles, radish, egg, broccoli, bean sprouts, and clear potato noodles. I'm not a big fan of broccoli or bean sprouts bean sprouts, but them managed to make even them taste good. I limited myself to just tasting the sides.

On the way back to I-70, I made another stop, at Pusan Diner, where I photographed the current menu and ordered a "lunch special" to go. As I continued west, I sampled the bulgogi, mando, fried rice, kimchi, and garlic chicken wings.

I sacrifice for my art. 


Korean Garden Ojinguh Bokum - Junction City, Kansas Ojinguh Bokum

Pusan Diner - Junction City, Kansas Pusan Diner

Saturday - November 17, 2012: I spent the night at the Americas Best Value Inn in Hays, Kansas. Although it was clean and inexpensive, the room was small and there was a lot of noise. I wouldn't refuse to stay there again, but it would be one of my last selections.

Saturday morning I tried out Augustine's Bakery, which had several recommendations. I didn't care for their sausage roll, which didn't seem to be fresh, but enjoyed the peanut butter and iced cookies were very good.

I went on to visit two cemeteries. Hays was the site of the first Boot Hill, where gunfighters, or those who "died with their boots on" were buried. Although about half of the burials remain, the only marker is a statue titled "The Homesteader" by local artist Pete Felten.

Nearby Mount Allen Cemetery, was where those burials were relocated, but they are also not marked. Still it has a number of interesting burials, including one marked only "Baby ALMA - Age 17 yrs." Alma was a 600 pound "fat girl" who traveled around the country with sideshows. She died of influenza while traveling through Hays. 

More to come...


Augustine's Bakery - Hays, Kansas Augustine's Bakery

Boot Hill - Hays, Kansas Boot Hill

Baby Alma - Mount Allen Cemetery Baby Alma

Thursday - November 29, 2012: We started checking out Christmas light displays in northern Johnson County and southern Wyandotte County this evening. First we had supper at the original Oklahoma Joe's BBQ in Kansas City, Missouri on the county line. This unusual restaurant share the building which also houses a gas station and convenience store. This restaurant often has long lines, but we didn't arrive until after 7:30 and there was no wait.

The meal was all very good, chicken, pork ribs, chili, and onion rings. The meat has a lot of flavor from the dry rub and the sauces are fairly spicy. The onion rings have a hint of the same spices. The servings were quite generous.

We then drove west toward County Line Road, where we discovered several Christmas light displays in 2011. Along the way, we stumbled across two displays on 46th Terrace in Kansas City, just north of the county line. 

One of last year's displays along County Line Road had disappeared, but two remained. Two different people had emailed, recommending a display at 10606 W 48th Street, Shawnee. It was all made up of handmade cutouts and very impressive.


Oklahoma Joe's BBQ - Kansas City, Kansas Oklahoma Joe's BBQ

Vielhauer family CHristmas Display - Shawnee, Kansas. Vielhauer family display


Current Month     Kansas Travel Home

2017: January  February  March  April  May  June  July  August
2016: January  February  March  April  May  June  July  August  September  October  November  December
2015: January  February  March  April  May  June  July  August  September  October  November  December
2014: January  February  March  April  May  June  July  August  September  October  November  December
2013: January  February  March  April  May  June  July  August  September  October  November  December
2012: January  February  March  April  May  June  July  August  September  October  November  December
2011: January  February  March  April  May  June  July  August  September  October  November  December
2010: January  February  March  April  May  June  July  August  September  October  November  December
2009: January  February  March  April  May  June  July  August  September  October  November  December
2008: May  June  July  August  September  October  November  December

Copyright 2008-2017 by Keith Stokes.