Kansas Travel Blog

Chronicling changes to KansasTravel.org and Keith's exploration & photographing Kansas restaurants, attractions, museums, festivals and art. Contact him.
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World's Largest Czech Egg - Wilson, Kansas
Friday - July 29, 2016: Linda had a meeting in Topeka, Kansas on Friday, so she car pooled over and her father (who lives in Topeka) picked her up after the meeting. It gave her a chance to see their new house and I picked her up at the house late in the afternoon.

We drove west to Bunker Hill, Kansas, a community of a few hundred, about a mile off I70 for supper at the Bunker Hill Cafe. The Cafe is a steakhouse which is only open Thursday, Friday & Saturday evenings. I used to get elk at the Cafe, but they no longer have it. Since then, I usually get buffalo rib-eye, but this time I decided to try the chicken fried steak. That was a mistake, they serve it without gravy (they don't serve mashed potatoes), and it was a flop. Linda's bacon wrapped filet was very good.

We stayed at Fossil Creek Station, a hotel in Russell, Kansas, which was very nice. Roomy, good wifi, good towels, a complementary breakfast that included made to order pancakes and omelets.

When I opened Pokemon Go in my phone, it turned out that there was a "Gym" next to the hotel. If I sat in the right place and held the phone just right, I could be in the gym from our room. It was a level 8 gym and I trained enough times to raise the Prestige Points by 10,000, level the gym up to a 9, and leave a Pokemon. Usually a monster only stays in a gym for a few minutes or hours before getting bumped by a competing team. Lasting for half a day is notable. The monster I left in the gym was still there weeks later.
 

 


 

Bunker Hill Cafe - Bunker Hill, Kansas Bunker Hill Cafe
 

Fossil Creek Station - Russell, Kansas Fossil Creek Station

 
Saturday - July 30, 2016: Saturday morning we drove to Wilson, Kansas for the After Harvest Czech Festival where
we photographed the parade, the new "World's Largest Czech Egg," and a few of the locations used in the filming of the movie Paper Moon.

The rest of the day was spent photographing old stone churches and 5 other locations from Paper Moon

Our longest stop was in the tiny community of McCracken, Kansas, which has a small McCracken Post Rock City Jail Museum, which has several exhibit dedicated to the movie including a large "paper moon" which can be used for photo opportunities and a ceramic moon which was signed by Tatum O'Neal & Peter Bogdonovich. Tatum acted in and Peter directed the movie Paper Moon and much of it was filmed in and around McCracken. The museum does not have regular hours, but we had called ahead to schedule an appointment.

We also visited the 1924 St. Mary's Church, which is no longer active, but is being preserved by a local foundation. The church also doesn't have regular hours, but the nice lady at the museum called volunteers, who met us and showed us around.

North of St. Mary's. we visited the rural Nickel Cemetery used for the opening of the movie Paper Moon.

I had contacted the Hays Convention and Visitors Bureau asking for help in locating a store front which was used in the movie. The person I called I had no idea that Hays was in the movie. They did talk to other people and get back to me, but were unable to help. I had done a little exploring in advance on Google Earth and it was in a two block stretch of town which seemed the most likely.

We also drove northeast of town to the road used in the final scene, where the old car is going down hill after their pushing to start it and they have to chase it.

We passed through Hays, Kansas three times, having lunch at Al's Chickenette, which has been operating since 1947 and has a fabulous old neon sign. It had been on my list of unique Kansas Restaurants more for character and history, but there is a new owner and the food is much improved. My chicken fried steak was very good and the warm apple & peach pie with homemade ice cream was fabulous.

Supper was also in Hays, at Trio Tap House, which bills itself as a gastropub. It was a good meal, but there is nothing about the place to put it on our Unique Kansas Restaurant list.

 

World's Largest Czech Egg - Wilson, Kansas World's Largest Czech Egg

McCracken Post Rock City Jail Museum Post Rock City Jail Museum

Nickel Cemetery used in the movie Paper Moon Nickel Cemetery water pump

Last scene in the Kansas movie Paper Moon Location of the final scene in the movie Paper Moon

Sunday - July 31, 2016: After spending the night in Ellis, Kansas (childhood home of Walter Chrysler), we visited Cedar Bluffs State Park. Linda had never been there before and the bluffs overlooking the reservoir are well worth the visit. 

While driving back west, we photographed two more locations from Paper Moon, some new grassroots art attractions in Lucas, Kansas, and fields of wild and domestic sunflowers. 

Lunch was at the K18 Cafe in Lucas (nothing special) and supper was back in Topeka, Kansas, with my in-laws at Speck's Bar & Grill. Speck's has been on our website for a long time, but it was 2 years since the last time I was there and the review needed an update. I lucked out and was finally able to photograph a Speckburger, as the party of about 10 at the next table ordered 3 of them. Three of the 3 pound burgers was way too much for their party. I hope they took the excess home!
 

Cedar Bluffs State Park - Trego County, Kansas Cedar Bluffs State Park

Speckburger at Speck's Bar and Gill in Topeka, Kansas Speckburger 

 
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