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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The Wichita WATER Center - Wichita, Kansas
Sunday - February 4, 2018: Friends joined us in our revisit of Q39, a barbecue restaurant in south Overland Park, Kansas. We had reservations, because they always have a line, but it was an icy day with slick roads and they were not necessary. Service was particularly good.


Friday - February 16, 2018: We started 3 days of exploring south central Kansas at the Panhandle Railroad Museum in Wellington, Kansas, which is a neat private collection of railroad memorabilia in an even neater old stone building which was a coal gasification plant from 1886-1906. The museum is owned by former train conductor Perry Wiley who assembled the collection and his wife, Sherry. They do not have regular hours during the winter, but agreed to meet us and show us their collection.

Perry also showed us some of the wooden canes which he carves and uses.

Our second stop in Wellington was the National Glass Museum, which the National Depression Glass Association opened in 2012. It is closed in January and February, but the volunteers were already planning to work in the museum this morning and agreed to let us tour the small facility.

The coolest part of visiting the museum may be at the conclusion of the visit, when they invite you to select a glass piece to take with you as the National Depression Glass Association's gift.

We photographed a few other places along South Washington Avenue, including the Sumner County Courthouse with its county map mural and mastodon bone display.

We were met one more time, at the Chisholm Trail Museum, across the street from the courthouse. The museum occupies the historic Hatcher Hospital building, which incorporates the building's history as well as the story of the nearby Chisholm Trail and other Sumner County history. My personal favorite display was the former nursery, where the newborns were once displayed behind a window to the hall. The museum is continuing to assemble the names of the "Hatcher babies" who were once born there.

We drove north to Wichita, Kansas to have lunch at B & C BBQ, which is one of our favorite Kansas BBQ restaurants. We had mixed feelings about the construction taking place while the restaurant continues to operate. They are majorly remodeling and making the facilities nicer, but we liked the atmosphere of the old garage. The really good news is that the hours will be significantly expanding. Presently the restaurant is only open for lunch.

Our first stop after lunch was the Lowell D. Holmes Museum of Anthropology in Neff Hall on the Wichita State University Campus. They do little to promote this museum, which is only open weekday afternoons and we had the museum to ourselves. We were blown away as we explored the Mary Lynn Oliver Gallery and the staircases and hallways of Neff Hall. We probably didn't find all that the museum has to offer.

The next stop was at the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame, which was once located in the Old Town section of Wichita. At that time, the Hall of Fame included a large museum devoted to sports in Kansas. In 2010, that collection moved to a new Kansas Sports Museum in Newton, Kansas (which later closed). The Hall of Fame moved to the Wichita Boat House, where it is still located today and has a small museum which is open just Monday - Friday.

The largest artifact at the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame is America³ (pronounced "America Cubed") which stands behind the Boat House along the Arkansas River. In 1992, America³ defeated the Italian challenger Il Moro di Venezia to successfully defend the America's Cup. America³ can be viewed at any time.

Our final stop in town was the Wichita WATER Center (Wichita Area Treatment, Education & Remediation) which opened in 2003 to serve as a treatment facility for the Gilbert-Mosley Project and as a museum devoted to public education about the importance of water quality and conservation.

The remediation system treats over 1,000,000 gallons of water a day and the treated water flows through the fountains, aquariums and creek on the way to the nearby Arkansas River. Some of the water is used to irrigate Herman Hill Park, which surrounds the WATER Center.

The building where the water is treated is kept locked, but you can ask at the center's desk and an employee will show you through the treatment center if they are available.

We drove on to Hutchinson, Kansas, to the Atrium Hotel and Conference Center where we spent part of the weekend participating in BYOc, a minimal programing science fiction convention and annual gathering of friends.

We drove to the Carriage Crossing in nearby Yoder, Kansas for supper. It had been several years since the last time we dined there and it gave us a chance to update the listing in our Hutchinson Kansas Restaurant and Attraction Guide.


Panhandle Railroad Museum - Wellington, Kansas Panhandle Railroad Museum

National Glass Museum - Wellington, Kansas National Glass Museum

Chisholm Trail Museum - Wellington, Kansas Chisholm Trail Museum

Lowell D. Holmes Museum of Anthropology - Wichita, Kansas Holmes Museum of Anthropology

Kansas Sports Hall of Fame - Wichita, Kansas Kansas Sports Hall of Fame

Wichita WATER Center - Wichita, Kansas Wichita WATER Center

Saturday - February 17, 2018: We drove outside of Hutchinson to photograph the President Warren G. Harding Memorial, which was erected in memory of President Harding's 1923 visit to Hutchinson, Kansas, but we were much more taken with the many carved tree trunks in Memorial Park Cemetery, across the road. So far we have learned nothing about the carvings or their creator(s).

The Harding Memorial commemorates the President briefly taking part in the wheat harvest in the field at this location.

The next stop may have been the coolest of the weekend trip, at Glass Springs Dairy, southwest of Hutchinson. The Beachy family has over 40 Jersey cows and operate a micro dairy selling raw milk, butter, eggs, cheese, ice cream, kefir (fermented milk), bread, pickles, preserves, salsa, honey and meat which has been grown using sustainable farming. The dairy store is in a small freestanding building and you wait on yourself, leaving the money and making your own change.

We intended on having lunch at R-B Drive In in Hutchinson, which recently changed hands, but were told that they already had so many orders, that it would be an hour before they could prepare our food. We photographed the new menu and decided to return on a different trip. We returned to the hotel and made lunch on some of the food which we purchased at Glass Springs Dairy.

On the way back to the hotel, we stopped briefly at the Kansas Cosmosphere to photograph the F-1 engine from the Apollo 11 Saturn V, which is temporarily on display in the lobby. The engine was recovered from 13,000 feet below the Atlantic Ocean and was conserved by SpaceWorks at the Cosmosphere.

Supper was at the Anchor Inn, in Hutchinson, a 35 year old, family run Mexican restaurant that fills the space formerly occupied by the 1916 American Hotel. We dined on the large buffet, while watching the Kansas Jayhawks defeat West Virginia in basketball on a small TV.


Memorial Park Cemetery - Hutchinson, Kansas Memorial Park Cemetery

Glass Springs Dairy - Hutchinson, Kansas Glass Springs Dairy

Saturn V engine - Kansas Cosmosphere Saturn V engine

Sunday - February 18, 2018: I was out early doing some photography on my own and stopped to eat at the Firehouse Cafe. The breakfast and lunch restaurant open in 2010 in an old 2 story firehouse. I loved the atmosphere of the old firehouse, but the service was very slow. Although the servers weren't very busy, it took nearly 15 minutes to get someone to take my order. The pork tenderloin sandwich and French fries were so-so, but I really enjoyed the apple dumplings ($3.50 with ice cream) which were baked in house.

We definitely plan on revisiting and trying more items before writing a review.

After checking out of the hotel, we tried another restaurant for lunch - Bogey's, which is a bit of a local institution. They are best known for their 101 flavors of shakes. The shakes were very thick, as thick as a custard concrete and they don't even offer you straws, which would be of no use. Bogey's is also known for their onion rings, but we didn't finish our order of rings. the hickory burger and mushroom Swiss burgers were, just average drive in fare.

One of the highlights of our drive back to Lenexa was a stop to photograph the metal swinging pedestrian bridge at Harvey County West Park near Burton, Kansas. It was VERY windy, but the bridge is so heavy that it only moved with our steps.

The final stops were in Cedar Point, Kansas to check on the progress of the restoration of the Drinkwater & Schriver Flour Mill and photograph the 1916 Cedar Point Bridge.


Firehouse Cafe - Hutchinson, Kansas Firehouse Cafe

Bogey's - Hutchinson, Kansas Bogey's

West Park Bridge - Burton, Kansas West Park Bridge

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