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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Wild Horses in Wallace, Kansas
Wednesday - May 1, 2019: We are off to far western Kansas for the Big Kansas Road Trip.

We drove through Junction City, planning to have supper at Korean Garden, but I should have consulted our own page about the restaurant first, it is only open for supper on Friday and Saturday.

Making a decision on the fly, I decided to stop in Abilene instead, to revisit the Brookville Hotel. With only one dish on the menu (family style fried chicken) I don't feel the need to revisit this restaurant quite as often, but it had been over 3 years.

There were few changes. The price had gone up a few cents, but beverages are now included in the price ($16). The only other change was elimination of cottage cheese as one of the side dishes.

We did make one cool discovery while waiting for a table. The owners of the Brookville Hotel received a James Beard Foundation Award in 2007, the highest US culinary award!

We stopped for the night at the Best Western Butterfield Inn, just off I-70 in Hays. We were very happy with this motel and plan to stay there again.

 

Brookville, Hotel - Abilene, Kansas Brookville, Hotel
 
 
 

James Beard Foundation Award - Brookville, Hotel James Beard Foundation Award

 
Thursday - May 2, 2019: We were on the road early enough to arrive at The Bricks by Meg in Goodland, Kansas for an early lunch. Very early, 2 of the 3 counties in the Big Kansas Road Trip (BKRT) are on Mountain Time, so although it was 11AM for us it, was 10AM local time. I don't think the chef really wanted to cook lunch that early, but she graciously did.

Linda went with a breakfast (3 meat omelet, hash browns and sourdough toast), while I had lunch (Reuben burger and French fries). All were good but none stood out as much as the beautiful old building which houses the restaurant.

Rather than trying to keep local time (Mountain in Sherman and Wallace Counties and Central in Cheyenne County, it was easier for us to stay on Central Time all weekend. Fortunately the organizers of the BKRT made a point of listing both Mountain and Central Time for every event and I only messed up on the time once in the 4 days.

After lunch we continued west almost to the Colorado State Line, to visit the Kanorado Community Museum, in the community of Kanorado, Kansas (population 193). We were the first visitors of the day, and a lovely lady named Hazel Estes showed us the highlights of their collection, much of which had been collected by Hazel or her family. It wasn't until days later that we learned that Hazel is also the mayor of Kanorado.

As we we finished touring the museum grounds (which was once a lumberyard), Hazel was setting up some odd shaped stumps along with two signs. One said "Woodhenge" and the other had a poem which she wrote,

No 'lintels' are found, no 'heelstones' appear.
No Druids or Ancients have ever been here.
These few old stumps and a twisted root
Are placed here at random, just for a 'hoot.'
We photographed a few interesting spots around town, then headed back to Goodland to do much of the same.

Our next stop was at Olde Westport Spice Factory. Our family has used their spices since they started the business across the state in Johnson County. At one time the spices were usually purchased at fairs and other events, but these days most of the sales are online.

There is a small showroom, which shares the front of the building with Terra Bona Hawaiian Shaved Ice. We were quickly greeted by Judy Petersen, who founded Olde Westport Spice with her husband Bill, 36 years ago. She explained that they had moved west 10 years ago, to be closer to their daughter and grandchildren in Denver, Colorado. They had stopped just short of the state line, because expenses are much higher in Colorado.

The Petersen's bought this large old building which had once been an early Ford dealership. In addition to holding their sales room, warehouse and kitchens on the main floor, the upper floor has a 2,000 square foot apartment where they live and a huge former dealership salesroom which is now Bill's shop. There is a steep ramp where the Model Ts used to be hauled up to the showroom by a winch.

We concluded our tour with some serious shopping, including an order for other family members.

Our next stop was the Ennis-Handy House, a 1907 two story Queen Anne style home. The Sherman County Historical Society purchased the house in March 2001 and has done extensive renovation and furnishing of the home. Two docents took turns guiding us through the home , explaining what they have done and how they decided what the home looked like in its early years. We shared the tour with a couple from California who were passing through the area and taking advantage of the opportunities to see things because of the BKRT.

In the park across from the home, we found a painting on an easel that may have been 20' tall, obviously inspired by the famous Big Easel reproduction of Van Gogh's Three Sunflowers in a Vase painting. That painting is Goodland's most famous attraction and is 24 by 32 foot on an 80 foot steel easel.

We later learned that this painting was part of the Carnegie Arts Center program "Art in the Park" which placed mini-easel paintings done by Goodland artists in Goodland parks and we found several more of them during the 4 days we were in town.

Our next stop was the White Eagle Gas Station which was restored by local businessman Rod Cooper. We had photographed the grounds and made a page about it before, but today Rod and his wife Michelle were holding an open house and we got know them better as well as catch up on their projects.

We made several more brief stops around town, then checked into our room for the next three nights at the Holiday Inn Express. Many people running or taking part in the BKRT were staying at the hotel, and over the next three days we ran into many people who were participating. One of the fun things about the road trip is getting to know other people with similar interests and we made friends who we saw several times at different events and attractions.

We had an early supper at Crazy R's Bar & Grill, which is well known for the antiques on the walls and ceiling. This is one of Rod Cooper's businesses and he arrived just seconds before us, holding the door open for us before heading to the kitchen to take over the cooking for the dinner crowd.

While we waited for our food, one of the ladies at the next table asked if we were doing the BKRT and we soon learned that she was Melody Pittman, a travel blogger from Florida. The other ladies were Sara Broers, a travel blogger from Iowa, and Roxie Yonkey, with Sherman County Convention and Visitors Bureau, who I met briefly 2 years earlier and who has been very helpful in my planning and building pages about the area.

After supper (pork chops and a pork tenderloin sandwich), we headed out for two more stops. As we walked to our car, we ran into old friends, WenDee Rowe and Marci Penner, who head the Kansas Sampler Foundation, the Kansas Explorers and other projects promoting Kansas and its rural culture.

It was time to "Dare to Do Dirt," as the Kansas Explorers say, and we headed into the country north and east of Goodland about 15 miles to the Kidder Massacre Site, where on July 2, 1867, a detachment of ten enlisted men and an Indian scout of the United States 2nd Cavalry under the command of Second Lieutenant Lyman Kidder were wiped out by a mixed Lakota and Cheyenne force. Two Lakota were also killed, but they are not listed on the historical markers.

We drove on to the Homestead Ranch, but stopped along the way when we saw what at first looked like a large herd of deer. When we were able to look through the telephoto lens at the distant group, we learned there were at least 6 deer and even more wild turkeys. We spent some time taking photos and looking at them, while they kept looking at us.

The Homestead Ranch is the ranch where we attended the Great Western Cattle Drive in 2017. Tonight they were hosting a tour of their Buffalo operation. The 3,300 acre ranch has (if I remember correctly) over 600 buffalo (American bison) and 200 longhorns.

About 17 of us were led in the tour by Ken Klemm, one of the owners of the ranch, who looks like the classic image of a cowboy and told us the fascinating history of their ranch, his philosophy, and how they are managing the ranch for the best results for the animals and the land. They are building on the land, growing the ranch and on the way to being certified organic.

We all loaded into two 4x4s and a trailer for the ride to the fields, stopping first to see the young buffalo bulls, then the longhorns, before moving on to the largest herd of buffalo. The 4x4s and trailer weren't just our transportation, but also provided a safe place to be near the wild animals. We photographed them from several spots. As we stayed in one place, many of the younger buffalo became curious and moved quite close. One of the last things we did before heading back was to sing Home On The Range to The buffalo. I recorded it, but there was too much wind noise for it to be very good.

 

Breakfast and lunch at Bricks by Meg Breakfast and lunch

Bricks by Meg - Goodland, Kansas Bricks by Meg
 
 

Hazel Estes - Kanorado Community Museum Hazel Estes pointing out a photo of her father in the baby dress in this frame
 
 

Olde Westport Spice - Goodland, Kansas Former Model T showroom at Olde Westport Spice

Judy Petersen at Olde Westport Spice Judy Petersen and the original spice mixer

Ennis-Handy House - Goodland, Kansas Ennis-Handy House

Mini-Easel paining - Art in the Park Mini-Easel
 

White Eagle Gas Station - Goodland, Kansas Rod Cooper
 

Crazy R's Bar = Goodland, Kansas Crazy R's Bar & Grill
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Deer and turkeys - Sherman County, Kansas
 Deer and turkeys
 
 
 
 
 

Buffalo Tour - Heartland Ranch Taken just before we sang to the American bison

Friday - May 3, 2019: After spending yesterday in Sherman County, we headed south to Wallace County this morning, with just one stop in Sherman County along the way. We went a few miles out of our way to visit Soldiers Memorial County Park. There has been recent work on the dam and I wanted a "before" photo to use in a few years when the small artificial lake has been restored.

We wanted to do the 21st Century Bean Factory Tour in Sharon Springs. When we arrived, we were told that a tour was being conducted and we would need to wait until they returned. After a little over 20 minutes, we realized that there wouldn't be time for us to complete a tour before the Hell's Half Acre Tour at 11AM, so we said good bye to the other party that was waiting and headed to a different nearby attraction.

The Radiel Wrench Museum has been on my list of places to visit for couple of years, so I was disappointed when we found no one there and the doors were locked. We visited the Wallace County Court House instead, then went to the library to get ready for the Hell's Half Acre Tour. We arrived early, but someone was already making a presentation in the main room of the library. We signed in and then joined the lecture about the geology of the region.

At 11AM, the group transferred to a meeting room for a slide presentation with photos of Hell's Half Acre from the day before. We were well into the presentation before we realized that it wasn't an orientation before the tour, but an alternate to the tour, which was canceled due to wet ground. It sure looked interesting! Unfortunately, Hell's Half Acre is closed to the public the rest of the year.

We returned to the Wrench Museum, where the door was still locked. Since we had more time now, we called the number on the schedule and reached a very apologetic Dale Radiel, who explained that he had suffered a fall this morning, was waiting on medical care, and would not be available.

Starting to feel like we were jinxes, we returned to 21st Century Bean, where we were told that a tour was already in progress, but should be finished soon. They returned in about 10 minutes and we were surprised to see the party that had been waiting with us an hour earlier. The next tour was supposed to be led by someone else who was not present, but Glenda Davis took pity on us and lead another tour in just a few minutes

Glenda is the Food Safety Manager and made the half hour tour quite interesting.

We drove west on US40 to go to lunch at "The Cafe" in Winona. Winona is actually outside the three counties of BKRT, but this mom and pop restaurant had looked too interesting to miss. Arriving at The Cafe, we learned that it doubles as a small market, with two walls of groceries to save local residents from the long drive to larger stores.

The menu is quite diverse and we ended up having entrees which we wouldn't have expected in a small rural cafe. I started with a bull fries appetizer (deep fried, sliced bull testicles) which isn't unusual in this region, but followed it with a horseshoe sandwich which was a total surprise. A horseshoe sandwich is a Springfield, Illinois specialty which I hadn't had in over 20 years. The version at The Cafe, was a grilled cheese sandwich topped with ground beef and surrounded by fresh cut fries and covered with cheese sauce. The same sandwich can be ordered with chicken instead of beef or white gravy instead of cheese sauce.

Linda had a wonderful garlic shrimp alfrado which came with a side salad. It was really loaded with garlic.

We enjoyed talking with other customers, the chef Curt Powers, and our server Charlene Arnberger. When we learned that Charlene bakes the pies, we decided to have a slice.

The apple pie had a lot of cinnamon and we knew it was going to be very good as soon as the warm pie ala mode was set in front of us. Linda is our apple pie expert and on the first bite she said, "I don't say this often, but this apple pie is better than mine." On her second bite she said, "This crust is a lot like mine." On her third bite she said, "This may have been the best apple pie I have ever had!"

One of the unnusal, but nice, things about the menu is that most entrees are offered in three sizes, with the smallest size being just over half the price of the largest. A small entree has one portion of meat, a large entree has two portions and a Farmhand Entree has three portions of meat.

Heading back west into Wallace County, we stopped for a few photos before arriving at the Fort Wallace Museum. As we went in, we learned that the wild horses that I was particularly wanting to photograph were in a field visible in the distance across the highway and we headed back out so I could get some photos during the brief sunlight we were having.

When we found the best location to photograph the horses, Melody Pittman and Sara Broers, the travel bloggers who we had met the night before were already there, along with WenDee Rowe and Marci Penner. We would run into all of them more times over the weekend. WenDee warned us that she had already discovered that the electrified fence was hot. The hard way!

It was starting to rain and we didn't stay very long, but I kept dragging us back to see the wild horses from different angles or in different light several more times this day. There are 1,300 horses being managed here for the Bureau of Land Management. They have to be rotated to new fields regularly and can only be viewed from the road some of the time.

Wallace is a community of about 50 people and had gone all out to welcome visitors doing the BKRT. They had added historic signs about some of the buildings which were or had been in town, had a display of old farm equipment and hosted a couple of special events. We were there for "The Stump" where Marci would ask Kansas trivia questions for the chance to win a prize.

The Stump was held in front of The Memory Bank and Wallace Trading Company which opened just this week in the former 1918 Wallace County State Bank Building. The owners (Dawn and Adam Allaman) had worked through the night earlier in the week to be ready to open for the BKRT. Their children had a lemonade stand and were darling in their "Staff" aprons. It started raining lightly during The stump, but no one in the crowd of over 30 let the rain dampen their experience.

After a few more wild horse photos, including some from a bluff about 4 miles away, we finally returned to the Fort Wallace Museum, so I could photograph the new display of Dick Rhea's Pump Organs and other additions from the past two years. I'm glad the pump organ collection is being preserved here, but it isn't the same as seeing the collection and meeting Dick in the Pump Organ Museum that he used to have in Sharon Springs.

From the museum, we drove a mile southeast (past the horses again) to the Wallace Township Cemetery. Driving through the cemetery on a very muddy road, we came to the Fort Wallace Cemetery, which was established in the 1860s.

Fort Wallace operated nearby from 1865 - 1882. Following its closing, the graves of the 80 officers and soldiers buried in the cemetery were moved to Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery. In 1867, the Seventh Cavalry and Third Infantry erected a stone cenotaph in memory of those men. That monument remains today, though it is housed in a shelter.

Two civilian scouts who died in combat are still buried here, along with others from the time period, including five members of the John German family, who were killed by Cheyenne, one days travel from the fort. The Germans share a granite headstone. Wooden grave markers have been recreated for 64 of the graves, incorporating the information and epitaphs that were originally used.

We drove back to Sharon Springs to shop at Millers Food Store. The cashier who waited on us said they had seen a lot of people doing the BKRT and that she was going to take advantage of all the people being in town to have a yard sale the next day.

We had supper at Stephens Restaurant, which just reopened under a new owner and management this week.

We returned to the Fort Wallace Museum for the free concert by Michael Martin Murphey. We were surprised how few people were in the seats and snagged great seats in the second row. After a while, I figured out why the seats were so empty. I had messed up with the two time zones and we were an hour earlier than I thought.

We decided to take the extra time to follow up on a beat up old sign we had seen several times during the day, "Dinas Church 11Mi. S  3Mi. E." We thought it might be an historic country church. We soon left the paved roads and the last few miles were pretty muddy. We pressed on to learn that while the Dinas Community Church was established in 1893, the building is a rather plain, brick building that is perhaps 50 years old.

Back at the Fort Wallace Museum, we found that most of the chairs were now full. We found seats in the 8th row, where we could still hear fine, though it wasn't the same photo opportunity. MMM did a great 2 hour performance, concluding with his biggest hit, "Wildfire" followed by his leading the crowd in Home on the Range. I spoke to Michael after the concert and he gave me permission to post a video of Home on the Range to our Facebook page.

The concert was free and in addition to a small donation to the museum, I purchased two documentaries: "Resurrecting Thof's Dragon" and "Home on the Range."

We were tired when we got back to our Goodland hotel after midnight.

 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

21st Century Bean - Sharon Springs, Kansas 21st Century Bean
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Apple pie at The Cafe in Winona, Kansas The Cafe apple pie
 
 

Wild Horses in Wallace, Kansas Wild Horses
 

Marci Penner - Wallace, Kansas Marci Penner on "The Stump"

The Memory Bank and Wallace Trading Company in Wallace, Kansas Lemonade Stand

Dick Rhea Pump Organ Collection - Fort Wallace Museum Dick Rhea Pump Organ Collection
 
 

Fort Wallace Cemetery graves Fort Wallace Cemetery
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Michael Martin Murphey - Fort Wallace Museum Michael Martin Murphey

Saturday - May 4, 2019: Still tired from the late night yesterday, we headed north this morning, to spend the day in Cheyenne County. This is only the 3rd time I have made it to this corner of the state and I was looking forward to visiting things which were not open when I was here before.

We hadn't planned a stop in Wheeler, but as we approached town, Linda spotted some BKRT signs at the cemetery. I pulled on into town to take a few photographs, while Linda looked in the BKRT guide and found that the Cheyenne Valley Cemetery has the grave of Sgt. Jack Weinstein who was posthumously bestowed the Medal of Honor in 2014 for his service in the Korean War. He was one of 24 who were not originally awarded the medal because of prejudice against Jewish and Hispanic soldiers. America is much greater today than it was in the 1950s.

While we were driving back to the cemetery, a lady in another car stopped us. When she realized we weren't the neighbors she thought we were, she said, "I will tell you anyway."  A nearby meat producer, was selling cooked meats that day.

Our first planned stop of the day was at the Cheyenne County Museum, in St. Francis, which had interesting displays, that included one about St. Francis born astronaut Ron Evans and another about the Medal of Honor winner whose grave we had visited earlier. The museum is next to a roadside park and information center, which has a large variety of information about Cheyenne County which is available 24/7.

We had an early lunch at Diamond R Bar & Grill. I had the Cowboy Up burger topped with Swiss and American cheese, bacon, grilled onion and jalapenos, which was only $6.75 with fresh cut fries. It was good, but I was expecting the jalapenos to be grilled as well. Linda had the chicken Philly steak sandwich for $5.75 with onion rings. The people at Diamond R were very friendly and the woman who I think was the owner, taught me how to pronounce Arikaree Breaks (ah-rick-ah-ree)

Any trip to St. Francis should include a visit to Arikaree Breaks and we headed north, with a brief stop to see if the grassroots environment created by the late Harvey Walz was still there. It is.

My first visit to Arikaree Breaks was in 2007 on the way to the Kansas Sampler Festival in Garden City. Surprisingly, my page about the Breaks quickly became the definitive Internet source for info about the Breaks and I make a point of getting new photos and confirming everything each time I get to the region. The city of St. Francis even uses one of my photos from that first visit on their page, which is an honor considering how many local photos of the Breaks must exist.

We had the Breaks almost to ourselves, seeing only a couple of vehicles which had people who were also sightseeing and a couple of locals. But on the drive back toward St. Francis, we spotted Marci and WenDee in the the ERV (Explorer Research Vehicle) heading north, followed during the next few minutes by several vehicles sporting Kansas Explorer flags.

Back in town, we toured the St. Francis Motorcycle Museum, which is new since the last time we were in Cheyenne County, then made our way to the Sawhill Park band shell, where Marci and WenDee conducted The Stump. I had the good fortune to win the prize this time. It included the "Kansas Guidebook 2 for Explorers," which we already have. When we learned there was just one party at The Stump who did not have the excellent guide, we passed it along.

Before leaving town, we stopped to see the art at the Quincy Gallery and to tour The Spencer House Bed and Breakfast, which was the childhood home of the mother of one of our friends.

We drove east to the far side of Bird City, where the Tri-State Engine & Thresher Show Grounds was open for touring. There are many buildings of antique farm equipment, vehicles and other items. It is like a county fair sized collection of museum storage buildings. Rain was coming and most of the volunteers locked up and left after we had been here about a half hour, but one kind gentleman stayed and opened the buildings again for those who wanted to visit them. For me, the most interesting thing was the Charles Lindbergh display. Lindbergh based out of Bird City during his barnstormer years.

We drove back into Bird City to have supper at Big Ed's Steakhouse, which has been on our list to check out for several years. Many people had mentioned the taxidermy animals on the walls, which had led me to expect many more than the few near the front of the large dinning room. We sat at a booth next to Kansas Explorers #1033 Bill and Susan Bunyan, who we had seen at The Stump in St. Francis. We kept talking with them, rather than looking at the menu and our server had to come back 3 times before we were ready to order.

Big Ed's is known for big steaks. I had the regular sized 16 ounce ribeye ($30) and Linda had the regular sized 12 ounce fillet ($32.50). 24 ounce ribeye and 20 ounce fillets were available. The meals came with the choice of potato, plus a salad and roll. Our wedge and baked potatoes were both good and the steaks were perfectly cooked to medium rare and well done, respectively.

There are two complaints which I had heard about Big Ed's in advance and both are legitimate. Food does take quite a while to come out and the salad is not chilled and comes out on the plate with the entree. Bringing the salads out earlier would help with both of these. The salads were plated and sat out long before the steaks were ready and we never even tasted them.

We made a couple of photo stops on the way back to the hotel in Goodland, but made it a fairly early night after the long day on Friday.

 

Sgt. Jack Weinstein Grave - Cheyenne Valley Cemetery Sgt. Jack Weinstein Grave
 
 
 
 

Ron Evans Display - Cheyenne County Museum Ron Evans Display

Diamond R Bar and Grill - St. Francis, Kansas Diamond R Bar & Grill

Arikaree Breaks - St. Francis, Kansas Arikaree Breaks
 
 
 
 
 

St. Francis Motorcycle Museum - St. Francis, Kansas St. Francis Motorcycle Museum
 

Tri-State Engine and Thresher Show Grounds - Bird City, Kansas Tri-State Engine & Thresher Show Grounds
 
 

Big Ed's Steakhouse - Bird City, Kansas Big Ed's Steakhouse

 
Sunday - May 5, 2019: This was the day to sleep in, with no plans before the Kansas Explorers annual meeting at 10AM Central. The meeting was held outdoors, under the Big Easel. It was a chance to acknowledge the many people who had labored so hard to put the BKRT on, to catch up on Kansas Explorer happenings and to announce where the 2020 Big Kansas Road Trip will be.

Linda had correctly predicted that the next BKRT will be in far northeast Kansas, in Brown, Doniphan and Nemaha counties. The big surprise was that the event will start on Thursday, May 7, so most of the activity is during the 2nd Saturday & Sunday of the month. This was necessary to avoid the big Sparks and White Cloud flea markets, which already take all of the motel rooms in the region. The decision was only finalized about 3 weeks ago, so there are few details at this time.

The meeting concluded (as always) with singing "Home on the Range." This was the third time we sang it this weekend and as I write this, two days later, it is still going through my head. We bought some Explorer merchandise and said good bye to friends before getting on the road.

I had planned several stops for the drive back across I70 to far eastern Kansas. We stopped very briefly to photograph the Edson Post Office, next stopping in Oakley to photograph the Wild West mural which is being painted on Heartland Foods by Dennis Schiel of Hays.

We had a late lunch at Tiger Burger, which opened in an old gas station in Hays, Kansas, in 2017. The set up is well done, with neat pictures, inside and outside seating and a floor made from pennies. There is a list of specific pennies to find.

The food is very reasonable. We ordered a $1.99 chili cheese dog (without the cheese), the $10.99 Dorthy Melt (1/2 lb. burger with smashed onions, American cheese and Swiss cheese on artesian bread with fries), and an $8.99 Emerald City (grilled chicken breast, lettuce, tomato, and red onion with fries). It is possible to have a meal here for $4 - $6.

All were good, if not standout. I liked the chili dog the best, followed by the Dorthy Melt. If the cheese sandwich is made similar to the melt, it may be the best thing on the menu. What I really appreciated was the huge condiment bar where you could do a lot to any of the sandwiches or sides.

We made one last stop before leaving western Kansas. In Bunker Hill we photographed the monument to Pawnee Chief Spotted Horse in the cemetery and several old buildings. We also checked on the building which used to hold the wonderful Bunker Hill Cafe, but nothing has been done with the building and it is for sale.

We stopped for supper at O Cafe Korean Restaurant in Lawrence, which I enjoyed so much last month. I had Hot Pepper Paste Fried Rice with pork, $12 and Linda had Korean Spaghetti with chicken, $9. This tine there were just 2 banchan (side dishes). Once again, the server never came back to our table after bringing out the food, so I couldn't ask for more of the banchan.

We returned home about 8PM, having driven over 1,300 miles exploring Kansas.

 

Kansas Explorers Meeting beneath the Big Easel - Goodland, Kansas Kansas Explorers Meeting beneath the Big Easel
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Tiger Burger - Hay, Kansas Tiger Burger
 
 
 
 

Abandoned home and cattle - Bunker Hill, Kansas Abandoned home near the Bunker Hill Cemetery

Friday - May 10, 2019: Lunch was at Anita's Cuisine in Merriam, Kansas. I had been wanting to try this Salvadoran restaurant for some time, but it closes at 3:30PM and it hadn't worked out. I had dined at this location before, at Carmen's Cocina in 2015. The 6 booth dining room looked much as I remembered.

My favorite dish today, was my favorite dish 4 years ago at Carmen's, bacon wrapped jalapenos. The bacon on the outside and cream cheese filling went well with the cooked peppers. The chips that are served today, are also much like back then, thick, tasty, and cold,

My second favorite item was not available in the past, a cheese filled pupusa (cornmeal flat bread) was quite good and had a slightly crispy outside that I'm not used to. The curtido (pickled coleslaw) to eat with it was good, and I appreciated that it was an individual serving, rather than something larger that might be used at multiple tables.

The $8.49 Hugo Special was a combination platter with a pork tamale, chorizo taco,  and chicken flauta. The taco had less flavor than I expected, but the flauta was better and the tamale was very good.

I continued north on I35 to the last Kansas exit, Cambridge Circle in Kansas City, Kansas, where the Carvana used car dealership opened this week. They are actually in Kansas City, Missouri, but only 400 feet from Kansas.

Carvana is primarily an online retailer, but this is their 18th location. They have a showroom that is maybe 300 square feet, attached to an 8 story glass tower which they call a  used car vending machine, It is totally a gimmick, but a fun gimmick and is giving them lots of publicity. 

All purchases are done online, including one large touch screen available on the showroom, Less than 30 vehicles are at this location and the others are elsewhere, maybe far, far away. After you complete the purchase online. They will deliver the vehicle to you, or you can pick it up out of this vending machine and they will load the vehicle in the machine before you arrives. You get a coin, which is dropped in the slot and the vehicle is delivered. I didn't see that operation.

You purchase the vehicle sight unseen. You then have 7 days/400 miles to change your mind. They didn't say what other restrictions or fees might be involved.

For supper, Linda joined me on my second visit to Luther's BBQ, on the Missouri side of State Line Road in Kansas City. She had a half slab of pork ribs with French fries for $16, while I had a $24 Trio Platter of brisket, sausage and burnt ends with cheesy corn and onion rings.

My favorite meat was the burnt ends. They may have been a little more fatty than some would like, but I thought they were wonderful. The brisket and ribs were also good, but I couldn't detect any flavor from the smoking in the sausage. I actually liked it better the next day at home with a spicy mustard.

The fries and onion rings were both great I wish there had been a little more of both. Particularly the onion rings. 3 rings seemed a little skimpy on a $24 platter. They didn't need a sauce, but there was a dipping sauce that was quite good. When the rings quickly ran out, it was also good on the fries. The cheesy corn was average. I liked it slightly better cold the next day as a leftover. 
 
 

Anita's Cuisine - Merriam, Kansas Anita's Cuisine
 
 

Hugo Special - Anita's Cuisine Hugo Special
 
 

Carvana - Kansas City, Missouri Carvana 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Trio Platter - Luther's BBQ Trio Platter

 
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