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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Doing the Big Kansas Road Trip in Smith, Jewell and Republic Counties
Tuesday - May 2, 2023: I revisited Go Chicken Go in Olathe, Kansas. The are one of the best places for fried chicken in metropolitan Kansas City and are particularly known for their chicken gizzards and livers, which are served with the house made, hot "G Sauce." There have been no changes to the pricing since I last dined here in September.

I had a half order of gizzards, having them substitute a second G Sauce for the roll.


Go Chicken Go - Olathe, Kansasa Go Chicken Go
Thursday - May 4, 2023: We are off on the 2023 Big Kansas Road Trip, which is a three county wide open house. This year the BKRT is in Smith, Jewel and Republic Counties.

We stopped for lunch on the way to the three counties, we stopped for lunch at Bubba Q's in Beloit. As we crossed the street, Linda asked a man sitting in front of the restaurant what was good, assuming he was a customer, but it turned out he was the owner and we were the first customers.

You order and pay at a small counter, selecting dishes from a short list from a blackboard on the wall. There are five meats and four sides, plus a daily special. There are no fried side dishes.

Linda got the daily special, a hot beef sandwich (open face with mashed potatoes and brown gravy) and I got jalapeno sausage, brisket and potato salad (which seems to be the most popular side dish). There are two BBQ sauces on the tables with hand written labels. One says "KC Master Piece" and the other says "East Coast" and is a slightly sweet thin sauce.

The hot beef sandwich is pretty conventional and good, just what she was hoping for. I enjoyed the sausage, but cared less for the brisket and potato salad.

Before leaving Mitchell County, we also revisited the World's Largest Ball of Twine in Cawker City, Kansas. They have added a sign which tells the history of the Ball of Twine since our last time in Cawker City and it is a nice addition. We learned later in the trip that many people doing the Big Kansas Road Trip visited the Ball of Twine on the way to the Road Trip or during it.

There is also a nice large new "Greetings from Cawker City" mural next to the Ball of Twine.

We continued on US-24, turning north on US-281 toward Portis, Kansas. Stopping just after Portis to put up our Big Kansas Road Trip flag at the Smith County Line.

Our first stop on the Road Trip was a few miles later in Harlan, Kansas, just a block or two from some interesting abandoned buildings which I have photographed a couple of times in the past. There is a historic marker devoted to Gould College which the United Brethren conference established in 1880 to serve students in western Kansas. 

It was named for railroad mogul Jay Gould with the hope that he would be a benefactor for the new college but he never supported the college. The marker for the college in next to Harlan Church, which is all that remains of the college.

A few short distance back up US-281, We saw a large BKRT banner which had fallen and pulled over to see if we could put it back up. Unfortunately a grommet had pulled out of the banner and many twist ties used to hang the end of the banner had broken and could not be reused. Without tools to hang the banner, we passed along the news that the banner needed repair later in the afternoon.

Our next stop was at the 1879 Missouri Pacific Depot in Cedar, Kansas. The BKRT guide says that the depot doubles as the town museum and contains railroad memorabilia, but there was no info in the guide or on the door about how people may tour the museum. The old yellow post office nearby looked even more interesting than the depot, but was closed for the day, or we would have bought stamps.

In Kensington, Kansas we stopped at Kensington Locker, a meat locker which would have tours the next day, when we would be in different counties. We got some pork chops, beef jerky and smoked ribs. We would have got more, but there were no samples and we didn't really know how much we might like their products. As we were leaving, we met the first other people doing the BKRT that we saw, two women from Weston, Missouri.

Before leaving Kensington, we went to Something Old, Something New Museum which is at Bow Creek Kennels, west of town. Sharon Rust collected vintage wedding finery through the decades for 25 years before building the museum in 2012. She invites folks to make an appointment or just drop in.

While wedding gowns aren't a subject which particularly interests me, but I could totally appreciate how well the museum is set up, the information about the changes in wedding clothes over the years and how nice the displays look. The collection goes back to the early 1900s and the dresses are organized by the decade. Some items are for sale, both old and new. There is no admission charge, but if folks leave a donation, it goes to the women's group at Sharon's church.

Of course, Sharon's wedding dress (along with photos from the wedding) is one of those on display.

Each year the Big Kansas Road Trip includes some "Pie on the Porch" events, to encourage explorers to get to know some of the local residents. I'm usually trying to visit has many attractions and restaurants as possible to add them to this web site, so I haven't done this, but wanted to fully participate and we went to Pie on The Porch at Ingleboro Mansion in Smith Center. It was scheduled to run noon to dusk, Thursday through Saturday and we showed up about 2:30PM on Thursday. They apparently had no idea how popular this would be, and we arrived to find out that they had run out of pies.

We went on to visit some of the smaller attractions in town, including the Smith County Courthouse, a black smithing demonstration at the Spirit Sculpture Gardens, Old Dutch Mill, Lady Liberty Mural, and Forks of Beaver Creek Indian Fight marker. My favorite thing was a woman with three small children who had set up a bake sale out of her car at the Sculpture gardens. Her chocolate chip cookies were great!

It was still too early for supper, so we drove to Lebanon, Kansas to visit the Gas Station Visitor Center in a restored 1930s service station. The visitor center is not staffed, but is kept open during daylight hours. The 1910 Lebanon City jail is in a park across the street.

There was a display of Center of the US souvenirs in the visitors center and a sign said they were available up the street at Ladow's Market. So we walked up the street and purchased post cards and some other items that would travel well. The market also has a cafe. We were going to supper in an hour, so I didn't want to eat anything, but bought a slice of sour cream and raisin pie to put in our cooler for later. It ended up being Monday before I ate the pie, so it knocked around in the cooler for almost 4 days. It was still the best dessert I had for the whole trip, even though I sampled, two other pies, cheese cake and two different ice cream sundaes. It must have been incredible when it was fresh!

Before heading back to Smith Center, we revisited the Geographic Center of the contiguous 48 United States  a short distance north and west of Lebanon. Although it looks much the same as always, they had just recently added sidewalks, which were needed.

I also learned that an Lebanese emigrant had arranged for a cedar tree from the country of Lebanon to be brought to the Geographic Center (because it is just 3 miles from Lebanon, Kansas) in 2019. Unfortunately, it appears to have died. I hope that another one will be brought here.

Back in Smith Center, we revisited Jiffy Burger, a 1950's theme restaurant which opened in 1984, but is set up like an old style hamburger stand. We last dined there in 2016 and its review was overdue for updating. Other than prices, inside, Jiffy Burger was little changed the walls are still covered with photos of Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe and James Dean. But outside they have added a nice picnic area at the back of the lot, probably a Covid related innovation.

The food is still a bargain. Supper for the two of us came to $16.64 plus an up charge for using a credit card. The soft serve chocolate malt didn't do a lot for me, but a large was only $3.50. The best thing about the meal was the onion rings. I wish we had gotten a large serving of them instead of the limp French fries. The burger was good and I liked the Philly steak sandwich which was served on a hamburger style bun.

We drove on to Mankato, the county seat for Jewell County and photographed the Ad Astra Mural, Memorial to Thomas Edison and the neat sign on the Ute Theater, before checking in for the night at the Crest Vue Motel.


Bubba Q's BBQ - Beloit, Kansas Bubba Q's

Bubba Q's dining room - Beloit, Kansas Bubba Q's dining room 

Bubba Q's - Beloit, Kansas BBQ & hot beef

Greetings from Cawker City mural - Kansas Cawker City mural

Bug Kansas Road Trip flag on car at Smith County Line Road Trip flag

Big Kansas Road Trip Banner BKRT Banner

Sharon Rust - Something Old, Something New Museum Sharon Rust & her wedding dress

Gas Station Visitor Center - Lebanon, Kansas Lebanon Visitor Center

Geographic Center of the US Cedar from Lebanon

Jiffy Burger - Smith Center Jiffy Burger Picnic Area


Friday - May 5, 2023: Our day began with a drive to the nearby community of Burr Oak, Kansas where we had a 9:30 appointment with Pat Anderson to tour the Burr Oak School & Museum. The museum is definitely under the radar. When we searched for info about it on Google, the only thing we could find was the mention in the guide to Big Kansas Road Trip. It turns out that Memorial Day is the one day of the year the museum is open, though there is a list of phone numbers on the door which may be called to see if someone can come let you in.

The museum is in a beautiful old post rock K-8 school. Unfortunately the building needs a lot of work. Besides the beautiful building, the main thing which we found which would likely interest visitors from outside the community, is some items related to the famous college basketball coach Adolph Rupp, whose first coaching experience was while teaching at Burr Oak high school. The items are not well displayed, but I think that may change in the near future as they realize the possible interest outside the community.

At my request Pat let us in the nearby United Methodist Church which was designed in 1912 by architect J.C. Holland (who also designed the school). The church has really beautiful stained glass windows!

We drove back to Mankato, Kansas to another lovely post rock building, the 1899 Jewell County Jail, to attend "The Stump" at 10:30. The stump is one of the most popular events of the BKRT. Marci Penner of the Kansas Sampler Foundation asks Kansas trivia questions and there is a chance to win prizes. It is also a chance to meet some of the other people participating in the Road Trip, hear what their favorite things have been so far and feel more like you are a part of an event.

Around the corner, we revisited the Jewell County Historical Society Museum, to check out their new "Mammoth Capital of the Great Plains" exhibit devoted to the remains of the seven Columbian mammoths which have been found near the north shore of Lovewell Reservoir on White Rock Creek in Jewell County, more than anywhere else on the Great Plains. A woman who had been heavily involved with the new exhibit enthusiastically gave us a tour. She also said that the museum leadership is seeking other grants and hopes to significantly upgrade the exhibits throughout the museum.

Around another corner, we had lunch at Bob's of Mankato. A little less than half of Bob's menu is Mexican and today was Cinco de Mayo. The restaurant was decorated for the day. 

We ordered a chicken fried steak sandwich with house made chips and a ground beef chimichanga with chips and salsa. The chicken fried steak was fine, but the house made potato chips were not as good as the looked, they were limp and seasoned erratically with a season salt I didn't care for.

The salsa was familiar and good. The chimichanga had a larger variety of vegetables than I am accustomed to in the filling, but tasted quite good. The deep fried tortilla was outstanding.

We drove east, turning south to pass through Courtland, with a brief stop south of town to photograph the photographic mural panels used to camouflage worn out looking fuel tanks. Then on to the Jim Elliott "Clock Tower Bridge" north of Jamestown, Kansas. I put "clock tower bridge" in quotations, because although that is what everyone calls it, it isn't a bridge. It looks like a covered bridge, but is erected over a road, not over a body of water.

We stopped the car to take a couple of photos from the road as we approached. then hurried on because another vehicle was coming behind us. Rather than hold them up as we took more photos, we drove past the entrance to the property and stopped to let them pass, but the vehicle stopped and the driver walked over to tell us we were welcome to come on the property and to give us a postcard of the bridge.

We assumed that he was the builder of the bridge, but as we went on up to take closer pictures, we learned that the couple from the other vehicle were Mike and Kili Land, who purchased the Snow Goose Lodge on the other side of the bridge a couple of years ago. The 80' red cedar bridge is on the Lodge property and was built in 2008 by the previous owner at the cost of about $250,000. A classic "folly" in the British sense of the word. 

Mike & Kili were a delight to talk to.

Passing back through Courtland, I stopped to photograph a restored gas station and realized the building housed Soul Sister Ceramics, so we stopped to shop. Soul Sisters was hosting a make your own Kansas clay necklace event. While we didn't participate, we purchase some gifts in the studio and had a nice conversation with a couple from Overland Park who were participating in the BKRT and were creating a necklace.

Arriving next at Scandia, Kansas we stopped to photograph the Scandia Name Marker and a tile mural on our way to the Scandia Museum, I had last visited the museum in 2007 when it shared the building with the library, but the library has now moved on to a nice building of its own. The museum is largely like it was, with the main difference being that there is now more room for the display of their old soda fountain.

Next we went to Pawnee Indian Museum State Historic Site, which I also last visited in 2007. I couldn't really tell that much had changed in the very nicely done museum. The biggest difference being that as of a few weeks ago, admission to the museum is now free. The docent working this day was doing a great job of sharing the history and making it interesting.

One thing was new to me this visit, though I don't know if it was present when I last visited or not. At the back of the museum, you are invited to exit through a not very noticeable door and follow a walkway through more of the historic village site where interpretive signs point out the physical remains of the village and explain more about the archeological discoveries what where made there.

In Belleville, Kansas we stopped at the Republic County Historic Museum, which we have never visited before. Unfortunately the main museum is closed because of construction and the museum tool room (which was still supposed to be open) was locked up. Several of the other buildings, including the blacksmith shop, school and church were open, though we never saw anyone else working at or visiting the museum. Other than the BKRT the museum is closed until the construction is complete. Their web site says it should reopen by late spring/early summer, 2023, but I think that time frame may be overly optimistic.

We had supper at Bel-Villa, a family run steak house in Belleville, where I had my favorite meal of the trip. The BKRT guide said that their Tri tips is the local favorite so I ordered it and a baked sweet potato. My salad was rather plain, though it did come with a generous amount of blue cheese dressing. Both meals came with a nice fresh basked roll.

I can see how the smoky, well seasoned tips are popular, though I found myself wondering if I wouldn't have been happier with prime rib or ribeye. A few days later, I enjoyed the tri-tips even more with some sautéed onions and a little garlic. 

There was house made cinnamon butter to put on the baked sweet potato and it transformed the potato from good to outstanding. I ate every bit.

Linda ordered a "pork chop." That was the entire description in the menu, which seems totally inadequate for the wonderful smoked and grilled tomahawk style chop they brought her. It was fabulous and in addition to the couple of bites she let me sample, I gnawed the bone at the end. She got baked potato and spiced apples. The house made spiced apples were great as well.

We finished the meal with a house made slice of cookies and cream pie.

Linda had another commitment for the weekend, so after supper, I drove her to Topeka before returning to Mankato for the night.


Burr Oak School and Museum - Burr Oak, Kansas Burr Oak School & Museum

Burr Oak United Methodist Church Stained glass windows

The Stump - Big Kansas Road Trip The Stump

Jewell County Historical Society Museum - Mankato, Kansas Mammoth Exhibit

Bob's of Mankato chicken fried steak & chimichanga

Clock Tower Bridge - Jamestown, Kansas Mike & Kili Land

Soul Sister Ceramics - Courtland, Kansas Making a clay necklace

Republic County Historic Museum - Belleville, Kansas Republic County Historic Museum

Bel-Villa - Belleville, Kansas Pork chop & tri tips

Saturday - May 6, 2023: On my own for day three of the Big Kansas Road Trip, my first stop was the Palmer Museum in Jewell, Kansas. The BKRT schedule said that it would be open from 9AM-noon today, but it was locked and there was no sign explaining. I tried calling the museum's phone number, but there was no answer. Just then a woman passing in a car stopped. She said they weren't scheduled to open until 10AM, but she had a key and let me in.

The museum fills a small room in the same building as the library and is primarily three walls of displays, one wall devoted to the Palmer family the museum is named for, another wall is a time line of the community of Jewell and the third has photos of of the town's schools and churches over the years. There are also cases with artifacts from the schools and I was told that those displays rotate.

After photographing the Fort Jewell Marker in the park across the street, I returned to Mankato, Kansas to tour Harmony United Methodist Church which was built in 1909. The sanctuary has attractive stained glass windows and is dominated by a pipe organ originally purchased from the Hunners Organ Company in 1919, with half being paid for by the Carnegie Foundation. The organ was comprehensively rebuilt by the Reuters Organ Company from Lawrence, Kansas in 2012. 

One of the women who was showing the church was Pat Grott and she played a couple of verses of Amazing Grace on the organ so we could hear how it sounds.

The afternoon was going to be spent in Republic County and I returned to the Bel-Villa restaurant in Belleville for lunch, having a 10 ounce ribeye with baked beans, krinkle cut fries, and grilled onions. The ribeye was cooked medium exactly as ordered. It was a good steak, but would have benefited from a little more seasoning. The fries were disappointing. 

Near the end of my meal, a couple of gentlemen at the next table finished their meal and left and the third man at the table, who said that he helps out around the restaurant, asked to join me during the rest of my meal.

I was hoping that the restaurant would have the interesting sounding possum pie they were out of the night before, but it wasn't one the pies my server listed, so I went with the pecan caramel delight cheese cake. When the cheese cake was brought to me, I happened to ask the server exactly what the possum pie was and was told that it was the chocolate pie which she listed earlier. I have no complaints, the cheese cake was quite good.

I drove on to the far northeast corner of the county, stopping to take a few photos in Narka, Kansas on the way to the Sixth Principal Meridian Initial Point on the Nebraska state line.  It was established in 1856 and was the initial point use to locate all land surveys in Kansas & Nebraska, much of Colorado & Wyoming, and a small portion of South Dakota. There are several markers and monuments and the location reminded me of the Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado Tristate Point and the Kansas, Colorado, Oklahoma Tristate Point.

Before leaving the neighborhood, I also drove through Mahaska, Kansas in Washington County.

The next stop of the afternoon was Cuba, Kansas which has two small museums. One is the Heritage Center which is in the building once used for the office of Dr. C.W. McClaskey and the second is Cuba Country School Museum which occupies part of a former one room school house which was moved to just a couple of doors away. Across the street, I stopped at Betty's Cafe, where the kolaches, a Czech pastry, had been recommended. but Betty said that many people had come during the BKRT and they had run out of kolaches.

Before leaving Cuba, I also made brief stops at the restored 1884 native limestone blacksmith shop and the Hillcrest Library which displays wood and stone carvings by Glen Lojka.  Adjacent to the library is a free standing bank vault, which is all that remains of the First Commercial Bank, which once stood there.

With more time remaining than I expected, there was time to continue farther south to downtown Agenda, Kansas where Glenda Tracek has renovated several old business buildings. I had a chocolate ice cream sundae at Hope Floats, a five stool old fashioned soda fountain. I think the two women working the fountain (one of which was Glenda) had more customers than they wanted this weekend. There is a beautiful garden with fountains behind the businesses.

One of the adjacent buildings is called the Memory Bank and I discovered that it houses a one room museum which was established some years ago by Clarence and the late Mary Alice Havel and appears to otherwise not mentioned on the internet as indexed by Google.

After a stop in Belleville to wash my car, I drove back to Mankato and freshened up for dinner. Friends from Shawnee, Kansas joined me for supper at Buffalo Roam Steak House, next door to the Crest Vue Motel. We had a reservation, but it appeared that there was no need for one. Two of us had the regular Saturday seafood buffet, while others had broiled salmon and spaghetti off the kids menu. I think the kid was the happiest with the meal. Buffalo Roam has good online scores, but this is the second time I've dined there and none of the food has been a treat. 

The salad bar portion was minimal. The carved prime rib was very rare and not very well seasoned. I also tried, two kinds of shrimp and fried clams. They were out of the fried oysters which might have saved the meal for me.

Following dinner, we went to Mankato City Park and enjoyed various parts of the park while listening to a free concert by Good Sam Club Band.

Before returning to my motel, I stopped at Sweden Creme which brags that it has been voted the "Best Burger," "Best Ice Cream" and "Top 10 French Fries" in Kansas. I ordered a brownie mudslide sundae and French fries. I sampled the fries first. They were battered frozen fires that I did not like at all. I stopped eating the fries after 2. The web site that voted them top 10 is longer operates, but used to sell plaques to businesses saying they were voted top 10. We had trouble with using our photographs without permission many years ago.

The Sundae was better, though it looks much better than it tastes. Unfortunately they just use soft serve ice cream.



Palmer Museum - Jewell, Kansas Palmer Museum

Harmony United Methodist Church - Mankato, Kansas Harmony United Methodist Church

Bel-Villa restaurant - Belleville, Kansas cheesecake

Sixth Principal Meridian Initial Point - Mahaska, Kansas Sixth Principal Meridian Initial Point

Cuba Country School Museum - Cuba, Kansas Cuba Country School Museum

Agenda, Kansas Downtown Agenda

Glenda Tracek - Agenda, Kansas Glenda Tracek

Mankato City Park - Mankato, Kansas Mankato City Park

Sweden Creme - Mankato, Kansas Fries & Sundae


Sunday - May 7, 2023: After checking out of the motel, I stopped to pick up a pastry at Nuthin' Fancy, a bakery in Mankato. It is only open Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, but while they were closed on Thursday at the start of the Road Trip, they baked some cookies and brought them to the Crest Vue Motel to offer samples to guests who were participating in the Big Kansas Road Trip. We had sampled a couple of the cookies and they were great.

The items which looked best to me, all looked like they would be too messy to eat in the car, so I settled on a muffin. It was pretty good, but not as exciting as the cookies had been.

The annual meeting of the Kansas Explorer's Club was at the Home on the Range Cabin near Athol, Kansas at 10AM. It is a great opportunities to see old friends, many of whom I see only once a year. Marci Penner of the Kansas Sampler Foundation introduced some folks and drew people out talking about their experiences during the BKRT.

Marci presented a  who has been instrumental in the preservation work at the Home on the Range Cabin and also spoke briefly on his dreams for further development of the site as an attraction. 

Two things happen every year at this event: a group singing of "Home on the Range" and the announcement of next years BKRT. In a slight change, next year it will be 2 counties and one community, Lincoln County, Ellsworth County and Lucas, Kansas. 

I has planned to have lunch at the Rusty Tractor in Kensington, but Kansas Explorer Larry Hornbaker told me they were closed today because of staffing issues. With no Internet service to look for someplace else. I checked the BKRT guide and settled on Pete's BBQ in Smith Center.

Pete's was quite busy (mostly with people who were doing the BKRT). Nothing on the menu really grabbed me, so I ordered a Pete's Platter (brisket, turkey and pork with two sides and toast) and went with fires and beans for the sides. Unfortunately I learned a little later that there were three specials this day (including fried chicken) all of which sounded better. Oh, well!

I'm not really a pulled pork person, but I loved the pulled pork! The other meats were a but dry.

It took a long time to get a servers attention at the end of the meal and I ended up getting a slice of blue berry pie to go,

My drive to Topeka to pick Linda back up was uneventful and I made just one stop, to check on the Clay Center Utility Park Zoo in Clay Center. I am delighted to say, that the new cages have been built to the west of the old zoo and the animals have been moved out of the tine old WPA pens.

So far there are no signs identifying the animals and the buildings which had animals inside were all locked in the middle of the day.

The two of us stopped for supper in Scranton, Kansas so I could sample Four Corners Steakhouse and Lounge again. Linda got the buffet, which had fried chicken and was only $9.50. I had a taste of her food and the chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy were all good. I had a rib eye, which came with the salad bar, toast and choice of potatoes for $21.75. The salad bar was much nicer than I had with the buffet at Buffalo Roam the night before. The rib eye was nicely marbled and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

It is important to remember that Four Corners does not take credit cards. It is easy not to to see that until at the register checking out.


Nuthin' Fancy - Mankato, Kansas Nuthin' Fancy

Kansas Explorer's Club - Home on the Range Cabin Kansas Explorer's

El Dean Holthus receives We Kan! award Marci Penner, El Dean Holthus

Pete's BBQ - Smith Center Pete's Platter

Utility Park Zoo in Clay Center Cissy the black bear

Four Corners Steakhouse and Lounge - Scranton, Kansas Rib eye & steak fries

Thursday - May 11, 2023: We have a Kansas City BBQ Restaurant Guide which covers both Kansas and Missouri, so I regularly dine at BBQ restaurants in Kansas City, Raytown, Independence and other Missouri communities. In March of last year I went to Harp Barbecue in Raytown. At the time, Harp was only open Fridays & Saturdays and the meat was sold out of the building which housed Crane Brewing. Harp felt like a pop up restaurant and was open a total of 6 hours a week, or less if they ran out of meat.

Harp now has a home of its own, operating out of two storefronts with 3 small dining areas on Raytown Road. I appreciate the expanded hours and not having to wait in a long line like last year, but the menu has grown even shorter than last year. Now there are 6 meats sold by the half pound (2 of which they did not have today). Although there were only 4 meats last year, on the day I visited there were 3 more meat specials.

I selected a sandwich that had received good comments online, "Truth Bomb" which is a sauced combo of chopped brisket and sausage on a bun. I'm sure either one would make a great sandwich on its own, but the combination had a nice blend of flavors and textures and is a sandwich I would happily get again. 

A small amount of lightly pickled onion & cucumber serves as a garnish. No sides are included with the sandwich, but $4 servings of beans, cheesy corn, sweet potato and twice baked potato salad were available. I left most of my beans untouched and will probably try sweet potato the next time.

I was hoping that having their own restaurant would result in the addition of metal knives, forks and spoons, but unfortunately they are still plastic.


Harp Barbecue - Raytown, Missouri Harp Barbecue

Harp Barbecue restaurant - Raytown, Missouri Truth Bomb


Friday - May 12, 2023: We hadn't been back to Snack Shack on Johnson Drive since shortly after they opened in Mission, Kansas a year ago. Although they didn't have fresh cut fries when they opened last year, they are offering them again and they are larger than the thin fries they had at their old location in Overland Park. The onion rings and burgers were great. Snack Shack on Johnson Drive - Mission, Kansas Snack Shack
Sunday - May 21, 2023: We had lunch at El Rinconcito Salvadoreño #2, which opened in January in Lenexa, Kansas. Their first restaurant is in Kansas City. Kansas. The Pollo En Crema and Pollo Encebollado were both pretty good. A pork & cheese pupusa was a little different texture than I am used to for pupusas. I was disappointed that it did not come with the curtido (Salvadoran spicy slaw) which normally comes with pupusas in the Kansas City area.

Service was extremely slow. Food came out erratically with the first dish taking a little over 30 minutes from our ordering. The last of our food didn't come out for over an hour.

The prices were reasonable. Food for 5 people came to less than $100.


El Rinconcito Salvadoreņo - Lenexa, Kansas Pollo En Crema
Monday - May 22, 2023: Here is my long Hawaii Trip Report from March with over 200 photos. If you want to jump to a point in the trip, here are links to the helicopter tour, Maui, and Oahu. The photo at the right of a double whale breach is from day 8 of the trip.


Maui whales double breach Maui whale breach
Saturday - May 27, 2023: It is the first Memorial Day weekend in many years when we haven't had other commitments so we are off to Lawrence, Kansas to attend to fun, quirky events: Art Tougeau & the Lawrence Busker Festival. We arrived about 11:40 AM and were pleased to find shaded, free parking just a short walk from the staging area for the Art Tougeau parade.

We listened to the briefing of the parade participants had a quick, close look at some of the art cars. Art Tougeau is like a grassroots art show on wheels. All the entries are on wheels, including art cars, bicycles, roller skates, wagons, a wheel barrow and other items.

We took pictures at the start of the parade, where the light was at a better angle. than moved over to Mass Street for action shots.

Following the parade, we walked through the closed streets where the Busker Festival was taking place. None of the food trucks appealed to us, so we had lunch at Ladybird Diner up Mass Street. It has been several years since we last dined here.

I had a Choreezy Scramble (Spicy chorizo sausage scrambled with peppers, onions, cheddar and cotija cheeses, topped with hatch chile cream and pickled onions. Served with fried potatoes and choice of toast or corn tortillas.) with fried potatoes and a hand dipped butter scotch malt. Linda had a Mediterranean Chicken Sandwich (Marinated grilled chicken breast with charred scallion tzatziki, fresh greens, tomato, red onion and sprouts on a grilled ciabatta bun.) with a fruit side.

The sandwich was good, but I thought the scramble didn't taste as good as it sounded.

The Busker Festival was now going strong and we stopped at performances by Jamey Mossengren - Unicycling Unicorn, Tic and Tac - New York Breakdancers, Derek Derek - The Fuzzy Juggler, Mat Ricardo - Gentlemen Juggler, Sara Twister - Acrobatic Archery,  Bongo Tini and Saxophinia. Some good performances, though the non musical acts spend too much time talking about what they are going to do and less time doing it. Mat Ticardo and Sara Twister were our favorite acts.


Art Tougeau parade = Lawrence, Kansas Art Tougeau

Ladybird Diner - Lawrence, Kansas Meditranian Chicken Sandwich & Choreezy Scramble

Sara Twister - Acrobatic Archery at the Lawrence Busker Festival Acrobatic Archery

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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 2008-2024 by Keith Stokes.