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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Wedding at Cana - Miracles of Christ
Tuesday - August 2, 2022: I made a second attempt to visit Medicine's Hall of Fame and Museum which opened in September 2020 in the former location of the Johnson County Museum. I went there a few months after the museum opened, but the building was locked up when it was scheduled to be open, there was no sign about closing, and there was no response to a phone call checking on visiting the museum.

The collection is the result of a lifetime of collecting by Dr. Bruce Hodges, who is turning 90 in a few days and just retired earlier this year. A large part of the collection is about the history of medicine and that is the only thing mentioned on the museum's web site. There is also gallery with items collected during Dr. & Mrs. Hodges 17 medical missionary trips to Uganda. Other galleries are devoted to the history of Egyptian and Chinese medicine, a recreation of a pharmacy from 100 years ago, and one with artifacts and photos from many types of Native American medicine and healing.

The Miracles of Christ exhibit is not mentioned on the museum's web site. This portion of the museum is more or less separate from the rest and Dr. Hodges stressed that visiting that part of the museum is optional. It contains 40 dioramas devoted to the Miracles of Christ. Based on sketches by Dr. Hodges and a couple of friends, 652 figurines were carved from Jacaranda wood in just 13 days by 22 members of the Akamba Tribe in Kenya. There is also a movie devoted to Christ's miracles which is played on request.

Although admission to the museum is $8, the portion devoted to miracles is open for free admission for a period during Advent and we will post about it in December.

Across Shawnee, I also revisited the Shawnee Indian Cemetery in Shawnee, Kansas, control of which was recently given to the Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma. The Shawnee tribe plans to survey the .5 acre cemetery to find any unmarked graves. The cemetery may be renamed after some of the families buried here. I followed Google Maps to the cemetery, which brought me there by way of Bluejacket Street, which is close, but it appears you have to cross private property to get there. The better route is 59th Terrace, which still feels like you are in someone's yard, but it less bothersome.

Although the grass is mowed, the grave markers are more covered by soil and plants than they were in 2012. It doesn't appear that anything has been done by the Shawnee Tribe so far.

The last thing I revisited in the neighborhood was the Governor's House, which was the home of the first Territorial Governor of Kansas. Andrew H. Reeder, in 1854. Today it just looks like an older home from the street. 18 years ago it was a restaurant and special event space called the Governor's Meeting House. It was built around 1850. Located on 60th Street, just east of Nieman Road.

 

Dr. Bruce Hodges - Medicine's Hall of Fame and Museum Dr. Bruce Hodges

Uganda Gallery - Medicine's Hall of Fame and Museum Uganda Gallery

Wedding at Cana - Miracles of Christ Turning water into wine
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Governor's House - Shawnee, Kansas Governor's House

 
Thursday - August 4, 2022: Today I made our third visit to Snackle Box at the Wyandotte County Lake Marina in Kansas City, Kansas. It is time to try their breakfast. I don't eat much in the morning, so I arrived at 10:45 to have breakfast before 11 AM when the menu said they stop serving breakfast. The cook/server followed me in from having a smoke and said that they stop serving breakfast at 10:30 and they wouldn't prepare lunch until the next cook arrived at 11.

The next cook arrive accompanied by two nice, small children who made themselves comfortable at the counter. There are only a handful of items on the lunch menu and the main ones which I hadn't had yet were grilled cheese and plain hot dog. Neither interested me, so I repeated the double hamburger with Swiss cheese with added mushrooms. I don't know if it was me or the food, but it wasn't nearly as big a treat as the one I had a month ago.

On the way home, I visited Pop's Sweet Shop of Lenexa which opened last Friday in Old Town. The sign says that they were established in 2020 and a little research finds that they have another location in Springhill, Kansas. The is no sign saying the hours and when I walked in at 12:40, I was told that they were not open yet, but would serve me. Another customer was leaving with ice cream as I arrived.

Pop's has small batch homemade fudge, italian cannolis, smoothie, Italian ice & organic cotton candy, but I was there for ice cream and got a single cup of Mocha Almond Fudge from Blue Bell Creameries. The selection of flavors is fairly small and I hope they rotate them very often so I can find other flavors which excite me.

 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Pop's Sweet Shop - Lenexa, Kansas Pop's Sweet Shop

Monday - August 8, 2022: Our last visit to Hayward's Pit Bar B Que in Shawnee, Kansas was two years ago, so I had lunch here today. It was a little late for lunch and there were only three other tables occupied. The server was quite attentive.

I ordered the sausage platter beef habanero cheddar sausage from Krizman's Sausage in Kansas City, Kansas. I am a fan of Krizman's and a fan of spicy, cheese sausages, but this one did not work as sweet for me. I didn't notice any smoky flavor from the preparation, and the cheese seemed powdery in texture to me.

The sauces are tangy and slightly spicy and just tangy. I prefer the extra heat of the hot version, though many people may find it a little too hot and mix the regular and hot.

The cheesy corn wasn't very cheesy, having mostly the taste of the corn. The French fries were pretty good for made from frozen. They are larger fries and had the texture you might associate with steak fries, but a little more crispy. The toast was barely toasted.

I felt the price was fair at $16.

 


 
 

Hayward's Pit Bar B Que- Shawnee, Kansas Sausage Platter

 
Tuesday - August 9, 2022: This overnight trip is to northwest Kansas and I got away early to get past Salina as early as possible. I was met at Rolling Hills Zoo by their Director of Development & Marketing, Linda Henderson, who had a golf cart waiting and took me on a tour to see what was new since my last visit. We figured out that it has been 20 years, so there had been many changes.

The newest attraction at the zoo is Pride of the Prairie habitat, which opened just 4 days ago and is the first zoo exhibit you encounter when leaving the entrance/museum building and walking toward the zoo. This lion enclosure doubles the space devoted to the sister lionesses, Zalika and Kamali. Lions like being up high and both lions were perched at the front of their exhibit in the shade from the pillars in front of the visitor cave's viewing area.

The space also has new indoor habitat and additional off exhibit housing which will be important in coming years as a male lion is brought to the zoo and there will be an opportunity for breeding and let Zalika and Kamali's genes be passed on new a new generation.

I continued to Lincoln, Kansas, where I was excited to try Post Rock Restaurant in Lincoln, Kansas this week. The Himalayan restaurant opened last year. The small restaurant appears to have been newly purpose built in front of the Post Rock Motel.

The menu is very limited. Aside from four breakfast dishes, which are served from 8:30-10AM, there are 8 items on the menu: cheeseburger; double cheeseburger; fried rice (chicken, pork or veggie); pork momo; noodles chow mein (chicken or pork); chicken curry; butter chicken; and chicken tikka masala. Dishes run $10-14. French fries are included with the burgers and the chicken tikka masala came with fried rice and naan.

The chicken tikka masala was excellent, made with cream and butter, it had a nice flavor, but no heat whatsoever. I like my food spicy and there was a choice of hot sauces scattered around the tables. A little Sriracha made it wonderful to my taste. The fried rice was good, but I thought the naan (Indian flat bread) was so-so. It was not made in a tandoori oven. which makes sense considering the menu.

There are no appetizers and the only dessert is frozen yogurt. Beverages are limited to bottled Pepsi products. A bottled water was $1, and was served with a glass filled with ice.

Before leaving town, I photographed some post rick buildings and the Saline River Waterfall on the south side of town.

Continuing west on K-18, I took fresh photos of some of the businesses and attractions in Lincoln, including new photos of Toilet Bowl Plaza, where the Grass Roots Art Center has added a scavenger hunt on a sign. Visitors are encouraged to take selfies with 6 pieces of art around Lincoln and show the photos at the Art Center to receive a prize.

Continuing west, the next stop was in Codell, Kansas to photograph Codell Community Church and the Cyclone Day Memorial. The memorial was erected on May 20, 2018, on the 100th anniversary of the day that Codell was hit by a tornado for the third year in a row. Yes there was a tornado May 20, 1916, 1917 and 1918.

Arriving in Hill City, Kansas, I checked into the Schweitzer Hotel. which was built in 1886. The lobby is quite handsome and with the exception of an extremely tiny bathroom, my room was pretty comfortable for a hotel this old. it is a great hotel for less than $70/night including all taxes and fees. The wifi was even good!

After freshening up, I had supper at Average Joe's Bar & Grill, a few blocks away. I had decided that I had to try them, after seeing that they have country fried bacon on the menu. When I ordered the appetizer, the server apologized that they were out of bacon and only had jalapeno bacon. She said that it might not be too spicy when country fried and I explained that I like spicy foods. She remembered that later in the meal and brought me jalapeno ketchup before my entry.

The country fried bacon was pretty tasty, made with thick lean bacon, coated in batter, fried crispy and served with gravy for dipping. I'm glad I tried it, but probably wouldn't get it again. 

My entree was fried bone in pork chops. There was 2 hand breaded fried bone in pork chops, served with salad, roll, gravy and the choice of two sides. $10.99! All the items on the menu were quite reasonable. The breading was golden, crispy and tasted great. I bet their chicken fried steak is great.

The salad was nothing special, but I had more food then I was going to eat. I liked the blue cheese cole slaw. The fries were good. Not fresh cut, but crispy outside and just right inside.

I was going to try a dessert, but the server was working the restaurant and bar, by herself, also handling many to go orders and after waiting for her to get free, I decided to just pay and go.

After exploring a little more of Hill City, I returned to the hotel for a while, before walking one block to the new Graham County Auto and Arts Museum, which opened last fall. It is an old service station, with two attached buildings, one of which was moved to Hill City from Hays. Phyllis Weller, who is one of the founders of the museum had agreed to meet me at 8PM. Otherwise the museum is open weekends.

The art gallery is in the office of the station and the work of three artists is featured. The office also houses a small gift shop with shirts and hats from the museum. The garage and attached buildings have about 27 cars, plus a few motorcycles and tractors. Several of the vehicles are famous for who once owned them, such as Alice Cooper or the Smoothers Brothers. There is a 1863 Chevrolet Caprice Taxi which was one of four used in the TV series "Seinfeld" and three model T's which were used in the 1973 Movie "Paper Moon."

 


 
 
 

Pride of the Prairie habitat - Rolling Hills Zoo, Salina Pride of the Prairie
 
 
 

Post Rock Restaurant - Lincoln, Kansas Post Rock Restaurant
 

Chicken tikka masala - Post Rock Restaurant Chicken tikka masala
 
 
 
 
 
 

Scavenger Hunt - Toilet Bowl Plaza, Lucas Scavenger Hunt
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Country fried bacon - Average Joe's Bar & Grill. Hill City
 country fried bacon
 

pork chops - Average Joe's Bar & Grill. Hill City pork chops
 
 
 
 
 

Graham County Auto and Arts Museum - Hill City, Kansas Graham County Auto and Arts Museum

Wednesday - August 10, 2022: Heading west on US-24, I made brief stops to photograph a sunflower field, sand hill or Chickasaw plum trees, and the long disused Community Church in Studley, Kansas. 

On the west side of Studley, I revisited Cottonwood Ranch State Historic Site. It is closed on Wednesdays, but the grounds are open dawn to dusk. At both this location at the Community Church there were red ant colonies with mounds that were over 18 inches across.

In Hoxie, I toured the Sheridan County Historical Society & Mickey's Museum. The museum was started by Vernon Mickey and the main building was built in 1963 as a replica of an early hardware store. In 1994 the museum was donated to the county and the Historical Society became caretakers of the collection.

The museum has various items from around Sheridan County, with the largest collections appearing to be uniforms from Hoxie High School and Sheridan County High School. Other than some early photographs of Hoxie, the thing I found most interesting was a collection of firearms. There is also a room devoted to genealogical information.
satisfied with less than 30 minutes at the museum.

Before leaving town, there was a brief stop at the 1917 County Court House and photographed the stained glass window on the the interior of the third floor.

Continuing west, I went to Mingo. The world's oldest active geocache is just off I-70 at exit 62. "Geocaches" are locations which are located by GPS and this cache is a waterproof container with a logbook for visitors to record their visit, as well as some small trinkets which people may leave or take with them. When I pulled up near the cache, another car pulled up and a young couple visited the cache.

This geocache was placed here on May 11, 2000, making it the the 7th cache to be placed anywhere in the world. The coordinates are N 39° 16.677 W 100° 56.621. There are presently more than 3 million active geocaches worldwide in 191 different countries. The individual code of this geocache is GC30.

After a brief stop at the Buffalo Bill Cultural Center in Oakley, I had lunch at Buffalo Bill's Bar & Grill. It is the third time we have dined here, with the first time almost 3 years ago after touring the newly opened Little Jerusalem Badlands State Park, 20 miles south of Oakley.

My server said that the chili was still frozen solid, so they couldn't serve chili dogs. I settled on a Ghost Burger, which has a 1/3 pound hamburger patty topped with ghost pepper cheese, Sriracha and house made green sauce. Pretty good!. It came with a choice of side for $8.95. I ordered the popular homemade onion rings, which probably required an up charge, though nothing was said about it. The onion rings were great!

I asked about house made deserts and was told that a couple of the pies were made by a baker in Oakley. The crust on my slice of apple pie was flaky and tasted good, but there wasn't much filling. What filling there was, was somewhat stiff and tacky. It didn't look or taste like apple, more like mince meat. 

The server was busy and although she tried to be attentive, there were long periods between her stops at the table.

It had been nearly 17 years since my last tour of the Fick Fossil and History Museum in Oakley. and I wanted to pay a new visit and take new photos of the museum. It is actually larger than it was in 2005, with an additional gallery at the back. The added space appears to be be fairly recent as the displays don't feel like they are permanent. There is a 1956 Ford fire truck. player piano, pump organ and a window and chairs from a church,

To me, the most exciting part of the museum is still the prehistoric fossils, which includes a 15 foot long Xiphactinus Audax (predatory marine bony fish) fossil which was prepared by George Sternberg and displayed with a mural by Chuck Bonner. There are more than 11,000 sharks teeth, many of which are incorporated in framed art displays by Vi Fick.

After driving back across I-70, I dined at Bourbon & Baker, in downtown Manhattan, Kansas. I had visited this restaurant in September 2019 and thought it was extremely good, but Covid and other circumstances postponed the revisit to now. 

Bourbon & Baker does small plates and items come out as soon as a given dish is ready. All of the dishes had distinctive complex flavors. This is food which keeps your attention. First out was the $12.50 Burnt Ends CB&J (Bourbon pork belly burnt ends confit, spiced cashew butter, peach jam, pickled peppers, fry bread). This was good, but I would enjoy it better without the meat.

$9.50 Brussels Sprouts (olive oil, sea salt, lemon, sweet cider vinaigrette, parmesan cheese) came next. It was the largest serving and the dish I cared the least for. The flavor was interesting, but was stringy and tough.

The $8.50 Deviled Eggs (pecan bacon, shirataki relish, roasted corn pickle relish, chicharron, smoked paprika, Sriracha) was the star of the show. It filled my mouth with wonderful flavors from the first bite. Really wonderful!

The meal was followed by a $19 Doc Swinson's Whiskey Fight with one ounce pours each of Doc Swinson's Alter Ego Triple Cask Bourbon, Doc Swinson's Alter Ego Rum Cask Rye, and Doc Swinson's Blender's Cut Straight Bourbon. All three were slightly tropical fruit like and I may have the Rye again sometime.

There was no room for anything else, but Bourbon & Baker also has desserts to go and the $10 Assorted Cookie Pack was well received at home. Each of the four cookies was about the size of four regular cookies. My favorite had chocolate chips, pecans, and white chocolate chips. It also had the best snickerdoodle I've ever had.

The final stops of the trip were on the University of Kansas Lawrence campus, where I took photos of Bailey Hall where it was discovered that helium is in natural gas from Dexter, Kansas, the grotesque statues being installed on the outside of the Natural History Museum, and sunset behind the World War II Memorial Campanile.

 

Community Church - Studley, Kansas Red ant mound

Sheridan County Historical Society and Mickey's Museum - Hoxie, Kansas Sheridan County Historical Society & Mickey's Museum
 
 
 

GC30 - Mingo, Kansas Trinkets in Mingo GC30 geocache
 
 
 
 
 
 

Ghost Burger - Buffalo Bill's Bar and Grill Ghost Burger
 
 
 
 
 

Fick Fossil and History Museum - Oakley, Kansas 1956 Ford Fire Truck
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Doc Swinson's Whiskey Fight - Bourbon & Baker Doc Swinson's Whiskey Fight

Grotesque - University of Kansas Natural History Museum Grotesque

Saturday - August 13, 2022: We have been wanting to try Chef J BBQ in Kansas City, Missouri for some time and finally made it today. It was an extremely hot day and there were only 4 people in line when we arrive about 12 minutes before 11:30 AM when they open. A minute later there were about 10 more in line behind us. There was a line all the time we were there, but it was never very long.

Chef J BBQ opened at the beginning of Covid in 2020 in the West Bottoms' building which houses the haunted house called the beast. Originally it was open only for lunch on Saturdays, but the hours have slowly expanded until they are now open until 4 PM on Thursday through Sunday.

You order at a counter just inside the door and the menu is on a large board above the counter. We ordered a 4 meat plate, selecting brisket, house made jalapeño cheddar sausage, bacon burnt ends and pork ribs. with hickory pit beans and smoked elotes as our choice of sides for $32 . We also got a daily special dessert, Coconut Milk Cheesecake for $7. 

The meats were very good, with the pork ribs having some of the best flavor of any ribs I have had. In my opinion they were too tender (you shouldn't have to use a fork on ribs), but they tasted so good that wasn't a deal breaker. My second favorite was the bacon burnt ends, though you have to be a fan of fatty meat to appreciate them. The brisket was good as well. My favorite thing about the sausage was the house made mustard sauce that was provided to dip it in.

I liked the smoked elotes (Mexican street corn). Many online reviews complain about it and I think the problem is that the put "(cheesy corn)" next to the name on the menu. It isn't cheesy corn and people waning cheesy corn are likely to be quite disappointed with it. The beans have their fans, but neither of us cared for them. There are two types of beans and they were not flavored with smoke or BBQ sauce. They are the only thing we didn't finish or box to take homes.
Dinners also come with house made pickled vegetables.

We had misread the sign on the cheesecake. It was good, but not what we though we ordered. The cheesecake itself was light and delicious. We would have liked it better without the pineapple compote and large amount of nutmeg dusted coconut flakes on top.

The vinegar based BBQ sauces come in sweet and spicy (more tangy than heat). The thin sauces work well with the meat, but may not satisfy those who like the think, ketchup like sauces at many KC area BBQ restaurants.

 

Chef J BBQ - Kansas City, Missouri Chef J BBQ
 

Chef J BBQ dinning room Dinning room & counter
 
 
 
 
 
 

4 meat plate - Chef J BBQ 4 meat plate

 

Wednesday - August 17, 2022: Today we paid visits to places in Wyandotte and Johnson Counties. starting with lunch at Dagwood's Cafe in Kansas City, Kansas. The breakfast and lunch restaurant's review hadn't been updated in about 3 years. There has been a restaurant at this location sine 1938. It is unusual in that there are counters and tables in both dining rooms.

Today I had a BLT and half order of onion rings. Dagwood's BLT has a half pound of smoked bacon, fried crispy and served on texas toast with lettuce, tomato and mayo. Most places which serve a BLT with a lot of bacon, increase the amount of the other toppings and maybe add more bread, but Dagwood's keeps those the same and it makes a very nice bacon dominated sandwich.

A version with less bacon is available for $2.20 less.

The onion rings are handmade and were good though a bit overdone. The half order may seem a bit skimpy, but it only costs $1.99. A full order may be a better choice.

The second stop was a half mile up Southwest Boulevard at Spicin Foods. It is an outlet store and factory where private label products are produced for over 100 companies including Zarda, Jones BBQ and Joe's Kansas City (Cowtown BBQ sauce and rubs).

Some things were removed in 2020 to allow spacing during Covid. The space has since been filled, but with piles of boxes. The outlet store used to be much more attractive and interesting. The tasting table, which was still used with care in 2020 has been removed. In general, there are fewer things offered for sale and there are no test kitchen batch BBQ spices and sauces.

Next up was a first time visit to Fairway Creamery in Fairway, Kansas. The ice cream and donut shop was opened by Christopher Elbow in 2019, but was sold to an asset management company at the beginning of the year. It was about 1:30 PM and there was a choice of only 6 styles of donuts available, none of which were ones I normally pick. I did get a cup with two of the house churned ice creams, Cookies & Cream, and Roasted Red Pepper. The Cookies & Cream was very good. An entire scoop of the Roasted Red Pepper was more than I really wanted. A small serving would make a nice nonalcoholic apéritif.

For supper, we tried out Hummus and Pita, the falafel restaurant which opened 3 weeks ago in the downtown Overland Park space formerly used by The Snack Shack. The already small kitchen is now smaller, leaving a little more space for customers. Two of the three counters where people used to eat are now gone, but there are now 5 small tables. The restaurant is halal, which means it adheres to Islamic law and the meat has been slaughtered in a manner similar to kosher.

We ordered at the counter and were told when the food was ready, with all the dishes coming out at different times. First out was the hummus & pita which we both though was quite good and even though it was served a Styrofoam plate, was possibly the most attractive presentation we have had of the chickpea based dip.

We like the ability to order individual kabobs rather than having to order a meal, and got two large Chicken Kabobs, a Lamb Sandwich and Frishawarma (Fries with chicken shawarma, garlic, cheese and pomegranate sauce). I would gladly repeat the kabobs or sandwich, but while I enjoyed some bites of the Frishawarma, overall I thought was just OK.

We will definitely dine here again.

 

Dagwood's Cafe - Kansas City, Kansas Dagwood's Cafe
 

BLT and onion rings - Dagwood's Cafe BLT & onion rings
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Fairway Creamery - Fairway, Kansas Fairway Creamery
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Hummus and Pita - Overland Park, Kansas Hummus

Thursday - August 18, 2022: We uploaded a new review of Bourbon & Baker, in downtown Manhattan, Kansas. I just wish it wasn't so far away!

 

 
Friday - August 19, 2022: I paid a fourth visit to Snackle Box at the Wyandotte County Lake Marina in Kansas City, Kansas. This time arriving at 10:10 AM to order breakfast before they stopped serving at 10:30. The same woman who had been there on the 9th remembered me and asked if I wanted the Big Country Breakfast. While waiting for it to be prepared, it became obvious that the second woman was there to learn the ropes and start cooking one day a week.

The $10.99 Big Country Breakfast includes chicken fried steak, gravy, 2 eggs, hash browns and toast with jelly. Actually, there were 2 four ounce chicken fried steaks. They came right from the freezer and were unimpressive. the gravy is house made and better. Actually the (choice whole wheat) toast and eggs were good and the hash browns surprisingly good for reconstituted freeze dried. I would get all but the chicken fried steak again.

 

Snackle Box - Kansas City, Kansas Big Country Breakfast
Saturday - August 20, 2022: We uploaded a new review of The Snackle Box in Kansas City, Kansas.
 
 
Wednesday - August 24, 2022: We uploaded a new review of Mingo GC30, the world's oldest active geocache, which is just off I-70 neat Colby, Kansas. A second page was uploaded about the Sheridan County Historical Society & Mickey's Museum in Hoxie, Kansas.

 

 
Friday - August 26, 2022: On a southeast Kansas day trip which began with a stop at Luther's Smokehouse (AKA Jerky USA) in Leroy, Kansas My first visit to this restaurant & convenience store was in 2006 and while I have returned several years, it had been about 9 years since the last visit. Luther started producing his delicious jerky in 1974, and it became prominent when Wolf Creek Nuclear Power Plant construction workers from around the country started buying. 

When I first went to Luther's they sold their own beef, buffalo & turkey jerky, pemmican, buffalo sausage. They have stopped producing many of these items, but still have various beef jerkies, ground & pressed pork & beef jerky, beef sticks, and summer sausage.

The prices posted are for cash. There is an additional 3% for cash.

The next stop was at Woodruff Branch Falls at Wilson State Fishing Lake near Buffalo, Kansas. During the hike to the falls, there were many attractive large blue thistles. At least I thought they were thistles, it turns out they are Leavenworth's eryngo (Eryngium leavenworthii) which is also called purple pineapple and in the parsley family. 

It wasn't' surprising that they was no water going over the falls at Woodruff Branch Falls in late August. The bare cliff was a contrast to the last time we were there in 2021. Several pieces of the edge of the cliff have broken off since last summer and it looks like this waterfall will continue to erode and change each year.

Lunch was at Prairie Nut Hut in Altoona, Kansas, a little farther south the Nut Hut has been a favorite of mine since I first dined there in 2007, but I have not been there in 3 years. The floors were clean and it was hard making myself throw peanut shells on the floor as I had some of the nuts which were in a bowl on the table.

In addition to the good mountain oysters, the bar & grill is named for, they have excellent burgers and I ordered the Rohr burger, which is #4 on our list of Best Kansas Burgers. The Rohr has grilled red onions, mushrooms and Swiss cheese, is juicy and tender despite being cooked well done. The usually great home fries did not taste fresh and were disappointing. It made it easy to limit the meal to the burger, which was handy because I was trying another Kansas Best Burger a few miles farther down K-75.

The second half of lunch was at Beef Burger Bob's in Neodesha. The last time here had been March 2019. I had a small beef burger with Swiss cheese and small order of onion strings. The burger was good as usual and the Swiss cheese was a nice addition. The standard condiments that come with it are mustard, onion and pickle, but I think I will enjoy it more if they leave off the pickle in the future.

The onion straws were much more salty that I remember, but still great. I intended to just have a few of them, but they were soon all gone. I planned on getting pie, but Tony said it was too hot to bake.

The prices are unchanged since I was last here over three years ago!

I hadn't been to Cherryvale since 2009 when we tried hard to visit the Leatherock Hotel Bed & Breakfast and Museum. The hotel is now Cherryvale Bed and Breakfast and restoration continues. The museum is now Cherryvale Historical Museum, has a building of its own and keeps regular hours on Sunday afternoons. We need to get back here some Sunday.

The Dalton Defenders Museum in Coffeyville moved from its former location in 2022 and is now in a former bank building and the name is now the Dalton Defenders & Coffeyville History Museum. It feels like there is less focus on the people who defeated the Dalton Gang when it attempted to rob two Coffeyville banks at the same time in 1892. This is probably an acknowledgment of the interest in the gang by out of town visitors and the room devoted to the gang is probably the highlight of most visits. My favorite rooms were the "Notable Names" room with short histories of famous people with Coffeyville connections and the "Walter Johnson - The Big Train" room devoted to the major league baseball player who was born in Humboldt, Kansas and grew up in Coffeyville.

There are a lot of firearms displayed throughout the museum.

In Independence, I revisited the Independence Historical Museum & Art Center to photograph the main floor exhibit rooms, including the Baseball Room which has material from Mickey Mantle's time as an Independence Yankee.

I had super at Sam's Southern Eatery. The service was friendly, but slow and the dinning room I was in was ignored for a long period of time. I got the $6.99 fried green tomato appetizer and the $15.99 three fish & three shrimp combo with red beans & rice, and coleslaw.

The tomatoes were tough in a way I've never had before. I couldn't cut them with a fork and all of the coating broke off when I tried. One slice was as much as I wanted. The catfish and shrimp had the same batter and were fairly good. The red beans and rice were much better when the server finally returned to the room and I could request some hot sauce for the.

After I dined there, I read that the thing you must try is their fried pies. Unfortunately, they are not listed on the menu and the server never said anything about them. I would have asked about desserts, but I had already been there longer than anticipated and didn't ask.

The highlight of the trip was an early evening hike at Elk River Hiking Trail. The 15 mile trail is rated rugged and follows the shore of Elk City Lake and Elk River. It was 99 degrees most of the afternoon, but a front went through late in the afternoon and it was down to about 88 when I went out. I had an hour and a half and only did the first stretch of the trail from the east trail head, but thoroughly enjoyed the huge boulders and narrow passages. There is a lot of rise and fall to the slope and the trail gains and loses several hundred feet along this stretch.

I wouldn't return to this trail until after the first freeze of the fall. There are many oak trees and apparently this is a bad year for oak leaf itch mites in this area. The mites are microscopic, can not be seen and go wherever the wind takes the, so repellent does not work. The bites manifest like pimples 12-36 hours later. They are very itchy! I stopped counting at 40 bites!

That was the last stop of the day.

 

Luther's Smokehouse - LeRoy, Kansas Luther's Jerky
 
 
 
 

Leavenworth's eryngo (Eryngium leavenworthii) Leavenworth's eryngo

Woodruff Branch Falls - Buffalo, Kansas Woodruff Branch Falls
 

Prairie Nut Hut - Altoona, Kansas Rohr Burger
 

Beef Burger Bob's - Neodesha, Kansas Beef burger & onion straws
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Mickey Mantle in Independence, Kansas Baseball Room
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Elk River Hiking Trail - Elk City, Kansas Elk River Hiking Trail

Sunday - August 28, 2022: We uploaded a new review of Hunsinger Sunflower Patch, a 6 acre sunflower farm on the south side of Lawrence, Kansas.
 
 
 
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2020: January  February  March  April  May  June  July  August  September  October  November  December
2019: January  February  March  April  May  June  July  August  September  October  November  December
2018: January  February  March  April  May  June  July  August  September  October  November  December
2017: January  February  March  April  May  June  July  August  September  October  November  December
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 2008-2022 by Keith Stokes.