changes to KansasTravel.org and Keith's exploration
& photographing Kansas restaurants, attractions, museums, festivals
and art. Contact him.
- October 1, 2020: We had supper at Brobeck's
Barbeque in Overland Park, Kansas. Although we ordered carry out here
in May, this was the first time dining at the restaurant in over a year.
They have added several tables outside their strip mall storefront and
we dined alfresco. There are have been no changes to the menu or product
and I enjoyed a meal of smoked ham salad with house made BBQ potato chips.
- October 4 2020: This afternoon, we participated in the Kaw Valley
Farm Tour, starting out at Davenport Orchards Vineyard and Winery on the
west side of Eudora. After a brief tour of the wine making facility, we
waited a a socially distanced line for an opportunity to sample wines.
After sampling the semi-sweet wines, we purchased 3 bottles of Traminette.
We bought it for the taste, but after we got home, I noticed the wonderful
science fiction theme label. Davenport uses the art of local artists on
second stop on the tour was at Country Road Farms, southeast of Eudora.
A number of other vendors had sat up tents and tables selling products
from other businesses in the region. We purchased fajita seasoning from
Kansas City, Kansas based Grammy Tammy Creating in Kansas.
Road Farms has a small building devoted to selling their meat and other
products. We purchased frozen beef sticks and a whole chicken to try sometime
headed south toward Baldwin City and went to Vesecky Family Farms, which
I first visited on the Kaw Valley Farm tour 4 or 5 years ago. After talking
to the goats, we purchased another whole chicken to roast when the days
driving through Baldwin City, we visited Ad Astra Alpacas where we looked
through the selection of clothing made from from alpaca fiber. Then we
fed the alpacas, which were split into a group of boys and a group of girls.
final stop was Clearfield Schoolhouse, northeast of Baldwin City. The one
room school was built in 1900 and operated until 1946. The Clearfield Grange
met in the building until the 1990s, It was placed on the National HIstoric
Registry in 2014.
have restored and furnished the schoolhouse, so it looks like it did about
1908. They host programs for children in the school. This school is a little
unusual, with two entrances in the front. One for boys and one for girls.
It is also unusual in the the front of the classroom is on the same end
as the entrances.
Ad Astra Alpacas
- October 5, 2020: We added a new page about Benny's
Burgers and Fries in Cheney, Kansas.
- October 7, 2020: At lunch time I made my third recent trip to Edwardsville,
Kansas to get another carry out meal at Roscoe's Barbeque. Today' meal
was a burnt end dinner with onion rings and baked beans. I thought it was
a little expensive at $16. The burnt ends were slightly fatty and had a
good flavor from the smoking, but would have benefited from just a touch
of crisp on the outside. The onion rings and beans were both slightly above
average, The beans are sweet and have just a slight bit of meat.
Edwardsville, I circled north to Wyandotte County Lake in Kansas City,
Kansas to take some photos and videos with the early fall colors and then
south to to Merriam to take more of the same at Waterfall
- October 8, 2020: We picked up a carryout lunch at Herman's Meat &
Smokehouse in Topeka, Kansas, getting pork spare ribs, beef burnt ends,
beef brisket sandwich, beans, fries, horseradish pickles, and cherry cobbler.
The meats were generally good and worth getting again. The pickles are
reminiscent of those at C W Porubsky Grocery & Meats in Topeka, though
not quite as hot from the horseradish. They also offer extra hot pickles
in the meat market, which may have taken it to another level.
beans were really the only thing I didn't care for.
also bought meats from the meat counter. The ham salad was quite good,
and a bargain at $3.99/pound. The meat prices seemed reasonable in general.
Herman's Meat & Smokehouse
- October 12, 2020: We added a new page devoted to The
Shepherd's Mill in Phillipsburg, Kansas, which is one of only two fiber
processing facility in Kansas. About half of the facility is devoted to
turning hair from sheep, yak, alpaca, goat and other animals into thread
and yarn. There is an attractive gift shop and the mill shares a wall with
several windows where the work can be watched.
The Shepherd's Mill
- October 13, 2020: I drove to Leavenworth, Kansas to see the improvements
which have been to Little Stranger Creek Church and photograph the fall
colors at Fort Leavenworth.
amazing amount of work has been recently done to Little
Stranger Church, the oldest remaining wood frame church in Kansas.
Since our first visit last year, there is new siding, windows and doors.
The outhouse has also been restored. We plan to arrange to photograph the
interior when work has been done in there.
drove on into Leavenworth to have a light early lunch at Nu-Way Drive-In,
which originally open in 1934, was closed, but reopened late last year
after being purchased by the owner of Homer's,
which is on the south side of town. I love the Nu-Way interior with a counter,
booths and fixtures that look like the 1950s.
they share a heritage with the Original
Nu-Way Cafe in Wichita and serve a loose meat burger, the menu and
food have little in common with today's Wichita restaurant. The Nu-Way
sandwich was bland and they do not make their own root beer. The fries
were made from frozen.
favorite item was the chili dog, but it could still use more spice for
than a bottle of sanitizer at the cash register, there was no apparent
effort to limit the risk of COVID19. The staff did not wear masks and the
menus were being reused without sanitizing. No seating was closed to allow
distance between diners, but at 11AM, business was slow enough that I was
able to sit away from other customers.
prices are reasonable. A small NuWay was $3.79, chili dog $3.49 and fries
continued to Fort Leavenworth and stopped at the Visitor Control Center
to get a pass to go on the base, but that is as close as I could get. Although
the post web site still says, Visitors are always welcome to the “Best
Hometown in the Army,” visitors are now only permitted for official business.
The person in the Control Center apologized saying they have no control
over the web site. Our page about visiting
Fort Leavenworth has been updated to help get the word out.
Frontier Military museum is still open to people who are on the post.
extra time, I went to the The Richard Allen Cultural Center, which opened
in 1992 to highlight African American history in Leavenworth, Kansas. Unfortunately,
I learned at the door that photography is not permitted in the museum.
I explained that I was there to do photography to create a web page promoting
the museum and would abide by restrictions on what things might be photographed,
but was told that absolutely no photography would be permitted in the museum.
decided to check out a second Leavenworth restaurant and called in a to
go order at Ava's Island Cafe, a darling little restaurant which opened
in 2018. I got a jerked chicken wing appetizer and curry chicken meal,
photographing and sampling both items at a nearby park before putting them
in the cooler to eat later.
final stops of the trip were at the Chapel
of the Veterans and the National Cemetery at the south end of town.
Little Stranger Church
Ava's Island Cafe
- October 14, 2020: We added a new page devoted to Jesse
James Cave, near Pomona, Kansas is one of the few caves in Kansas
where the public is welcome to visit. It is more of a large overhang than
a cave, but still interesting to visit. It is more of an overhang than
a cave, but it is an interesting spot, with a creek running through the
cave from right to left.
Jesse James Cave
- October 15, 2020: We added a new page devoted to the grassroots art
of Chainsaw Larry, east of Alta
- October 23, 2020: We are off on an overnight trip to central and
south central Kansas.
had a 10:30 reservation to tour the Pioneer Adobe House, Friesen Dutch
Windmill, Kreutziger School House and Schaeffler House in Hillsboro, Kansas.
Tour the first three took almost an hour and were were quite interesting.
I particularly liked the replica windmill and will try to be there if they
decide to operate it again.
over to the Schaeffler House and touring it took another half hour.
the way out of town, we stopped by Dale's Supermarket and bought a few
packages of their house made smoked sausage.
no longer requires wearing masks and we couldn't confirm that any of the
restaurants in town were taking COVID19 related precautions, so we ordered
carry out from J D's Kwik Burger. Normally we would have driven to a nearby
park to dine at a picnic table, but it was cold and windy, so we dined
in the car.
onion rings and French fries were pretty ordinary, but we we were happy
with our Hickory Burger and Double Jalapeno Cheeseburger. Linda said the
Hickory Burger reminded her of the ones from Smaks in the 1970s.
took photos of several McPherson murals and the recently dedicated relief
sculpture of the 1935-1936 Globe Refiners basketball team, which was called
the "Tallest Team in the World." Six members of the Refiners were on the
1936 United States men's Olympic basketball team, the first team to win
the Olympic Gold Medal. The new sculpture has life size representations
of everyone on the team in bronze.
drove up Old US-81 to Lindsborg, to photograph the mural of a row of books
which is being painted on the back of the library. We also photographed
the dugout where Gustaf and Maria Höglund lived in 1868.
headed west to Kanopolis Lake, with stops at Cooley’s Crossing, 2 person
Gile Family Cemetery and Mushroom Rock State Park. It had been 11 years
since I was last at Mushroom Rock State Park
and although we had it to ourselves, it looks like it has been getting
a great many visits.
headed back east to Salina where I attempted to photograph the Smoky Hill
River Falls from the east, the opposite bank from where I have photographed
it in Indian Rock Park. Although the
land along this stretch of the river is public and there is a street nearby,
it tuned out that the bank is very steep and quite grown up. It wasn't
a climb I felt like tackling and the trees largely blocked the view.
also toured the grounds of the former St. John's Military School, which
was a private boarding military school for boys from 1887 until 2019. A
museum is being created there, but we couldn't spot where it will be located.
had a 6:15PM reservation for supper at Barolo Grille, which Chef Kevin
OBrien opened in Salina at the beginning of this month. Kevin did a fabulous
job when he was at the Renaissance Cafe
in Assaria, which we really loved, and he emailed a few weeks back to tell
me that he had opened this new restaurant specializing in steak, seafood
were pleased to see that the staff were all wearing masks, but did not
like the lack of distance between the tables.. We decided to stay anyway.
The food was very good, but the service was very disappointing. That isn't
unexpected in a three week old restaurant, but I'm not ready to recommend
this restaurant yet. My rib eye was extremely good.
drove to Haysville, Kansas, south of Wichita and had a pleasant overnight
stay at the Sleep Inn & Suites.
Mushroom Rock State Park
Lower Smoky Hill River Falls
- October 24, 2020: We headed south to Arkansas City, with no stops
along the way. As we drove west from I-35 on US-166, were were surprised
to see bright, white fields of what looked like flowers, but we soon realized
that they were fields of cotton.
our return drive, we stopped to take photos of several of the fields and
collect a few of the cotton balls that lined the road, almost like a light
have since researched Kansas cotton growing and learned that there have
been several times that cotton has been crown in Kansas and this most recent
period began about 1995. Cotton uses less water than many crops and does
well in poor soil.
getting back to Ark City... We drove straight to the Cherokee
Strip Land Rush Museum, where the museum director is leading Etzanoa
tours each Saturday morning at 10AM. Etzanoa was a large Native American
community that was at this location from the mid 1400s until the mid 1700s.
The location of the community was just determined a few years ago, after
researchers finally resolved a 1601 map with the local rivers. At that
time the community had at least 20,000 residents.
$10 tour includes a presentation at the museum and the showing of a documentary
which was produced by The Archaeology Channel for the Etzanoa Conservancy.
Then there is a caravan of vehicles going to some locations in the community.
It was all quire interesting, although there really isn't much to see from
the time that the people lived here. The Spanish explorers called them
the Rayados. They were part of the Wichita nation.
first stop was at Spring Hill Golf Course, where we drove golf carts to
the back of the course to look out from a high point. This part was pretty
cool, but unfortunately we were taken to the wrong area and didn't see
exactly what was intended.
next stop was more interesting, as we visited a ravine where the first
evidence that the Spanish had visited this area was found and where there
was a small battle in 1601 between the Spanish and the Excanxaques from
what is now Oklahoma.
final stop of the tour was at Arkansas City Country Club, where two Etzanoa
production mounds remain and there were originally 10 or more.
tour took about 3 1/2 hours.
had a carry out lunch from Burger Junkie in Arkansas City, which opened
in 2017 in the former location of Burger Shack. The interior has an attractive
1950's style decor. There were no people dining in, but none of the seating
had been eliminated and tables and booths are quite close to each other
and we didn't want to chance dining in. We had a two burgers, a Screamin
Flea (Bottom bun, House made Sriracha spread, Burger patty, American cheese,
Fresh grilled jalapeños, Burger patty #2, Ghost pepper cheese, Grilled
onions, Sriracha spread, Top bun) and a Bacon Blue (Dijon mustard, bacon,
blue cheese cream spread and grilled onion). Both were quite good, as was
the seasoned fresh cut "Fryz," though the Fryz might be too spicy for some
tastes. It was cold and windy, so we ate in the car.
leaving Ark City, we photographed several old buildings, downtown Halloween
light pole decorations and murals.
drove west to Drury Dam Waterfall in the unincorporated community of Drury,
Kansas, just a few miles from the Oklahoma State Line. I had photographed
this lovely waterfall a couple of times before, but it was the first time
that Linda visited this spot. There was a sign that the park was closed
for construction, but no work was in evidence and we made a brief visit
for videos and photos.
to the park who stay more than 30 minutes are asked to deposit a $2 fee
to help with the maintenance of the park and dam.
took US-81 north to Wellington, Kansas. to photograph the exterior of the
new building housing the National
Depression Glass Museum. The front facade of the old museum building
collapsed in July 2019, but they were able to secure and move into this
new, larger facility a block away, within a few months.
also visited Woods Park, to see the Slate Creek Dam Falls. It is an attractive
overflow dam, similar, but smaller than the Drury Dam. We were particularly
taken by a group of ducks which stood on the top of the dam.
made just one stop on our way home. I had been wanting to try Do-B's in
Emporia, Kansas for a couple of years, but they have been closed when we
tried before. They were open for drive through only and with a cold evening,
we dined in the car again.
had burgers twice already this trip, I decided to put off specialty hamburgers
for a different visit. We had a Loosey (Classic loose meat with grilled
Onion, Jalapeno and American Cheese) and a Chicken Philly. Both sandwiches
and the seasoned fries were quite good, though I didn't care as much for
the onion rings. We both look forward to trying Do-B's again. In addition
to the burgers, I particularly want to try the Hot Wing (Chicken, Onion,
Blue Cheese Crumbles, Chef's own Wing sauce and American Cheese).
Spring Hill Golf Course
Drury Dam Waterfall
Slate Creek Dam Falls
- October 30, 2020:
Today I took a short day trip to revisit some of the communities around
stopped for lunch at Biemer's BBQ on the west side of Lawrence. Sales was
at the drive up window only and I bought chicken wings, onion rings and
burnt ends, then pulled into the adjacent Centennial Park to enjoy the
nice weather and dine at a picnic table.
burnt ends were juicy, fat and full of smoke flavor. The onion rings were
crispy and tasty. The wings were smoked, then finished in a deep fryer.
They were a bit tough, but still tasted good.
leaving Lawrence, I stopped at Robinson Park to photograph a cannon and
Founder's Rock, a large Sioux quartz boulder with a plaque listing 143
Lawrence founders who came from Massachusetts in August & September
next stop was at Old Jefferson Town in Oskaloosa, Kansas, to get updated
photos for our page devoted to the Jefferson County Historical Society's
museum. The grounds were pretty with the fall colors. The mst memorable
building the collection of buildings which have been moved to this site
is the boyhood home of John Steuart Curry, Curry was a painter, whose most
famous work, Tragic Prelude, hangs in the Kansas State house and depicts
Kansas John Brown standing in front of front of living and dead Union and
Confederate soldiers with a Bible in one hand and a rifle in the other.
some downtown Oskaloosa photos, I drove west on K-92, stopping at Old Town
Park for some photos of Lake Perry and the military vehicles in front of
American Legion Post #225. Across the lake, I took a few photos in Ozawkie.
I approached Meriden, Kansas, I spotted an old wooden church. As I pulled
in to the church, I saw that there were other old buildings and a sign
for the Meriden Antique Engine and Threshers Association. At first, it
looked like about three buildings and a shed, but the farther I walked,
there were more and more buildings, with plaques explaining when they were
built. The buildings include a flour mill, sawmill, and blacksmith shop.
returning home, I drove south to Topeka, to purchase several containers
of the hot pimento spread at C
W Porubsky Grocery & Meats. I would have bought ham salad at Herman's
Beef & Sausage House, but they had none made up.
Old Jefferson Town
Meriden Antique Engine & Threshers Association
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