We crossed the river into Missouri as the sun was beginning to go down. Man, that drive across Kansas was brutally long and boring! A quick stop to grab our state line photo and then we headed off to a park to meet Brooke Weins, a high school friend of mine that I hadn’t seen […]
Fort Hays was an important frontier outpost used after the Civil War for about 25 years. It’s primary purpose was to protect those traveling the Smoky Hill Trail to Denver. After it was abandoned in 1889, Congress turned the land over to the State of Kansas which established an agricultural college on it. The college […]
Our first landmark in western Kansas was a bit overhyped. Our second landmark was the famed “Cathedral of the Plains” which turned out not to be a cathedral at all – a designation that requires the church be the seat of a bishop. Nonetheless, the church is especially impressive when you consider that the town […]
The photo on the right is Castle Rock in 1980 (photo by Dougal McGuire). I include it so you have a reference of the famous landmark’s former glory. In 2001, a thunderstorm broke off the tallest spire of this chalk formation so it no longer stands 70 feet tall – maybe just 55 feet now. […]
We left Colorado Springs and began the long (and boring) interstate drive from west to east across Kansas. After about two hours we hit the state line and hoped out for our mandatory photo – just as we had done eleven times before on this journey.
The town of Nicodemus was a planned community devoted to Black settlement in the years after the U.S. Civil War. Founded in 1877 by a White town planner and a Black preacher, Nicodemus was settled primarily by freed slaves from Kentucky. The harsh living conditions and climate were overcome for a time, and the settlement […]
Dear Friends of Arkansas, We must open this letter with an apology. Our snide comments in the last letter were directed towards Arkansas and we should point out that they were meant only towards EAST Arkansas. The Ozarks of West Arkansas redeemed the state. A thunderstorm hit us while traveling northwest through the Ozarks and […]
Samuel Perry Dinsmoor, a retired schoolteacher, Civil War Veteran, farmer and Populist politician, began building the Garden of Eden and Cabin Home in 1907 at the age of 64. For 22 years he fashioned 113 tons (2,273 sacks) of cement and many tons of limestone into his unique “log” cabin with its surrounding sculptures. A […]