Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Kansas City Kansas to Colby Kansas

Up and on the road by 8:30.  We thought we would have to back track through part of Kansas City to return to I 70 but we were directed by trusty GPS on a bypass and there was very light traffic.  When we joined I 70 it was the Kansas Turnpike for about 50 miles. 
Toll booth as we entered the Kansas Turnpike

Nice road that continued on to the southern border of Kansas but we left it going to Topeka and points west.  We were headed to Colby about 50 miles from the Colorado border with a stop in Abilene to visit the Eisenhower Presidential Library, Museum, and childhood home. 

Kansas is very rural for the most part – lots of agriculture – corn, wheat (that had already been harvested), soybeans, millet, and sunflowers!  Also lots of cattle.  I was not expecting the oil wells but there were many and also hundreds of wind turbines.  Also lots of history with museums in nearly every town telling about the pioneers and the homesteading that took place in the 1800’s. 

We were interested in the grasslands – an area called the Flint Hills – was in the more hilly eastern part of the state where the soil was not very deep – most crops would not grow so the grassland survived.

Highway cut in the Flint Hills - rock with very little soil

Tall Grass covered much of the land

Poor photo of sunflowers

Millet used for cattle feed

Eisenhower is the first president we really remember and with Ben’s interest in WW2 we enjoyed our short stop at the Eisenhower Presidential Museum.  We have visited several others and this one was well done.  I will let a few photos I took tell you a bit about what was there.  We had lunch under some trees before we left the complex.  We were there about 2 hours and perhaps saw 1/3 of what was there.  We did not see the graves or enter the library.  Ben says his favorite thing in the entire museum was an enigma machine - this was the machine used by the German's during WW2. The Allies captured one and were able to use it to decode messages throughout the war - ( Bentchley Park show on TV). 

Home where all 6 Eisenhower sons grew up - their mother lived here until 1946

Chapel where Ike, Mamie and other family members are buried

Some of Mamie's jewelry

Statue of WW2 soldier at Battle of Bulge.  There were many others throughout the museum

Huge collection of "I like Ike" items

Huge collection of Ike's military honors and awards

Poodle Skirts - every female had one - I did!

Ben cleaning off bugs after we enjoyed our picnic lunch

Abilene KS is still a small town.  This is and was the main street.  The Eisenhower home was on the "wrong" side of these tracks but every one of the sons was successful in his chosen field. 

We still had 200 miles to make it to Colby!  Today the temperature was still in the 90’s but since it was overcast did not seem as hot.  We kept expecting rain but it never came.  Ben was fighting a wind from the southwest all the way from Abilene to Colby.
a few of the numerous wind turbines

one of many grain elevators

In Colby we stayed at a Quality Inn and had country fried steak (a Midwestern classic) at a local restaurant.  (forgot to take photos but country fried steak looks like you think it does)  Good!   Tomorrow we will move into our camping mode. 

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