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Exploring the Kanza Rail-Trails

Driving from the west into the eastern part of Kansas, the landscape changes from high plains to rolling wooded hills, and the Flint Hills in between. Headed northeast, specifically to Lyndon, Kansas, we set out on a mission to experience and explore the Kanza Rail-Trails on horseback. Dedicated to converting old railroad lines into public access trails, the Kanza Rail-Trails Conservancy is made up of volunteers and interested citizens working together to develop trails that merge the historic importance of the old railroad lines with the beautiful scenery of Kansas. 

Posted on July 25, 2013 1:06PM by Elizabeth Peterson

Banjos and Fiddles and Pickers Oh... and Pie!

With the Faces and Places Tour, I don't just drive the Kansas graphic-wrapped van to and from my destination, but I get to stop and see things along the way.  Fun things.  Amazing things. Places in Kansas I am just now discovering after.... (do I dare say my age?) thirty-nine years of living in Kansas.

Posted on July 24, 2013 12:46PM by Jenni, Faces & Places Tour Roadie

Favorites of Fiesta

Fiesta Mexicana is so much a part of the Topeka summer experience that it is hard to keep in mind the event is simply a church fundraiser. Of course, there is nothing simple about it. A better way to describe "Fiesta" is a celebration of culture and community that one neighborhood shares with us all.

Posted on July 23, 2013 11:51AM by Karen Ridder

Blue Catfish Success at El Dorado Lake

In the summer of 2011, an 80 lb flathead catfish was caught and documented by biologists who were electro-fishing in El Dorado Reservoir. In August of 2012, the new state record blue catfish was pulled from the Missouri river in northeast Kansas, weighing 102.8 lbs. With these two special events, the catfish of Kansas have become something of a legend.

Posted on July 19, 2013 7:44AM by Elizabeth Peterson

Wellington Wheat Harvest, a Cause for Celebration

As far as I can see, the golden glow of freshly-cut wheat fields meets impossibly blue sky. My view is interrupted only by a grain elevator as I step out of the van to take photos of the "Wheat Capital of the World." Wheat has played an important role in the Sumner County economy for decades. Agricultural technologies have changed, yet there is something timeless in this view. I wonder, when the citizens of Wellington decided to hold a festival in celebration of a particularly successful crop in 1900, if they imagined we would still be celebrating 113 years later. 

Posted on July 17, 2013 11:10AM by Jess, Faces & Places Tour Roadie

It was a Blast: Russell and Hays Sparkle with Fourth of July Spirit

A Faces & Places Roadie Blog  

The most recent stops on my Faces and Places tour itinerary were familiar names on my map. I've always associated Russell with its hometown hero, Bob Dole. My kids beg to stop by the Sternberg Museum of Natural History in Hays each time we pass by on Interstate 70. This visit, however, offered a unique opportunity to see each community at its festival finest.  I was to visit Russell's Fourth of July Freedom Fest, followed by a visit to Hays' four-day celebration, the Wild West Fest.

Posted on July 10, 2013 8:15AM by Jess, Faces & Places Tour Roadie

Jammin' in Osawatomie at the John Brown Jamboree

My family and I recently took our first trip on the Kansas Tourism 2013 Faces and Places tour, visiting Osawatomie and filling our day with fun. It was a bright, beautiful early summer day when we loaded up the Faces and Places van and drove the picturesque backroads from Topeka. Much of our time was spent on smaller highways surrounded by farms and country houses, wheat waving and birds soaring. We knew we would need to make a couple stops in between and without a plan, so we just started driving. Part way through the trip, I decided we would stop in Overbrook at the Fieldstone Orchard to pick cherries. What a fun surprise for the kids! Now to decide: should we make jam or pie with all of those handpicked cherries? Next we stopped off at my grandma's house for a quick hello. It took us a little off course but she and her husband were so happy to see us and our van with its unique Kansas backdrops displayed around all four sides.

Posted on July 8, 2013 2:55PM by Jenni, Faces & Places Tour Roadie

Kansas On Two Wheels: Post Rock Scenic Byway

As one travels along Interstate 70 through Kansas, there is a stretch of highway that passes through farm ground fenced in by barbed wire and rock fence posts.  These yellow-white fence posts are all fairly uniform in shape and size.  To some, they may harken back to another time when rock was used to build barns, homes and fences.  To others, they signal the area known as "Post Rock Country".  Settled by Bohemians from Europe, this area is rich in limestone, fertile soil and the history of our Kansas ancestry.

Posted on July 5, 2013 8:42AM by Sarah Larison


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