Kansas is a treasure trove of unique attractions. This month’s contest is an opportunity to put your knowledge to use. Comment on this post and identify the following five places for a chance to win a year subscription to Kansas! Magazine. Everyone that correctly identifies all locations will be entered into the prize drawing. Good luck!Location 1: This Flint Hills location is the very definition of wide open spaces – the trees in the background of this photo are 18 miles away. It’s one of the few places in the world where you can experience this ecosystem, which once covered 140 million acres in this country but is now almost all gone. In addition to a bus ride out into the prairie, the tour includes a house and barn. The barn (seen below) was built in 1880 and has outside walls that are 20 inches thick.Location #2:In one Kansas town, the old West was so wild, it went underground. Literally. A harness shop, barber, and less reputable businesses catered to customers below the streets. Today the town is peaceful and quiet, but you can get a glimpse of the city that once thrived beneath.Location 3:This may be the most famous gravesite in Kansas. It took seven years to build in the 1930s, and used most of the wealth of a grieving husband. Estimates of cost range from $100,000 on up – and that was in depression-era dollars. It required signing over the farm and mansion the couple had built during their 50 plus years of marriage. The site started with a typical grave stone, but eventually included 11 life size statues of the couple, stone urns, a 50-ton marble canopy and a granite wall.Location 4:A mechanical ability, creativity, and the tragedy of a lost limb for a 35-year-old man led him to carve sculptures that tell stories through movement. Sculptures of people, animals and musical instruments are animated by tiny mechanisms. The intricacy is astonishing. The Grassroots Arts Center in Lucas has some of them on display, but at this gallery – named after the creator – you can see a wide selection and perhaps even meet the artist.Location 5:“Dakota sandstone concretions” is a much more elaborate way to describe these huge spheres of stone formed in the millions of years when Kansas was covered by an inland sea. Some stones are 27 feet in diameter. No other place has so many large formations such as these, which is part of the reason this site has been a popular tourist destination for more than 100 years. It’s also a Designated Natural Landmark by the US Department of the Interior.
Posted on May 17, 2012 10:44AM