I’ve been dreading Kansas, assuming that it was like Nebraska – dry, barren, hot, dusty, with nothing interesting. Boy was I wrong! Kansas is actually quite interesting, and the landscape is more like Iowa than Nebraska! Lots of farms, windmills, rolling hills! There seem to be lots of interesting towns with quilt shops, yarn stores, antiques, National Historic Sites, Presidential Libraries etc. Either Kansas is more interesting or they sell it better!
I stopped at the first rest area and took a quick walk – got in a 1,000 steps! Then I stopped at Wilson State Park near Russell. I got off at the exit before I was supposed to and took the “scenic route” in. Kansas is NOT flat! There were many steep sections and tight curves getting to the park! The park was very nice! They had a bunch of campgrounds, all near the water, a marina, a boat launch, swimming areas, and one trail to hike! The trail was only about a mile long and while it was well constructed and had great views of the water, it was very overgrown in places and could use some trail maintenance! I also walked through one of the campground loops before making some lunch. I was there for about an hour and that was all the time I really had to spare so it was back in the van!
I stopped for fuel near Salida, KS and then got focused on the drive – I’d only gone about 150 miles and still had about 300 to go! My focus paid off because before I knew it I’d gone about 250 miles since I’d stopped and was in Missouri!
I was very close to stopping in Topeka. Topeka was where Brown vs. Board of Education happened and there’s a National Historic Site to commemorate it and I wanted to stop. I knew that stopping would mean either getting in very late to Columbia, MO or stopping sooner making tomorrow longer, but I decided it might be worth it. I also didn’t know anything about where the site was or what parking would be like. I could see that we were in downtown Topeka and navigating cities is always harder for me than navigating mountains. As fate would have it I missed the exit! I decided that it just wasn’t worth it to try and find it, so I’m already planning my next trip out west, through Kansas.
I paid a toll (the only toll I’ve run into so far…what a change from driving the east coast) on the Kansas Turnpike and got a quarter back in change – it was a Kansas quarter! Just luck or are all the quarters at toll booths in Kansas Kansas quarters?
Tonight I’m camping at Cottonwoods RV park near Columbia, MO. I was unsure of where I was going to end up tonight until I saw the sign on the highway to this campground! I’d been considering going another 40 miles to a state park or another commercial campground thinking that the only option here was a Wal-Mart! The campground is a bit far from the highway, wasn’t exactly easy to find, and it’s kinda cramped, but I have electricity and it’s safe! I was able to get in all my steps! There was even something good on TV this evening!