Kansas Travel Blog

Chronicling changes to KansasTravel.org and Keith's exploration & photographing Kansas restaurants, attractions, museums, festivals and art. Contact him.
Art Prints

Prairie Lavender Farm - Bennington, Kansas
Tuesday - August 4, 2020: We added a new page devoted to the devoted to the World's Largest Czech Egg in Wilson, Kansas.

 

 
 
Friday - August 7, 2020: We added a page devoted to St. Anthony Church in Schoenchen, Kansas. Construction of the present building began in 1900, using native stone, quarried in the area by members of the congregation. The church was dedicated on June 13, 1901.

 

St. Anthony Church - Schoenchen, Kansas
Saturday - August 8, 2020: We drove to Kansas City, Kansas to revisit El Pollo Rey, which serves only three dishes: a half chicken, a whole chicken or chicken wings. Except for price, the menu is unchanged since our last visit in 2017. We got a whole chicken and order of wings to go and took them to a nearby park.

The chicken was cooked on a wood fired grill and had a a strong smokey flavor. The first bite of the wings, with no crispness to the skin, was a little disappointing, but the spicy sauce had a unique flavor which grew on me with each bite and I enjoyed each wing more than the one before.

Before leaving Kansas City, we drove to Strawberry and purchased bratwurst, Italian sausage and smoked Polish sausage at Krizman's House of Sausages.

We added a new page about The Geodetic Center of North America at the Meades Ranch in north central Kansas, which was the point from which all surveys in North America were measured until 1983.

 

El Pollo Rey - Kansas City, Kansas El Pollo Rey
 
 
 

The Geodetic Center of North America - Kansas Geodetic Center of North America

Sunday - August 9, 2020: We added a new page about Prairie Lavender Farm, south of Bennington, Kansas, which grows over 4600 lavender plants including twelve varieties of lavender. The farm has a gift shop and offers tours. We visited the farm in June.

 

Prairie Lavender Farm - Bennington, Kansas Prairie Lavender Farm
Wednesday - August 12, 2020: We added a new page about the Post Office Oak Museum in Council Grove, Kansas, which we visited in June.

 

 
Friday - August 14, 2020: We are off for two days of exploring in north central Kansas. As we drove west on I-70, we made brief stops to purchase pimento cheese spread at C W Porubsky Grocery & Meats, a family market in Topeka, and cheese at Alma Creamery in Alma, Kansas. I had intended to stock up on both, but Porubsky's only had five 8 ounce tubs made up. Next time, I will call ahead a couple of days early and ask them to make up more.

Before leaving Alma, we visited the Holy Family Cemetery on the west side of town, to photograph the grave of 23 unknown Mexican railroad laborers. In January 1907, two Rock Island trains hit head on near Alma and a total of 32 people were killed. We found the small marker of the mass grave and found it surrounded by painted stones which were left earlier this summer.

We drove on to Ogden, Kansas (southwest of Manhattan) to have lunch at Sunny's Bulgogi House, which is very highly rated on Google. The menu us very short, only eight items, led off by beef, pork and chicken bulgogi. Bulgogi is usually described as Korean BBQ or Korean stir fry and is cooked by customers at the table at some Korean restaurants.

We ordered beef bulgogi, chicken bulgogi and Korean style chicken wings. We had been warned that the dishes here are hotter than the same dishes at Korean restaurants in the area and ordered the chicken bulgogi "not very spicy" and the beef medium spicy. Both dishes were good, but the chicken was still a bit hotter than LInda would have preferred. I usually order hot, but would not have enjoyed the beef as much, if I had ordered it 3/4 or full hot as I do most places.

The wings come sweet or hot and I ordered hot. I still enjoyed them, but think I would have enjoyed the sweet more. The servings are large and we left with over half of the meal for later. 

The owner took our orders and brought the food. He was masked and while the tables were not spaced out, they were doing multiple things to reduce COVID19 risk, including plastic utensils and service in single use styrofoam containers.

Following lunch, we visited Rathert Stadium in Junction City, a baseball stadium constructed of native limestone with wooden seating.

We drove on to the Herington Historical Museum, which grew out of the Tri County Historical Society & Museum in Herington, Kansas. My favorite exhibits included the local history of the Rock Island and Pacific Railroad, a hand painted advertising curtain which came out of St. John's Catholic Church, and historic advertising posters from local movie theaters.

Before leaving town, we photographed a few other items, including a mural in the post office, called "Arrival of the First Train in Herington – 1885" which was painted by H. Louis Freund in 1937 for the Public Works Administration (WPA).

The next community we visited was Lost Springs, where we photographed a post office in old one room school house which was moved to town, and an interesting abandoned church. The clerk at the post office believes it many have been a Methodist church, but we have been unable to confirm that.

After brief stops at Lost Spring Station, Tampa and Hoxbury, we went on to Lindsborg, to visit the Old Mill Museum. Although I visited the museum 12 years ago during a Millfest, when the 1898 Smoky Valley Roller Mill is demonstrated, I failed to ever make a page devoted to the mill. It didn't take very long to tour the adjacent museum, where the most interesting things were a brief video about the operation of the mill and a display of sculptures of members of the Lindsborg community, which were created by Oscar Gunnarson (1884-1962).

The mill itself is star of the show. It fills three floors and a basement. Everything is in place and they do a good job od explaining how it all works. That said, the best time to tour the mill is the first weekend in May when it is operated at Millfest.

Similar to other historical museums across Kansas, several other historic structures have been relocated to museum grounds, across the street, including the 1879 Lindsborg’s Kansas Pacific/Union Pacific Railroad Depot. The 1904 World's Fair Swedish Pavilion is unique. It was used to represent Sweden at the St. Louis World's Fair. Following the fait, it was relocated to Bethany College in Lindsborg for many years. In 1969, it was moved to the museum.

Before leaving Lindsborg, we visited the downtown, briefly touring Anatoly Karpov International School of Chess, sampling and buying wine at Smoky Hill Winery - Under the Cork, and checking out the fossils and minerals for sale at Lindsborg Hardware.

Supper was at Renaissance Cafe in the small nearby community of Assaria. The fine Italian restaurant is open only 3 evenings a week and is located around the gymnasium of a former school. We had not been back since shortly after a change of chefs in 2015.

Tonight I had ribeye and Linda had grilled pork tenderloin medallions with whiskey and peppercorn cream, wild mushrooms and herbs. The steak had an excellent flavor from seasoning, but I particularly liked the roasted garlic and mushrooms which I added. A large portion of the generous serving of mushrooms were morels. The mushrooms were marked $3 in the menu, but we were charged $4. They were still a bargain and I didn't complain.

The medallions were tender and morels were also in the mushroom mix. When I sampled the sauce, I didn't notice any flavor beyond the peppercorns.

The meal was preceded by an amuse-bouche, a single bite sized appetizer of marinated beef, compliments of the chef. Actually, we each had two. Our server forgot that he had already brought it and brought another a little later. The entrees came with a choice of salad or soup. 

We both went with the Caesar salad, which was an unusual presentation of a thin wedge of romaine. Nothing else was remarkable about the salad.

The meal also came with two excellent breads, one of which was a Foccacia from Seraphim Bread in Salina, accompanied by honey butter and herb butter using herbs from their garden. I enjoyed the honey and with both liked each bread.

We split a dessert of chocolate semifreddo with caramel ribbons and sea salt. It seemed like a tiny serving for $8, but was rich and the serving size was adequate.

We stayed overnight at the Holiday Inn Express in Concordia.

 


 
 
 

Railroad workers' grave - Alma, Kansas mass railroad workers' grave
 

Sunny's Bulgogi House - Ogden, Kansas Sunny's Bulgogi House
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Herington Historical Museum - Herrington, Kansas Herington Historical Museum
 
 
 

Abandoned Church - Lost Springs, Kansas Lost Springs Church
 

Smoky Valley Roller Mill - Lindsborg, Kansas Smoky Valley Roller Mill
 

World's Fair Swedish Pavilion - Lindsborg, Kansas World's Fair Swedish Pavilion
 
 
 
 

amuse-bouche at Renaissance Cafe amuse-bouche

breads at Renaissance Cafe - Assaria, Kansas breads

Caesar salad - Renaissance Cafe Caesar salad

chocolate semifreddo dessert - Renaissance Cafe chocolate semifreddo

Saturday - August 15, 2020: I was up early and slipped out alone to take photographs around Concordia at the National Orphan Train Museum, garden at the Nazareth Motherhouse Lourdes Park, Cloud County Courthouse, Brown Grand Theatre, and Cloud County Historical Museum. 

I returned to the hotel to prepare for the day and have breakfast. In response to COVID-19, there was someone serving the hot dishes. My favorite park of the meal was the cinnamon rolls. 

We had a 10AM appointment at Herrs Memory Lane in Washington, Kansas. Lawrence and Cara Herr have three buildings filled with restored classic cars, with most of the work having been done by the two of them. Cara took us on a tour giving many details about the restoration process on each vehicle. We could have easily have spent longer, but had to leave after 55 minutes, because of an appointment to visit the Washington County Historical & Genealogical Society.

Jim Mooren met us at the main building of the historical museum and aloud us to walk through the three adjacent building at our own pace. We then followed him in our vehicle and visited the 1889 native stone jail, which needs some TLC, but could potentially be a stand out attraction for the community.

Before leaving town, we photographed the exterior of the home where the late Charlie and Jessie Becker lived. Charlie portrayed the Mayor of Munchkinland in the 1939 movie, The Wizard of Oz. 

Today is being spent in Washington and Marshall Counties, in part because they are "green" for COVID-19, very low incidence in Washington County and only 1 case since the start in Marshall County. We continued east to Hanover, to try lunch at Ricky's Cafe, which has been in business for 55 years. 

The prices are quite reasonable. We had grilled ham and a chicken fried steak sandwich. Both were good, though not standouts. The server was quite attentive. 

Before leaving town, we photographed St. John the Baptist Parish (which will get a page of its own, a 1874 German Society Hall, a a yard with a number of rock creations, including a castle. No one knows who created them or when.

On into Marshall County, we visited the Koester House Museum & Gardens in Marysville. The home was was built in the 1800s by Charles F. Koester, a German immigrant who was a banker and Mayor of Marysville. The house and gardens are interesting, but we would have benefit from a orientation or even a guided tour to help us understand it. There was a sign that face masks were required, but the person who collected admission did not wear one.

When we arrived at the Koester House Museum, we saw a store front museum across the street, with a sign which said, "Museum - Dolls, Toys & Indian Artifacts." It was locked up with no sign about hours, but two phone numbers were posted in the window and we called to arrange to see it when we finished at Koester House.

We were greeted at the Doll Museum, by Lois Loftin, who told us the background of her starting the museum and said that she was getting burned out by the museum and is not sure how much longer she will be keeping it. There are three galleries, most of which are filled with dioramas she created, which are filled with dolls. There are also several displays of Native American artifacts which were given to her by Truman Washington Dailey, who was the last native speaker of the Otoe-Missouria dialect of Chiwere, a Native American language.

We had a 3:30PM appointment to visit the Marshall County Historical Society's museum in the beautiful 1891 County Courthouse. When a new courthouse was built next door in the 1970s, the courthouse was donated to the Society, rather than being demolished. It is a very handsome building and still has the large courtroom intact, just waiting to be a set for a period movie. The exhibit which I found the most interesting, was a room devoted to the Marysville Advocate, which has been the community newspaper since 1885.

As a nice gesture, which I think is also done for others, Dixie Talbot of the Historical Society arranged for some ears of corn to be left on the ground east of the Courthouse to attract squirrels and we had the opportunity to photograph the famous black squirrels which Marysville is known for.

It had been a long day and we started toward home, with just one more stop, to have supper at Boomers Steakhouse and Grill in Holton, Kansas. The tables were not spread 6' apart, but there were some efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Our server happened to be the only one who was wearing a mask.

We had broasted chicken and the Saturday night prime rib special The chicken was very good and the prime rib was even better. The prime rib was well seasoned with lots of garlic and was accompanied by well seasoned garlic toast. We both went with the potato wedges, which were deep fried fresh cut wedges of large poetess. They were good, but would have been even better with a sauce. Perhaps horseradish sauce which would have gone well with the prime rib.

The French onion soup was not complex, but still was very nice. It appeared to be house made.

 


 
 
 
 
 

Herrs Memory Lane - Washinton, Kansas Cara Herr

Washington County Jail - Washington, Kansas 1889 Washington County Jail
 

Ricky's Cafe - Hanover, Kansas Ricky's Cafe
 
 
 

Koester House Museum - Marrysville, Kansas Koester House Museum
 
 

Doll Museum - Marrysville, Kansas Doll Museum

Courtroom in formal Marshall County Courthouse Courtroom
 

Black squirrel - Marysville, Kansas Black squirrel
 
 

Boomers Steakhouse - Holton, Kansas Prime rib

 
Tuesday - August 18, 2020: We added a new page devoted to the devoted to the Old Castle Museum on the campus of Baker University in Baldwin City, Kansas. It recently reopened, by appointment only. 

 

 
Thursday - August 20, 2020: We're off early on another exploration of Kansas, primarily in and around Wichita. On the drive south, our only stop was at Fanestils Fresh Local Market in Emporia, where we bought beef sticks and sweet Italian sausage. 

It was lunch time when we arrived in Wichita and we revisited Ty's Diner, which is one of the places on our Best Kansas Burgers list. We were impressed with the great care they are taking to limit COVID-19 risk for their customers and employees. I particularly liked "The Ultimate," a cheeseburger with pickle, mustard, lettuce, onion, tomato, grilled onions, grilled mushrooms, grilled jalapenos and bacon. I rarely get bacon on a hamburger, but the couple of well cooked slices added a lot to this burger. I also like it having both raw and grilled onions.

The primary stop today was the B-29 Doc Hangar, Education & Visitors Center. The Hanger houses "Doc," one of only two air worthy Boeing B-29 Superfortress aircraft left in the world. It is presently open just three days a week, and only open when Doc is not on tour.

The hanger houses a small museum about the assembly of B-29s in Wichita and other cities during WW2 and about locating the airframe in the Mojave Desert in 1987 and the long process of restoring it and naming it for one of the planes in the "Show White" Squadron. There are also two smaller airplanes displayed in the hanger.

There were supposed to be guided tours, but no one was available to conduct one and we toured most of the hanger on our own. A guide did take us up to see the cockpit of the plane. That and the end of a bomb bay is the only part of the interior of the plane you visit. There is a $5 additional charge (on top of the $10 admission) to see the cockpit, though it appeared that everyone was seeing that, regardless of paying the fee.

We went on to the Sedgwick County Zoo, which we last visited over 4 years ago, when the "The Reed Family Elephants of the Zambezi River Valley" was newly opened, but the visitor area was not open then. We spent a long time with the elephants today, watching natural behaviors like drinking and spraying their bodies with mud to keep cool.

Presently, limited numbers of people are permitted in the zoo at a given time. Visitors purchase their admission online and schedule a timed admission at that time. We arrived over 15 minutes early, but called and were permitted to come in right away.

A new entrance to the zoo is being built.

Since we were on the northwest side of town, we continued out to the new location of the Coleman Factory Outlet and Museum, which reopened at a new location, after closing the original location near Old Town in 2018. Although the sign says there is a museum, there is no museum at all, just the outlet store in a new, larger location.

Hot and not at our best from three hours in the son at the zoo, we checked in to the Best Western Wichita West and cleaned up before going to supper at The Anchor, We selected it on the basis of its positive online reviews and from seeing on their Facebook page that they were taking COVID-19 safety seriously.

We had the Red Waffle BLT and a double smash burger with cheese. The BLT was very good, a large sandwich with a lot of delicious bacon and flavored with a garlic aioli. The burger was just a burger. We had fresh cut fires and house made potato chips. The chips went well with a side of French onion dip.

We followed dinner with a stop by the Arkansas River near the Keeper of The Plains. We were surprised to learn that the parking lot at Exploration Place which offers a great view of the Keeper of The Plains is not longer open at night. It closes most nights at 6PM and 9PM on Thursday.

We arrived just as the sun was setting, We were too late to cross the river and get the sun behind the Keeper of The Plains, but we were able to take some photos and videos, shooting up the river with sun at the horizon.

 


 
 

The Ultimate - Ty's Diner in Wichita The Ultimate, 1/4 basket of fries and a regular cheeseburger
 
 

B-29 Doc - Wichita, Kansas Doc
 
 
 
 

Elephants - Sedgwick County Zoo Elephants of the Zambezi River Valley
 

Coleman Factory Outlet - Wichita, Kansas Coleman Factory Outlet
 

Red Waffle BLT at The Anchor in Wichita, Kansas Red Waffle BLT

Arkansas River -  Wichita, Kansas Arkansas River

Friday - August 21, 2020: We started the day near Clearwater, Kansas. Klausmeyer Farm & Pumpkin Patch, north of town, has added sunflower fields which are open to the public for a $2 fee. They have planted three 40 acre fields with sunflowers, a few weeks apart, so they bloom over a longer period of time. We liked the path ways they have left through the fields and the props which are in the fields for better photography, such as hay bales and benches.

Later in the day, we added a new page about Klausmeyer Farm & Pumpkin Patch.

Passing through Haysville on the way back to  Wichita, we photographed a restored 1956 Vickers Petroleum Service Station which is on historic register.

We had lunch at Buster's Burger Joint on the south side of Wichita. The small building has a counter, seating for just a few people and a cooking area with a small grill and 2 deep fat fryers. I was disappointed to learn that they have temporarily moved to frozen French fries instead of fresh cut, because most orders are togo and they believe the fresh cut fries do not travel as well. The sign said, "Our everything is mustard, ketchup, pickle and onion. That is what you get if you say 'everything.'" and "Anything else ust be specifically requested." So we asked for grilled onions and they added them at no additional charge.

We ordered a single cheeseburger and a double. The 1/3 pound cheeseburgers are $4 for a single or $6 for a double. Fries are $2.15 for a small (plenty large) order,

We took a seat at one of several picnic tables outside the restaurant and they brought our food out when it was ready. The burgers were great. not particularly pretty, but juicy, without being very greasy. Despite this being my 3rd cheeseburger in three meals, a really enjoyed my burger. This will soon be added to our Kansas Best Burgers list.

And the fries were good even though they weren't fresh cut.

We spent the afternoon at a group of places around the center of Wichita. We photographed a number of murals and several historic buildings including the 1909 Mentholatum Building, the 1902-05 St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church the 1922 Orpheum Theatre, 1888 Scottish Rite Center and 1923 W.A. Dye Chili Building.

We visited Naftzger Memorial Park, which was closed for a complete make over. Now reopened, I came to see the Carry Nation Memorial Drinking Fountain which was here before the make over, but it turns out it is still in storage and needs some repairs before finding a new home. While I was trying to find the fountain, I talked to a couple of city employees, one of who told me that the last time she was in The Spice Merchant (the old Mentholatum, there was a display of memorabilia from the old Mentholatum company.

So we went back to The Spice Merchant, which was pretty neat with its huge selection of spices, canned foods made exclusively for them and custom coffee roasting. It turned out that the Mentholatum display is long gone, though a lady did find one old jar of Mentholatum.

Our next stop was the Nifty Nut House and I'm not sure how we have missed being their before. The Nut house is iconic and was established in 1937. The Nut House is known for making their own fudge, roasting their own nuts, and selling several hundred products in bulk by the quarter pound or more, as well as having the walls lined with favorites like Moon Pies and candy cigarettes.

We bought small quantities of about a dozen items, including a wide variety of candies and dried fruits

We revisited the Kansas African American Museum, a mile or so away. I hadn't been back for 11 years, but was surprised that the small permanent collection seemed unchanged. Most of the exhibits continue to be temporary exhibits. There is major construction taking place next door and it felt like it was encroaching on the museum.

We spent an extended period at Maple Grove Cemetery. After consulting at length with a volunteer in the office, we were able to locate most of the notable graves we were interested in photographing, including two Civil War Medal of Honor recipients and two Kansas Governors. I was a disappointed at how little I was able to learn about notable woman who are buried at the cemetery.

I was impressed with the row of large family mausoleums at the south end of the cemetery, though none of them contained interments I was looking for.

We found Piatt Park surprisingly interesting. The park was built where a number of homes were destroyed when a KC-135 airplane crashed in this residential neighborhood on January 16, 1965. 7 crewman and 23 people on the ground were killed in the largest non natural disaster in Kansas history. There is a monument to those who died that day. The names of the people on the Project committee seem more prominent than the names of those who died.

Basketball great, Lynette Woodard, grew up across the street from the park and there is another monument dedicating the park to her. It has been damaged and needs repair.

Dinner tonight was at Georges French Bistro on the east side of Wichita. The tables weren't as spaced out as we would have liked, but it appeared that the staff were taking COVID-19 precautions otherwise. Too many customers walked through  the restaurant with out wearing masks.

There were more appetizers which looked attractive to me, than entrees, and I toyed with making a meal from them, but our only appetizer was mussels & frites. It had been a long time since I last had mussels and I enjoyed these in the white wine garlic.

Our entrees were trout amandine and steak frites. For some reason, I enjoyed these fries more than those which came with the mussels. The steak was very good, though I would have enjoyed it more without the green L'Entrecote sauce. The trout and the Parisien potatoes, which accompanied it, were very good.

My favorite part of the meal was the pâte à choux profiteroles which we shared for desert. The chocolate toped cream puffs were very nice

 

Klausmeyer Farm and Pumpkin Patch - Clearwater, Kansas Klausmeyer Farm & Pumpkin Patch
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Double Cheeseburger - Buster's Burger Joint in Wichita Double Cheeseburger
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Mentholatum jar at The Spice Merchant in Wichita Mentholatum jar

Nifty Nut House - Wichita, Kansas Nifty Nut House
 
 
 
 
 

mausoleums at Wichita's Maple Grove Cemetery Mausoleums
 

Piatt Street Plane Crash Memorial - Wichita, Kansas Piatt Street Plane Crash Memorial
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

chocolate cream puff dessert at Georges French Bistro pâte à choux profiteroles

Saturday - August 22, 2020: Our day began with a visit to Infinity Art Glass in Benton, Kansas, the studio and gallery of glass artist Scott Hartley. A glass furnace was still heating up and instead of watching him work, we had the pleasure of Scott giving us a tour of the gallery and the studio. We love his art and purchased a Cane Eternity sculpture of our own, which is now sitting on our piano.

Originally, this neat old building was a blacksmith shop, but after extensive work, Scott and his wife, Gwen, opened Infinity Art Glass as a gallery and studio in 2003.

OUr next stop was Walters Pumpkin Patch, which is midway between El Dorado and Burns. Kansas. This is the second year that Pumpkin Patch has extended their season by adding a couple of plantings of sunflowers. They charge $10 and offer many activities, such as a corn maze, two gift shops and play areas, We liked the fresh warm donuts for a dollar.

Walters is the first place where we have seen ProCut sunflowers in non-traditional colors. 

We drove back into El Dorado, where we planned to have lunch at Hampton's Restaurant, but discovered that they are closed Saturdays. So rescheduled lunch until later in the day and moved on to Augusta. Diana Burress - B Realty Realtor/Broker grows sunflowers on the southwest side of town and invites the public to visit the field for free.

Although the sunflowers hadn't started blooming until ten days ago the bloom was already over. The heads have grown heavy and have flopped over with the petals turning brown. This field appears to have as many weeds as sunflowers.

We drove on into Wichita to revisit B&C BBQ, which we last visited a little over a year ago. Since this was unplanned, I had not researched how COVID-19 careful they were being, but based on my previous experience, I trusted them to be protecting the customers and employees.

Sure enough, they were being firm about the employees wearing masks and customers wearing masks while walking through the restaurant. The all you can eat buffet is no longer self serve and no longer all you can eat. For the lunch buffer at B&C, you have always paid before going into the restaurant. Instead of a flat fee, you now pay according to how much food you want. 1/3 pound of meat, 3 sides & a drink is $11. A half pound $13, 3/4 pound $15, 1 pound $17 and 1.5 pounds is $21.

We decided on the 1/5 pounds of meat, plus an additional drink. At the buffet, we told them which sides we wanted and then started having them assemble the 1.5 pounds of meat. We started with some chicken, ribs and hot sausages. We were still well short of the 1/5 pounds and added a chicken wing, another rib and about a half pound of pulled pork. It was a lot of food and we took home eoungh for another meal.

The meats were as good as I remembered. Linda loved the ribs, while I enjoyed all the meats, even the pulled pork, which isn't one of my favorites at most BBQ restaurants.

It had been many years since I last visited the Wichita Art Museum and with free admission on Saturdays, today was a good day to make that up. This is the largest art museum in Kansas and has a lovely collection. I do wish they exhibited a little more work by Kansas artists.

We headed back out of town for our last 4 stops of the trip. Next up was Kansas Maze Sunflower Festival near Buhler, Kansas. This only the second year that the corn maze has also had sunflowers. They charged $7, which includes taking home one bloom as well as activities like a jumping pillow, giant puzzle, sand volleyball, and photo opportunities. 

Next Saturday, they will offer the choice of  a 5K or 1 mile Trail Run that will include a route through the sunflowers for a much higher fee.

As we left the field, we called Ad Astra Food & Drink in Strong City, Kansas and reserved a table for 6:15. We made only one more stop on the way there, at the Drinkwater & Schriver Flour Mill on the Cottonwood River at Cedar Point, Kansas. I try to stop there at least once a year, to see how work on the old mill is going, but I couldn't see where any new exterior restoration has been done since our last visit. It is still a beautiful spot.

Ad Astra is a small, interesting restaurant which is open only on Thursday through Sunday. The menu focuses on innovative dishes with food from local providers. This is a favorite stop for us, but with so many restaurants to visit across Kansas, I get here only every couple of years. 

We had the Bad Astra French Dip and Ad Astra Fish and (Potato) Chips. The French Dip (sliced Yoder prime rib, Swiss cheese, grilled onions on a hoagie and au jus for dipping) was one of the best I have ever had. I rarely care for the au jus that comes with French dip and often end up asking for a sauce such as horseradish, but the au jus had a lot of flavor and really compliment the sandwich!

The only dessert which was made in house was the peanut butter cheese cake. It was actually chocolate peanut butter, which went well together, but the chocolate was never mentioned. It was a great final dish of the trip.

The food came very quickly and we were out of the restaurant in under 45 minutes. The left off just enough time to get to one more sunflower field, Eleanor's Events, near Scranton, Kansas. This was our first visit to this sunflower farm wince 2018, when it was a few miles away and sponsored by Lyndon Leaders 4H Club. 

We arrived with just 8 minutes of sunlight remaining and snapped a few quick photos before heading home.

 

Infinity Art Glass - Benton, Kansas Infinity Art Glass
 
 

ProCut sunflowers at Walters Pumpkin Patch ProCut sunflowers

Diana Burress Sunflower Field - Augusta, Kansas Diana Burress Sunflower Field
 
 
 

B&C BBQ - Wichita, Kansas B&C BBQ lunch buffet
 

1.5 pounds of meat at B&C BBQ in Wichita, Kansas 1.5 pounds of meat
 
 
 
 
 
 

Kansas Maze Sunflower Festival - Buhler, Kansas Kansas Maze Sunflower Festival
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Ad Astra Food and Drink - Strong City, Kansaa peanut butter cheese cake

Eleanor's Events, - Scranton, Kansas Eleanor's Events

 
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