Kansas Wheat Fields, Liberal Pancakes and Lawrence Jayhawks
When you stand in a wheat-colored field on the Kansas plain, you can feel so small and insignificant. There’s nothing quite like that experience on earth. For tourists, it isn’t exactly an attraction you can make reservations for. You have to simply go there and feel the power of nature.
Kansas is known as part of the farm belt. With winter snows, the growing season primarily ranges from spring to fall, and for visitors, that’s the ideal time to see Kansas, a Midwestern state known for its stretches of road that go on for miles with little more than fields and nature to enjoy.
With one of its largest cities, Wichita, enjoying a population of just over 300,000, you can understand that the nightlife and cultural attractions run thinner than urban centers along the U.S. coasts, or in Chicago some 9 hours away by car.
People who live in Kansas don’t feel compelled to be entertained. They make their own fun, and much of it involves nature. It’s quite simple to just “be” and enjoy the good life when visiting Kansas. There are some things that could surprise you as a visitor, so with a little preparation, you’ll find that a trip to Kansas could be the best thing to put your life into perspective, especially if you’re feeling overwhelmed by big city life and pressures that surround you such as traffic, crowds, long lines and the stuff that eats up our time as humans.
Kansas residents are pretty much like other Midwest people. They’re generally just honest, good people. What you see is what you get. If you don’t like them, you can move on, thank you very much. While the people and their lifestyles seem simple, don’t be fooled. When you reduce the time it takes to carry out your daily routines such as rush hour waits, there’s more time to think and create. Kansas is filled with farmers, artists, artisans, creators and intellectuals. Per capita, the state serves its population with a large number of higher institution universities. Having traveled the globe, we’ve discovered world class architects and engineers that attended college in Kansas. One architectural home you may want to see during a road trip is the Allen-Lambe House designed in 1915 by Frank Lloyd Wright. Open to the public, the home in Wichita, KS. is considered the last of Wright’s prairie homes, a style that became synonymous with one of the best known architects in the world. The home is open is open to the public by pre-arranged tours.
Kansas has some quirky offerings and one such road stop is in Liberal, home to the famous pancake race. Each year the town comes out with their spatulas and pancake flippers to carry the breakfast food a distance without losing the goods. Also worth seeing if you happen to be passing through Liberal is Dorothy’s House from the Wizard of Oz, Rock Island Depot which is listed on the National Historic Register, and Mid-America Air Museum with one of the largest collections of planes and aviation artifacts in the U.S. There are approx. 90 aircraft at the museum!
And what about the Jayhawk? It’s been around since the mid-1800′s and you’ll find statues honoring this mythical bird which also happens to be the mascot of the University of Kansas ball teams. The jayhawk is a symbol of the history of Kansas, and symbolizes the struggles of Kansas settlers. Combining the traits of the noisy blue jay which robs nests with the sparrow hawk, a stealthy hunter, Jayhawkers came to be known as the individuals seeking to make Kansas a free state where slavery would be abolished. Kansas University was the stronghold of the free state movement, and the Jayhawk has long represented the University of Kansas as its symbol, usually appearing in a logo as a blue-bodied bird with a red crest and yellow beak and feet.