The Reason For Our Strange Route To Albuquerque, NM

I don’t think I ever explained why we are taking this very strange route to Albuquerque when, if we had carried straight down from Denver, it should have been a six-hour trip. When we started planning stops for our route south we realized we would have eleven days between our time in Denver and when we needed to be at the Balloon Festival, which raised the question of what to do with that time? Hubby suggested we turn left at Denver and try to catch some of the center states that we generally can’t get to because we leave home mid October when the weather starts to turn. It sounded good to me and a new route was born.

The weather wasn’t great as we headed out today, the sky was full of rain clouds but it was warm, windy, and very humid. We don’t understand were Missouri gets it’s humidity from, since it is a land locked state, but it definitely had high humidity (76% according to our weather station).

The warm temps and high humidity made us fork out the extra $3.00 a night for electric hook-up at Jacomo Campground so that we could run the air conditioning. Our solar panels and inverter will run the coffee maker, toaster, blow dryer, TV, etc. but they won’t run the air conditioner and with temps near 32/C/90F we needed it.

As we started off I entered a list of places I thought we should visit in Holly (our GPS), had her optimize our route, and off we went. I find it fun to do it this way because we have no idea what stop is coming up next 🙂

Our first stop was Grinter Sunflower Farm near Lawrence, KS. The state flower of Kansas is the Sunflower so I thought it only fitting that we visit a sunflower farm but I was also pretty sure we would miss them in bloom and I was right.

Still kind of pretty, I can only imagine how beautiful it is when they are all in bloom!

The next stop was Massachusetts Street, the main street in Lawrence. We took a quick walk and admired the old buildings.

Douglas County Courthouse

Watkins Museum of History

The Castle Tea House

I thought we should stop for tea but I was out voted. I think somehow hubby knew I had two craft breweries on the list☺

Rather than head back to the interstate, which was a toll road, we chose to take Highway 24 into Topeka, Kansas. It was a very pretty drive through farming communities.

When we arrived in Topeka our first stop was going to be a craft brewery but it wasn’t open.

Actually I had two craft breweries on our list of visits places and both of them turned out to be a bust because they didn’t open until 4:00 p.m. 😦

So then we were off to the State Capital building in Topeka, Kansas.

So then we were off to the State Capital building in Topeka, Kansas. I have always wanted to tour a state building so when I read that Kansas had recently refurbished their building, and had tried to keep all the historical features, I thought it would be worth the visit and it was.

 

 We arrived just as a tour was about to start so we joined in but in retrospect I think we would have been better off grabbing a brochure and walking around on our own. The lady that did our tour was very nice but she had trouble remembering things and often wasn’t able to answer questions. At the end of the tour she left us on the second floor with the comment that we were welcome to walk around some more and off she went … that was it! Now this is a very large State Building and we had no idea how to get back to the entrance but hubby finally managed to guide us there.

The basement of the building was built with huge limestone blocks.

The dome is composed of 256 glass panels. The 900-pound chandelier is a replica of the original fixture, which was donated in 1942 to the World War II scrap metal drive.

At one point we took the cage elevator to the third floor. This elevator was installed in 1923 and had a Senate Concurrent Resolution passed to ensure it is kept in use.

This is worth a read, I found it funny.

The cage elevator

We were able to go into the Senate but were unable to walk around so it was hard to get a good picture.

Our next stop was the beautiful state library, I would have love to spend some time looking at the books!

The second floor of the library has glass floors to maximize light.

We also went into the House of Representatives Hall and the Old Supreme Court.

House of Representatives

Supreme Court where the 1925 ruling made Kansas the first state to outlaw the Ku Klux Klan.

My view as I sat in one of the judges chairs ☺

In Governor Sam Brownback’s office we were treated to a plethora of stuffed animals. By the way Governor Brownback has been asked by President Trump to move to Washington and since he only has two years left, in his maximum eight-year term, it is felt he may go.

 

Holly still had a few more stops of interested programed in when we left the state building, the first one being the closed brewery. After that disappointment we decided to make the hour and a half drive back to the campsite and try to avoid rush hour.

These guys were waiting to great us when we arrived at Maxx 🙂

Until next time …

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