Virtual Travel – Kansas

Toto we are back in Kansas!

1953 – Much like Iowa, Kansas is state that is virtually all farmland, although more grasslands than crops. The views on our opening map is of the capitol in Topeka, and a typical countryside road.

Government State Kansas 1953 1.jpg

 

Topeka was a city of about 80,000 in 1953. Since then it has grown to a population of about 125,000. By far the largest employer in town is the state government. (photo from Cathy Luz Real Estate website)

 

 

 

1963 – Rest area on Interstate 70.

Government State Kansas 1963 1.jpg

 

As the map shows, as well as the photo below, there are some rolling hills in Kansas. Kansas is a leading state for wind generated power.

2012 07 02 94 Kansas.JPG

 

 

 

1973 – Century II Performing Arts & Convention Center in Wichita. This facility is the largest of it’s kind in the state. It has hosted, among other things, the Miss USA Pagent.

Government State Kansas 1972.jpg

Wichita is the largest city in Kansas, with a metro population of 645,000. It was founded as a trading post on the Chisholm Trail. (Photo from VisitWichita website)

What's special about Wichita? Read the latest accolades

 

Today it is known as the Air Capital of the World with numerous small aircraft manufacturers including Beechcraft, Cessna and Stearman. The Kansas Aviation Museum celebrates this history.

The museum is located in the former Wichita Municipal Airport terminal. (Photo from Museum website)

 

 

 

 

1973 – Kansas State Parks. Most Kansas State Parks are fairly small, the largest being Fall River State Park.

Government State Kansas 1973.jpg

 

The most unique park in the state is Mushroom Rock. These rocks are a remains of sediment from the Cretaceous Period.  (Photo from Wikipedia)

 

 

 

1989 – Rural scene. Over half the people in the state live in what is classified as ‘Rural’, one of the higher percentages in the country. Trivia moment – the highest percent rural population is Wyoming.

Government State Kansas 1989.jpg

 

 

 

1993 & 2015 – Bison. Before Europeans showed up there were an estimated 20 million American Bison roaming the Kansas territory. Their demise was swift, as example the first three months of 1872 there were more than 43,000 bison hides shipped east from Dodge City alone.

Government State Kansas 1993.jpg

Government State Kansas 2015

 

 

Today there are a few refuges for the bison to continue to live. The largest is Maxwell Wildlife Refuge near the town of Canton, Kansas. (photo from Travelks.com)

Bison Herd

 

 

 

2001 – Flint Hills. This region covers much of eastern Kansas, stretching into northern Oklahoma.

Government State Kansas 2001.jpg

 

The area is very picturesque, and a nice break from the endless prairies beyond.

2012 07 02 89 Kansas.JPG

 

 

 

2003 – Collage including the Kansas Speedway. When the International Speedway Corporation was investigating building a speedway in the Kansas City area, they chose the Kansas side because of better funding (i.e. the State gave them more money than Missouri would).

Government State Kansas 2003.jpg

 

 

2005 & 2009 – More prairie scenes.

Government State Kansas 2005.jpg       Government State Kansas 2009.jpg

 

 

 

2011 – 150 years of statehood celebrated by travel.

Government State Kansas 2011.jpg

The two most famous Kansans are Dwight Eisenhower and Amelia Earhart.

Eisenhower was actually born in Texas but raised in Abilene, Kansas, where his Presidential Library is located (photo from travelks.com)

 

Earhart was born and raised in Atchinson, Kansas. Her childhood home is now a museum. (photo from kansastravel.org)

Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum

 

 

 

2013 – Celebration of Kansas Byways.

Government State Kansas 2013.jpg

 

One of the more interesting byways is the Gypsum Hill Scenic Byway. It travels through rolling prairie as well as a section of red buttes. (photo kansastravel.org)

Red Cedars lining the Kansas Red Hills

 

 

 

2017 – The Sunflower State.

Government State Kansas 2017.jpg

 

We end this tour with Kansas State Symbols.

State Seal

Kansas State Seal

 

 

Flag

Kansas State Flag

 

Bird – Western Meadowlark

Western Meadowlark

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chicago – February 2019 – The Cars and People of America’s Largest New Car Show

What do you get when you take America’s third largest metro population combined with the largest convention center in the country – the largest new car show!





With over 1000 cars and trucks scattered over two of the halls, each auto maker had room to show their standard cars (and trucks) and some special ones, like this Chicago Bears football team truck.





Alfa Romeo brought an F1 car.





To be honest most new cars are boring, and all look alike, so for this show I emphasized on the cars and people, including the ‘Product Specialists’.

Fortunately the auto shows have moved away from the ‘booth babe’ concept and the presenters actually know what they are talking about.





I have found that the larger shows like here and Detroit have a lot of extra features, like this engine display. There were over 10 different engine displays like this scattered throughout the hall.





Cadillac took an interesting approach and displayed this mint 1959 next to current cars. The ’59 showed them all up, as far more people surrounded this car than all the new ones in their display put together.





Like this boring box on wheels. Good luck to the Product Specialist to bring something exciting about this car.





All car shows have people who are constantly wiping finger prints off the cars. Here they all were dressed in these cool overalls like a New Car Show Pit Crew.





Even Porsche has mostly boring SUVs and sedans – but at least the 911 lives on!





Somehow 1974 got mixed in with 2019.





Land Rover had a huge area in the back where they showed the joys of all wheel drive. Jeep and Dodge Trucks had similar setups but they pale in comparison to this.





Not sure exactly what they were seeing but they were getting into it.





I believe this group was shopping cars for their grandparents, because I can’t imagine anyone of this age would have any interest in the ultra safe, boxy Volvo.





Another Product Specialist excited to tell us about their vehicle. All the presenters were very professional and could talk for hours (well minutes) about their car.





There were a few concept cars present, but this one from Lexus looks close to production.





Does this car have enough room in the rear seat for my friend?





Locked? How can I get in?





Hit the starter and lets get out of here – even if you can’t see over the steering wheel.





Thank a Robot for staying off the display and automating most of the production jobs. Thanks Robots!





I will take the dirt bikes and leave the Jeep.





Easily the most passionate presenter was for the Dodge Hellcat – 800 HP of smoke and noise.





The Toyota Impossible – like it will be impossible for this to sell in America.





Where are we – oh yeah – Chicago.





It was Latino Day at the Car Show – even Telemundo Chicago had their new truck (or camión de noticias). Especially cool was the singer doing Sinatra in Spanish.





Did you ever wonder why the car next to you has to blast their music so loud you can hear it through their closed windows and yours. Well they have taken care of that – the speakers are on the outside!

Oh boy.





Yes it really is a full size Chevy Silverado made entirely out of Legos.





Enough of this reality – lets go virtual and get out of here.