Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Botanica Wichita

  The summer flowers are gone but the walk through this small garden is still enjoyable. Don’t miss the children’s garden and the Japanese garden.
   The main paths are paved and accessible.

   The parking lot is large enough for RVs if parked through the spaces or lengthwise across the spaces.  Garden  37.69639, -97.3625

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Wichita Art Museum

   With a focus on American art, this small museum features permanent and changing exhibits of artwork from its diverse collection. The grounds include 13 sculptures and paved paths through naturally landscaped gardens.
    The museum is accessible.

    The parking lot is large enough for any RV if pulled through the spaces or parked lengthwise across them. Museum  37.69537, -97.35718

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Kansas Star Casino

  We parked in the paved lot to the north of the unpaved truck lot - far enough away to avoid the dust and noise from the trucks. This is a back lot so it’s a bit of a trek to the casino. Go through the lot toward the casino and follow the sidewalk to the back entrance.

   The chairs are fairly easy to move and the card and money slots are easy to reach. Casino  37.46681, -97.32633

Saturday, October 26, 2019

City of Chanute Campground

  Two small rectangles of land in Santa Fe Park have been paved and equipped with water and electric hookups. There were just a few other RVs in the lot with us but it might feel a bit cramped if the sites fill. Free for two nights and $10.00 a night after that with a limit of 10 days per 30.
   We camped in the east lot. The west lot is farther away from the main roads and has restrooms with showers and a dump station. The park has ball fields, a fishing pond, walking trail, playground and picnic shelters. Campground 37.64622, -95.45305

Friday, October 25, 2019

Martin and Osa Johnson Safari Museum

   In 1907, 23 year old Martin Johnson joined the crew on Jack London’s yacht, the Snark. London’s plan of a seven year voyage to exotic locations was cut short after just two years when London and all of the Snark crew members contracted a tropical disease and were hospitalized. Martin, who wasn’t ready to go home, spent another year traveling on his own to Bombay, then through the Suez Canal and on to Italy, Paris, London, and Boston.

   When he finally got home to Kansas he had thousands of photographs that he used to give lectures at local theatres. While doing this he met and married Osa, a 16 year old vaudeville singer. For six years the couple traveled around the US and Europe giving lectures and raising money which allowed them to spend the next 18 years traveling, taking photographs, and experimenting with the new art of film making. Together the Johnsons wrote 20 books and produced more than a dozen films.
   The museum exhibits include artifacts that the Johnsons collected and many photographs of locations that they visited in Africa and the South Seas. Some of their films are available for viewing in the small theater. In addition to the Johnson exhibits the museum has a large collection of African artifacts donated by Dr. Pascal J. Imperato.
   The museum is accessible.

   RVs will fit in the parking lot on the north side of the museum. Museum  37.68356, -95.45209

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Gunn Park

   Fishing, dog walking, and visiting the playground are popular activities at this little city park. A handful of RV sites are tucked under the trees with a view of the larger of two small lakes. Amenities include tables, restrooms, and electric hookups. Fees are paid at the collection box.

   The sites are fairly large. One is pull though. Most are not level.
   Accessibility is limited due to the hilly terrain but the ground around the sites is hard packed and the tables tops are slightly extended. Park  37.82685, -94.72394

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Fort Scott National Historic Site

   Fort Scott was established in 1842 as one in a line of forts built to protect the frontier and keep peace between the Native American tribes who had been pushed west and the settlers who were flooding into former Indian territory.  As settlers moved even farther west, keeping the boundary line proved to be an impossible task and the army abandoned Fort Scott in 1853. The buildings were sold to local citizens and Fort Scott, which was located on the Kansas – Missouri border, became a hotbed for the raiding and violence that occurred over whether Kansas would be a free or slave state. Because this was decided by a vote both anti-slavery and pro-slavery forces converged on the area in an attempt to outvote their opposition. Nearly 60 people died and hundreds were terrorized. During the Civil War, the army occupied the fort again and it was also a supply point in 1870 to early 1873 when it was necessary to protect workers building the railroads.
   Eleven buildings have survived and are open to the public. Stop at the visitor center to get a map of the grounds. The museum next to the visitor center has an excellent exhibit featuring very diverse stories about living through all of the changes that occurred in the area. The other buildings have interpretive signs and are furnished to depict life in the fort.
  The fort is not very accessible. Most of the buildings have ramps but they do not meet flush with the paving stones which are extremely rough. The second floors of all of the buildings except for the museum are accessed by stairs only. The museum has a very slow elevator.
  Follow the signs for RV parking. There isn’t a curb cut and the hill up to the fort is steep so visitors with mobility issues may opt to be dropped off at the small lots in front of the fort. Short RVs will fit in these lots or can be parked across the spaces on non-busy days. Fort 37.84284, -94.70545

Monday, October 21, 2019

Pomme de Terre State Park

   Two campgrounds, separated by water and almost ten miles of road, are located on fingers of land that extend out into Pomme de Terre Lake. We camped at Hermitage campground because it was closer to our travel route. Both campgrounds have accessible sites. Site 316, pictured above, is paved under the table and fire ring. The table has an extended top, the fire ring has high sides, and there’s a low hook on the lantern post. A gravel parking pad is still in place and we weren’t sure whether we should park on that or on the concrete. We ended up on the concrete because it’s level. The only thing missing is a paved path from the concrete to the road.

    Missouri state parks have very reasonable camping fees. They vary a bit from park to park but Pomme de Terre rates are $11.00 for non-hookup and I think $21.00 for water/electric. The park has a marina, boat ramps, camp stores, two beaches, restrooms, showers, laundry facilities, and dump stations.  Park 37.8843, -93.30625

Sunday, October 20, 2019

M & T Farms

   A stone house (renovation in progress with a recent log addition) already stood on the 1800s farmstead that Martha and Tom Blatchford bought to establish their cheese making venture so all they needed was a barn.  The post and beam building that they designed is much more than a barn. The top floor B&B has five bedrooms with private baths and a common sitting area. The ground floor houses the cheese tasting counter and a store selling locally handmade food and other products. Milking and cheese making is done on the level under the store.
    This is a fairly rustic Harvest Hosts site.Turn off of Route 19 onto Route 415 ( Tschappler Road). The farm is about 4 miles in along a graded gravel road which is suitable for RV travel. There are other roads that go to the farm but those roads are narrow, washboard in spots, and have narrow bridge crossings. We arrived at the farm and didn’t see a M & T sign so we thought we missed it. Look for the Brinkman Farmstead B&B sign and the Cool Cow sign. The isn’t very much room to park along the road so turn right onto the dirt driveway that goes around the stone house. The large clearing at the top is the Harvest Hosts RV spot which has a great view of the pastures and cows. Although there is enough room for larger RVs the driveway is narrow and falling in on one side. It may not hold the weight of a heavy RV.

   Martha (the M of M&T) is a wonderful host! She greeted us and told us where to park, then showed us around the store, gave us taste samples of the different cheeses, and answered all of our questions about cheese making and farm life. We bought cheese, a jar of preserves and a large bottle of honey.

   Nothing is really accessible. A rough stone walk goes from the road to a step up at the store patio. The interior of the store is fairly accessible but the cheese counter is very high. Visitors who can manage stairs may check out the B&B rooms and the lower level where the magic happens. Farm  38.39596, -91.52401