Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Visit to Caldwell, Kansas

On Saturday April 28, I made an afternoon trip to Caldwell in Sumner County, Kansas. While I had stopped briefly before, I was determined this time to more fully experience the town. I found a town that embraces it's Cowtown past, yet seems to have a core group of businesses and services to keep the town healthy. The people I met and talked with were friendly and willing to share when I asked questions, but this was no surprise since I find this true all around Kansas.

As I drove around town, I found at least 8 churches, a full range of schools, an active COOP, many historic buildings, and a well stocked grocery store, which seemed to be the hub of activity that afternoon. I also noticed a medical clinic, hospital, Carnegie Library, and several restaurants, which I did not get the opportunity to sample.

I also found several examples of art including the Heritage Mural in the downtown park, the "Cowboys Chasing Cattle" mural in the Post Office, the Coca Cola sign, the 'Ghost Riders of the Chisholm Trail" silhouette south of town, and even a silhouette of a bank robber escaping down a rope on the bank building.

My favorite part of the afternoon was parking along Main Street and spending nearly an hour walking both sides of the 4 block long former Cowtown district. They have placed about 20 signs with historic information about events and businesses / buildings that operated during the Cowtown days. This is certainly one of the best examples of a self-guided tour I have yet found around Kansas.

Finally, after spending at least 2 hours in town, I made a hurried trip home to Wichita because of impending thunderstorms. I took about 170 photos - you may see an online gallery of some of these at the link below.


Caldwell Home Page: http://caldwellkansas.com/

Sunday, April 19, 2009

My Favorite Barbeque Meal

This is a photo of my absolute favorite barbeque meal. In case you haven't yet figured it out, it is a smoked turkey breast dinner at Roy's Hickory Pit BBQ in Hutchinson, Kansas.

The dinners come with two slices of freshly grilled Texas toast, the ranch style beans, and a trip to the salad bar. As you can see, I also picked up a bottle of Roy's sauce to take home with me.

Roy's slightly sweet, vinegar based sauce mates perfectly with the turkey, especially when warmed as they serve it in the restaurant.

While the food is terrific, the atmosphere at Roy's is also special. You are always greeted with a friendly Hello! at the counter and there is likely to be a line, sometimes out the door. People there to eat will welcome you to their table if you need a spot to sit and eat since it is a very cozy restaurant.

Roy's is a family run business that has been in operation since 1982 and they have won numerous awards. They are open Tuesday through Saturday for lunch only from 11:00 AM til 3:00 PM, or until the food is gone.

Roy's is currently nominated for the "8 Wonders of Kansas Cuisine" contest sponsered by the Kansas Sampler Foundation. If they make the cut to the 24 finalists, I will certainly vote for them. Give them a try!

Roy's Hickory Pit BBQ

1018 West Fifth Ave

Hutchinson, KS


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Hodgeman County "Dare to do Dirt"

On Saturday April 4, 2009 I made a day trip to Hodgeman County and completed a 128 mile loop exploring the county.

After a lunch in Burdett in western Pawnee County at the Burdett Cafe on K-156, I entered Hodgeman County. First, I stopped at the stone arch bridge over Dry Creek northeast of Hanston, then travelled north to the historic Duncan's Ford crossing of the Pawnee River in the northeast part of the county.

I then explored the architecture in Hanston and Jetmore. Both towns have some historic limestone buildings. The courthouse square in Jetmore is very beautiful, as well as the Methodist church. I enjoyed the Sawlog Creek / Point of Rocks mural in downtown Jetmore.

Then I went north and west of Jetmore to the beautiful Stoecker bridge, a WPA double stone arch bridge over Cottonwood Creek. From there, I went west to see a concrete arch bridge over Hackberry Creek in the northwest corner of the county.

Travelling south again, I visited the remote Kidderville Cemetery, then stopped for a view of the construction of Horsethief Reservoir west of Jetmore.

Finally, I headed east across the southern part of the county, first stopping to take several photos of the Point of Rocks landmark, then on to the southeast corner to look at the limestone St Marys Church.

Finally, I left Hodgeman County, had supper at Romano's Pizza in Kinsley and headed home to Wichita.


Map of my route: http://mapshare.delorme.com/Consumer/V.aspx?p=7xzzfbjr

Stoecker Bridge story: http://www.hodgemancountyks.com/bridgestory.pdf

Hodgeman County Blue Skyways page: http://skyways.lib.ks.us/counties/HG/

My 2 photo galleries of Hodgeman County: http://ke2013.smugmug.com/gallery/7810450_TZxXY#505724203_eF2aU