Along the way, I pulled off the highway south of Lyons to follow Cow Creek south and west of town. I followed sand roads till I found a pony truss bridge. Also, I visited the historic sites of Buffalo Bill Mathewson's well and the Father Padilla's Cross along US 56 before heading on the Great Bend.
After arriving in Great Bend, I decided to visit the Barton County Historical Museum south of town on US281. This is an extensive facility which includes a number of outbuildings. After viewing the exhibits in the main building, I moved outside and dodged an occasional shower while going through the buildings. I had been here before and remembered some of the exhibits, but one new feature I hadn't yet seen was the fully equiped Lustron home on the property. Lustron homes are all steel panel homes inside and out with a porcelain enamel paint. I had not seen one up close and throughly enjoyed the experience, especially the interior.
Next, I started an auto tour of the Murals of Great Bend, following a downloaded guide. These murals were painted by a wide variety of people and express many different scenes. I didn't quite make it to all the murals, but enjoyed each one I visited. What a nice selection of art!
Finally, I drove back downtown around the courthouse to view the Kansas Quilt Walk. Formed into the sidewalks in this area are 7 quilt patterns dating back to Santa Fe Trail times and early settlers in Barton County. It is a unique art exhibit.
On the way home from Great Bend, I made a quick pass through the Stafford County town of Hudson, home of the Stafford County Flour Mill and the famous Hudson Cream Flour.
Finally I stopped at the Dutch Kitchen Restaurant southwest of Hutchinson for dinner. This restaurant, a sister restaurant to Carriage Crossing in Yoder is well known for cinnamon rolls and good food. I always find the atmosphere to be quiet and relaxing.
Great Bend CVB: http://www.visitgreatbend.com/ (Download brochures of Mural Project and Kansas Quilt Walk). Also access the museum site from here
My Great Bend Photo Gallery:
My Photo Gallery of the Barton County Museum: