You may think Kansas is nothing but miles and miles of flat prairie, an endless line of boring crops but I’m here to tell you there are exciting things in Kansas, if you just stop and look.
For instance, Goodland, Kansas has a giant easel. I know, I know, but calm down, there’s more. That 80 foot tall easel holds a replica of one of Van Gogh’s Sunflower paintings. It’s so big you can see it from I-70 but that’s not good enough for the Tumbleweeds, no. We saw it live and in person, walked underneath it, even.
|Painted by Cameron Cross as part of the|
Van Gogh Project. I am the little blob beneath it.
Goodland is a sleepy little farming town on the western edge of Kansas. It has less than 5,000 people, and as I was researching this very informative article, ahem, I found that the town of Goodland’s own website doesn’t mention the World’s Biggest Easel at all. Conspiracy? Oversight? It seems like a little town should promote this superlative; there's really no other reason to stop, and it really is big.
Lucas, in central Kansas is home to The Garden of Eden and Cabin Home of Perry Dinsmoor, a Civil War veteran who built a lot of weird cement stuff around his home, which is a log cabin made of limestone. Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel and other Biblical sculptures crowd the yard and there is also a 40 foot tall mausoleum where he is laid to rest in a glass-topped concrete coffin. Neat.
In 1924, when Dinsmoor was 81 he married a 20 year old and they had two children. Their son, John Dinsmoor, is the youngest surviving child of a Civil War veteran. Creepy.
Also in Lucas, Kansas is the home base for the World’s Largest Collection of the World’s Smallest Versions of the World’s Largest Things Traveling Roadside Attraction and Museum. If that title doesn’t give you a headache, then try to figure out what the brochure means by “Always open when parked”. It’s a van. If it’s not parked it would be moving and you couldn’t visit it anyway.
|Visit their blog and see for yourself. Maybe|
they're coming to your town.
Sadly, the Tumbleweeds didn’t get to visit the wonderful town of Lucas. Let’s move on.
We did, however, have dinner in Russell, Kansas which is home to Bob Dole, the presidential candidate and Viagra spokesman. The restaurant was filled with the over 70 crowd, but Mr. Dole was nowhere to be found, although I did get excited when I saw a guy holding his pen stiffly in his right hand, but it was just a farmer getting ready to write a check. Remember those?