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One Tank Trip for Kansas Camping
Home to the last remaining stand of tallgrass prairies in North America, and the American bison, Kansas is a picturesque plains state with a wealth of museums, cowboy towns, and Native American legacies waiting to be explored and rediscovered.
We begin our one tank trip in Hutchinson, a beautiful Great Plains city with much to offer the savvy traveler, from shopping and golf, to one of the most unusual attractions, the Kansas Underground Salt Museum. Taking the 650-foot trip down, visitors are offered a rare opportunity to tour a functional salt mill, and one that helped the town of Hutchinson grow into the city it is today. You'll find the museum underground as well, and it boasts a rather nice collection of Hollywood memorabilia that visitors are encouraged to peruse while there. Also housed at the museum are several masters for classics like The Wizard of Oz, Gone With The Wind, Star Wars, and many others. It's a fascinating and fun place, and one no traveler should miss. Another great attraction for visitors to this area is the Kansas Cosmosphere & Space Center. If you want an unbiased account of the space race, then you've come to the right place. Housed at this fascinating museum is the largest collection of Russian Space artifacts outside of Moscow, and the second largest collection of US space artifacts. It is one of only three museums in the world to display flown spacecraft from all three early manned American space programs. And keep in mind as you wander through this incredible place, you are looking at less than 10% of this very large and impressive collection, the rest of which is stored in the museum's vault.
Once you come back down to Earth and get out of your spacesuit, take KS-61 N out of Hutchinson, and merge onto I-135 N to arrive at our next Kansas RV camping destination, Salina, which is nearly the geographical center of the US. Historic Salina has a host of offerings for travelers, including some excellent shopping, dining and cultural attractions. One of the most impressive is the Rolling Hills Wildlife Adventures, a 65-acre zoological park nestled right here in the Kansas prairie. With more than 300 animals on exhibit, and a new, world-class wildlife museum, it's something you won't want to miss. Only a handful of people get to experience the majestic beauty of the American bison, but here in Salina, you can do just that at the Smoky Hill Bison Visitor's Center. An honest-to-goodness working bison ranch, visitors can watch bison roam the grounds from the porch of the visitor's center, shop in the gift shop for their favorite buffalo related trinket, and purchase some of the best buffalo steaks or jerky this side of the Mississippi! The chance to see these impressive creatures up close and personal is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and should be taken advantage of when visiting this area.
Moving on to our last Kansas RV camping stop, take I-135 N out of Salina, and merge onto I-70 E, and in a half hour on our one tank trip, you'll arrive at Abilene. Steeped in history, Abilene was once a rough-and-tumble place where Wild Bill Hickock and Tom Smith made their famous attempts to maintain some semblance of order on these mean streets, and over 3 million heads of Texas Longhorn cattle moved through this town to be shipped by rail. Today, things are much calmer in Abilene. The outlaws and cattle are long gone, but the city has preserved its very colorful and long history in many of its museums and historic homes. One such beautifully preserved place visitors should tour is the Eisenhower Presidential Library & Eisenhower Museum, which houses the beautifully preserved Eisenhower family home. The museum contains a war gallery, and covers Ike's election and presidential years. In the library, visitors will find an enormous collection of motion picture films, audiotapes, books and oral history transcripts. At the nearby Place of Meditation located on the grounds, visitors will find the tombs of Abilene's favorite son, and his wife Mamie, as well as a chapel.
This beautiful state is full of surprises and a wild beauty that beckoned to the first pioneers and settlers who first discovered it. From the rolling hills to the vast, expansive plains that seem to roll on into infinity, Kansas offers travelers much to see, do, and discover, and there's always something special waiting just around the corner.
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Woodall's Recommended Kansas RV Campgrounds