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One Tank Trip for Kansas Camping
Total mileage / average drive time:
167 miles – 2 hours, 58 minutes
Most of us who do a great deal of traveling happen upon many locations where time and modern technology has vastly changed the natural beauty and allure to something almost unrecognizable from its original state. Then, there’s Kansas. Wide and expansive, Kansas is where you’ll find golden wheat swaying gently in the breeze and broad prairies stretching out as far as the eye can see.
We have something special planned for our trip through Kansas we like to call a “Kansas Heroes Tour”, so let’s get started on our trip in Atchison, the birthplace of Amelia Earhart. Atchison is the quintessential Midwestern town, where you’ll find many Victorian houses, a trolley and some fascinating history. Lovingly restored and maintained by The Ninety-Nines, Inc., an international organization for women pilots, which Amelia herself founded and served as president, you’ll find some important artifacts and historical information on Amelia and her life. From here, let’s head over to the International Forest of Friendship where you’ll find a living, growing memorial dedicated to those who have been involved in aviation and space exploration. The centerpiece of the forest is a life-sized bronze statue of Amelia, who gazes over the forest. Each June, new honorees are inducted into the forest with plaques embedded in the walkway, winding through the forest of trees representing all 50 states and over 35 countries. While here, keep your eyes out for many of the special trees planted here, including the “Moon Tree”, grown from a seed that traveled to the moon and back aboard Apollo 14. This is a great place to set up a blanket, break out the picnic basket and have a little snack before heading to our next stop.
52.1 miles – 1 hour, 5 minutes
From Atchison, let’s keep the tour moving and head to Lawrence via US-59S and merging onto US-24 into Lawrence. Get your change ready, there are some tolls and partial tolls on this route. Lawrence has a fascinating history as an important stop on the Underground Railroad and before then, as part of the Oregon and Santa Fe Trails. To get a good grasp on the history of the state, stop by the Dole Institute of Politics, named after Kansas native, Bob Dole. Opened in 2003, the Institute houses exhibits tracing a half-century of both Kansas and American history. A breathtaking 23-foot stained glass American flag serves as a backdrop to displays including videos, historic photographs and Bob Dole’s WWII uniform. Not just a museum, the Institute is also a research center, housing Dole’s personal papers and features a spectacular public forum for debates, conferences, lectures and seminars. The role of the Institute is not just one of education, but to offer public opportunities for all individuals to discover how they can best serve their communities, state and their nation.
115 miles – 1 hour, 52 minutes
From beautiful Lawrence, let’s move on to our last city, Abilene, by returning to I-70W for the approximate two hour trip. As the official end of the Chisolm Trail, Abilene has a fascinating history, with visitors from across the globe descending on this quaint town every year to tour the many attractions found here, including the home of Dwight D. Eisenhower, Abilene’s favorite son. Dedicated on Veteran’s Day, 1954, visitors can tour Eisenhower’s boyhood home, do some research in the library, or wander around the five galleries that showcase many works of art collected by the Eisenhower’s or given to them, as well as many other exhibits. Once you’ve finished wandering around the gallery, you’ll find the Place of Meditation, the final resting place of Dwight and Mamie Eisenhower and their first-born son, Doud on the property. Visiting this attraction, you’ll get a much better sense of Ike as a man, a hero, a president and one of Abilene’s finest.
Check out the 2011 One Tank Trip For Kansas
Check out the 2010 One Tank Trip For Kansas
Woodall's Recommended Campgrounds in Kansas
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