Day 5 - Kansas
|Sunday, June 11, 2023: We were out of our dorm room and at the George Draper Dayton building to check out and return the keys, but unfortunately the doors to the building were locked. After checking all of the doors to the building and confirming that they were locked, Debbie was let in by another alumni who was coming out of the building.
|We drove through the Mississippi National River Recreation Area on our way out of town, ...
|... before stopping at McDonald's in Eagan to pick up breakfast.
|As we drove south on I-35, we took a quick detour to Northfield, Minnesota, to drive through St. Olaf College. Debbie's parents met when they were students here, and it had been a while since Debbie had visited the campus. Let's check it out!
|St. Olaf is located on and around the top of a large hill, so the slogan "Welcome to the Hill" on their banners was very appropriate.
|The school logo is a lion and it can be seen proudly displayed on their water tower.
|This is Old Main, the first building on the St. Olaf campus built back in 1877, ...
|... and this is Thorson Hall, one of the residence halls.
|Check out the cool bike racks out front.
|Nearby is Ellingson Hall, ...
|... and Mohn Hall.
|Here's the Boe Memorial Chapel, ...
|... Ytterboe Hall, ...
|... and Hoyme Hall. It was such a beautiful campus. The stonework on all of the campus buildings was absolutely stunning and really tied all of the buildings together.
|We left St. Olaf and headed further east toward the town of Northfield, which boasts of cows, colleges, and contentment.
|As we neared the center of town, we came across the Malt-O-Meal plant, which is now part of Post Consumer Brands, the giant cereal company. Although Malt-O-Meal is known for its hot cereals, this factory still produces some their cold cereal products. We hadn't heard of it for years, so it was surprising to see that it is still around.
|We crossed over the Cannon River, ...
|... and drove through the Carleton College campus. Their commencement ceremonies had been held the day before, and tents from the festivities were still up. Our Mac friend Paula is a professor here and had shared some funny stories about the morning's commencement over dinner last evening.
|This is Burton Hall, the oldest residence hall on campus.
|The Sayles-Hill Campus Center was decked out with a giant banner for the graduation ceremonies.
|This is Willis Hall. It was the first permanent building built on campus in 1873.
|This is Scoville Hall, which was originally the campus library and is now the Office of Admissions for the college.
|It was a brief but lovely tour of the campus. Debbie had never been here before, despite the rivalry between Macalester and Carleton, and was glad that she had finally seen the campus.
|As we headed back toward I-35, we took a few minutes to drive through the older part of the town of Northfield. The brickwork was beautiful and well-maintained, ...
|... and the stone on the Scriver building was gorgeous.
|The Owatonna Degner Regional Airport had a display of three T-38 Talon jets painted in the colors of the USAF Thunderbirds.
|We crossed into Iowa just after 10:30 AM, the first of many state welcome signs that we would be seeing today.
|Outside Waterloo, Iowa, we entered the Silos and Smokestacks National Heritage Area, which is dedicated to preserving the story of American agriculture and the importance of this area in global food production.
|I-35 happens to be in path of the Monarch butterfly migration path from Canada to Mexico, so I-35 is also known as the Monarch Highway.
|We stopped at a rest area in Iowa which had a very interesting decor. There were emblems of the US Civil War on the outside of the building, and the inside of the building was split in half, with the southern side of the building decorated for the Confederacy and the northern side for the Union. There were facts and slogans and interesting tidbits from both sides of the conflict printed all over the walls. It was very interesting.
|After a quick stop to get lunch at Hardee's, we passed a Barilla pasta plant. So this is where so much of our food comes from!
|We could see the Iowa state capitol building as we drove past Des Moines.
|Just after 2 PM, we crossed into the northwestern corner of Missouri.
|By 3:30 PM, we were in Kansas City, crossing the Missouri River.
|We were able to see the construction site for the Kansas City Current Stadium, which is scheduled to be completed by 2024. It is the first purpose-built stadium constructed exclusively for women's professional sports, in this case, women's professional soccer. It's about time!
|Here's Boulevard Brewing Company, the largest craft brewery in Missouri.
|Welcome to Kansas!
|The scenery will still mostly fields, but the rolling hills were disappearing and it was starting to look quite flat.
|When we got off the highway for gas in El Dorado, Kansas, we saw this replica Statue of Liberty, ...
|... these metal horse sculptures outside of a museum, ...
|... this awesome Greetings From El Dorado mural, ...
|... and yet another replica Statue of Liberty. The Boy Scouts must have loved this town to put two of their replicas here.
|We left I-35 in Wichita and started our trek westward, after stopping at our first Winchell's Donut House of the trip, one of many yet to come.
|Their display case was packed with deliciousness, ...
|... and we picked six to take with us. Debbie's favorite Winchell's donut is the French cruller, but the few Winchell's stores in Kansas and Nebraska do not have them on the menu.
|As we drove through Pratt, Kansas, ...
|... we saw this amazing 60s-style sign outside Donald's Serva-Teria Smorgasbord.
|The sun kept sinking lower and lower in the sky, ...
|... until it finally set behind some low clouds. The colors were remarkably beautiful.
|We kept driving until just shortly before midnight, ...
... when we reached a roadside table rest area just over the Oklahoma border. We popped the sun shades in the van windows, reclined the seats, and were just drifting off to sleep as a thunderstorm rolled through the area.
Copyright © Deborah Schilling/Thomas Bundy