Back in November I celebrated a birthday and begged the Daughters to celebrate with me, but not to get me anymore stuff. My six regular readers may have noticed that I have been on this rant about stuff for quite some time now. I seem to have way too much and try as I might to fill my Dumpsters or haul it to Goodwill, it still surrounds me. I am not making much headway clearing it out.
Anyway, the Daughters did a pretty good job sticking to my birthday request. They contacted Marci Penner of the Kansas Sampler Foundation and bought me a membership to the Kansas Explorers Club. I was excited! Membership includes my own personal explorer number. I get six newsletters a year about sights, events, places to eat, and things to do in all areas of the state. I get to read about what my fellow explorers visit and discover. I was pretty pumped about receiving that membership.
Of course, exploring Kansas in the dead of winter can be fraught with travel problems so I didn’t immediately venture too far out of my comfort zone. I did wander out to the far reaches of Marion, Harvey, and Butler counties on several sunny and pleasant Sunday afternoons during the winter months to see a few spots that piqued my curiosity, but I did not rack up too many miles.
I think now I am ready to gear up and visit some points of interest. Most places on my list are in western Kansas. I traveled I-70 many times while my mother was living in Colorado with my sister, but the trips were hurried and I would like to see some of the towns I passed on those many excursions west.
I already have some favorite stops in Russell, Hays, WaKeeney, and Colby that I want to visit again, as well as exploring many of the small towns several miles to the north or south of the interstate. I am pretty serious about this. Kansas is my adopted home and I am not likely to move elsewhere during this lifetime. I would like to see more of it and do the real Kansas Explorers Club thing.
I know I should probably have started this project a couple of decades ago in order to see it all, but since I didn’t I thought it might be helpful to poll you readers and see what sights, attractions, museums, restaurants, shops, or natural features you might have enjoyed visiting during your travels. Two or three suggestions in the same direction and I could be on my way to Mount Sunflower the first weekend in June, you know?
I can read the Kansas Explorers Club newsletters and pick places to visit, but I would really like for you to share your favorite places with me. I do not have as much time as I did when I came to Kansas as a 21-year old, so help me out here. Give me call, drop me an e-mail or a note, stop me on the street, whatever.
I will keep you informed of my adventures as a Kansas Explorer. Surely it will be more interesting than sorting stuff!
— SUSAN MARSHALL