What is the Drive on I-70 like? (Wichita, Salina: hotels, house)
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Tom, I'm going to give you my own perceptions. This is based on many years of road tripping being my hobby.
I-70 in Western Kansas has a reputation for being a long, flat, boring drive. I've heard it said that part of Kansas is just something to get through.
Don't believe it!
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. If you go into that drive expecting to be bored, you likely will be bored. But look around and notice details. You'll love it.
I would suggest that you go North at 232, near Wilson, KS and head up to Lucas, Kansas. I think that's about 17 miles up. That is an amazing art mecca. You will find the Grassroots arts center, The Garden of Eden, and the Deeble house. If you make arrangements ahead of time with the arts center, you can get a tour of the Deeble house and the arts center. The tour of the Garden of Eden is separate.
It's an amazing town. The arts are Kansas outsider and untrained artists. Their visions, their perceptions. Fabulous.
They have a link to The Garden of Eden. That's such an odd and obscure place that it boggles my mind.
It is well worth the visit. Amazing stuff. Even people who aren't particularly interested in art seem to be intrigued with the things at Lucas.
Then at Victoria turn South and drive to the Cathedral on the Plains. YOu can see it from I-70. Oh my, that is impressive. The doors used to be unlocked, and I hope they still are. It is also worth seeing. Actually, Victoria is East of Wilson, so coming East, you'll get to it first.
I've always enjoyed the drive along I-70. If you approach it with a sense of adventure, I can't imagine your getting bored. I never am bored along there.
The drive has always been comfortable enough for me, even in incliment weather.
From Salina to OK, I'm not well acquainted with that stretch. There are things to do and see in Wichita, depending on where your interests lie.
The Weather should be fine, cool and nice, usually, depending on the year. But generally Oct is a great month in Kansas.
Plan to drive I-70 from Denver to Salina, Kansas then down to Oklahoma in Oct. What is the drive like and what is the weather like that time of year.
Thanks for any info.
I drove across country from Los Angeles to Boston and took I-70. Passing through Kansas was tough. It was long, flat, and boring, but you get through it. I'm sure Kansas has lots of great attributes, but you asked me about this freeway, and I'm telling you. Bring caffienne pills, make sure the a/c is cold, and play the music loud -- whatever you need to do to stay awake.
Thanks for the imput on my question. Long drives on flat land doesn't bother me. I lived in Arizona twice for several years each so became use to that. I Will be driving across Nevada earlier in our trip so that will also be wide open spaces. I find something worth looking at on all these trips. If I haven't been there before then I will enjoy the drive. As long as there are gas stations, restaurants and motels I am fine.
From Salina to OKC is about the same, a few gentle curves, and more trees is about the only difference till you get into OK, and you get a few hills also. I-35 has decent number of rest stops, and McDs' everywhere nowdays it seems like.
I drive this route for personal reasons to Great Bend, KS every couple of weeks, and although I like open country the Interstate is what almost all superhighways are: B-O-R-I-N-G.
So when you go and you have some time, try this:
Take 86 from Castle Rock to I-70 at Limon, CO for some superb scenery. Stop at the highest point on that road, look back, and appreciate Pike's Peak from a distance.
Get through Limon and get right back off onto U.S. 40. Take it to Cheyenne Wells, then go south on 385 to either 96 or all the way down to 400.
Go east on either of these routes (96 or 400) for some real open country and nice scenery. If you take 96, stop in Great Bend at Cheyenne Bottoms, one of the biggest migratory bird waystations in the U.S. If you take 400, stop in Greensburg and see what bad weather did on May 4, and how a resilient people can rebuild.
Now do one of the following:
Leave Great Bend and drive right through the Cheyenne Bottoms up 156 NE to route 4, then go east to Lindsborg, KS.--"Little Stockholm".
Continue on down 96 SE from Great Bend along the Arkansas River basin (that's "OurKansas River"...) to Hoisington and on down to Wichita.
Go due east on 400 to Wichita.
Pick up I-35 south to OK at any of the three points above.
I have to put in 2-cents worth to agree with Mile High. If you want to "see" America, you're not going to do it on the vast majority of our interstates. I use them (and I often have to travel hundreds of miles) only if I "have to" do so.
Even though Salina, KS is my home town...I would certainly recommend you get off I-70 ASAP after you enter Kansas, and mosey on down to old Dodge City, then east over to Hutchinson for the Cosmosphere Space Museum (where the "original" Apollo 13 capsul is on display among much more...seems no one has ever heard of this great facility out of Kansas!)...then keeping to my theme...use US81 south into Oklahoma.
Sure you don't get there as fast. But, when you return home, you'll have memories of so much that you actually saw along the way. Small Midwestern towns still hold a charm for me. You can never get lost either. You leave one little town, and you can see the white grain elevator of the next five miles ahead, like a guidepost. :-)
You can always go "back" to Denver via the BORING interstates! :-)
We drove from PA to AZ last June and took 70 W much of the way. It's an easy drive. As some have said, Kansas was long and flat....we did get a bit nervous when we were low on gas because there are long stretches of nothing but land. But, never having been in the Midwest, I was amazed at just how big the sky was!!!! It seemed to go on forever! Have fun!
On Thursday, during evening rush hour traffic, I flew into Denver and immediately hopped on I-70 east to go as far as Goodland Kansas and then I headed south on the 27 to Sharon Springs. There was a huge traffic jam with bumper-to-bumper traffic for a couple of hours. However, once I got back onto the I-70 going east (I got off to get something to eat and got lost), the ride was smooth sailing. The interstate speed is 75 miles per hour so you can get through fairly quickly once out of Denver traffic.
I was traveling at night and don't recommend it. Most of the gas stations are closed at night and the hotels are mainly small mom and pop hotels that look like they are closed. I wanted to stop a few times because it was very late, but couldn't find anywhere that looked nice that was open. There are very few chain hotels along that stretch. However, there is a nice Comfort Inn in Cheyanne Wells that I stopped at but it was full. The desk clerk told me that they had been full since about 8 p.m. because families traveling with small children stop there since they are about the only name brand hotel in that area. I continued onto Goodland Kansas and stopped at a brand new Howard Johnson Express Inn that opened two months ago that was very nice at 1:30 a.m. Thankfully, they had a room for me. The cost was about $98 applying a AAA discournt.
I was driving a Ford Escort economy car and one tank of gas got me all the way into Sharon Springs, Kansas. I definitely suggest an economy car to conserve on gas. Also, in Sharon Springs Kansas the gas prices were still $3.11 so I suggest that you fill up in the larger towns, not the small ones.
On my return to the Denver airport, the ride was very fast and took only about 3 hours. I didn't hit any traffic jams as it was on a weekday during business hours. The road was mostly open fields, farmland.
I suggest that you have your route mapped out and have hotel reservations at whatever places you intend to stay at in advance and call if you are going to be late to make sure they keep your room open. However, now that summer vacation is over, there might not be as much traffic on the road.
Good luck. Enjoy your trip.
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