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Old 05-06-2010, 10:21 PM
 
Location: The Heart of Dixie
9,882 posts, read 14,883,354 times
Reputation: 6827

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Hey everyone,

I'm planning on a much anticipated cross-country trip this summer, late July or early-mid August from Baltimore to L.A. We plan to take out time and experience everything in between rather than just rushing through. We'll generally be following the course of I-70 but do plan on spending some time on the state highways to get the full adventure. I reckon this will be a nice way to truly experience the heartland portion of the trip. We've all lived in Maryland for most of our life so things like the plains, water towers and grain silos really have that kind of allure! So a couple things..

- Don't want to sound dumb but how common do tornadoes really hit the area and how much warning is given? Would y'all recommend that we listen to local radio rather than CDs in case storm warnings are issued? (we are all mostly country fans ) Where I'm from there are not many tornadoes and the ones that have occurred took people by surprise, sadly two students were actually killed on my college campus in a car during a tornado but that was seen as a freak occurence. I don't know about folks living in tornado alley but I have no way of telling from the sky if a regular thunderstorm has the chance of becoming a twister.

- Are storm shelters readily available along Interstate 70 or most local state highways? I know the risk of a twister is small but still rather be safe!

- I understand that especially in western Kansas the towns are spaced far apart though not as far apart as Utah or Colorado. Would yall recommend planning things out mroe and booking motels in advance? We'd hate to end up in a town at night with the next town an hour away with all the hotel rooms taken by other travellers.

- What is it like visiting the small Kansas towns that are not directly on the freeway? Can locals be nervous about out of town folks? Even in Baltimore there are neighborhoods where people are wary to see a stranger because of issues with crime, gangs, illegal immigration, car theft, etc. We're all men in our 20s, one of my friends was originally from downstate Illinois, I was born in New Orleans and am still told I'm very Southern (at least by east coast standards) despite being Asian so we're not the trouble making type. Ellsworth sounds like an interesting stop maybe for lunch since Rascal Flatts wrote a song about it. Any other must visit places? The famous Kansas City barbecue, is it in both Kansas Cities or only in Missouri?

We'll be going to Kansas City, St. Louis, maybe some national parks in Colorado and Utah, Las Vegas, L.A. for the touristy stuff but something about Kansas just screams 'the real America".
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Old 05-07-2010, 08:11 AM
 
Location: Golden, CO
2,108 posts, read 2,786,707 times
Reputation: 1027
Tornadoes happen, but the chance of you being hit by one is pretty low. You are much more likely to experience hail damage in a severe storm. My advice would be if the sky is clear of clouds, feel free to listen to your cd's. But, if you see a wall of clouds or pass through any storm, then listen to the local radio stations for weather alerts.

The chances of having all the hotel rooms full in any town on I-70 in Kansas on any given night is very slim. Personally, I do like to book my motel rooms in advance to get the best deals and to know exactly where I will find a motel. The drawback is you don't have as much flexibility to unexpectedly spend time in unintended adventures.

Don't worry about bad neighborhoods in small Kansas towns. Any town on I-70 is used to having out-of-towners pass through all of the time.

Enjoy the Flint Hills from just west of Topeka to Junction City. Lawrence is a cool little college town (home of the KU Jayhawks); I think it is worth a stop just to get a feel for the town and historic neighborhoods. Drive down Massachusetts Street and eat at one of the local bar and grills called Free State. If you like dinosaurs, there is an awesome dinosaur museum (by anyone's standards) in Hays, Kansas.
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Old 05-07-2010, 10:37 AM
 
71,802 posts, read 53,781,706 times
Reputation: 44455
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Lennox 70 View Post
Hey everyone,

I'm planning on a much anticipated cross-country trip this summer, late July or early-mid August from Baltimore to L.A. We plan to take out time and experience everything in between rather than just rushing through. We'll generally be following the course of I-70 but do plan on spending some time on the state highways to get the full adventure. I reckon this will be a nice way to truly experience the heartland portion of the trip. We've all lived in Maryland for most of our life so things like the plains, water towers and grain silos really have that kind of allure! So a couple things..

- Don't want to sound dumb but how common do tornadoes really hit the area and how much warning is given? Would y'all recommend that we listen to local radio rather than CDs in case storm warnings are issued? (we are all mostly country fans ) Where I'm from there are not many tornadoes and the ones that have occurred took people by surprise, sadly two students were actually killed on my college campus in a car during a tornado but that was seen as a freak occurence. I don't know about folks living in tornado alley but I have no way of telling from the sky if a regular thunderstorm has the chance of becoming a twister.

- Are storm shelters readily available along Interstate 70 or most local state highways? I know the risk of a twister is small but still rather be safe!

- I understand that especially in western Kansas the towns are spaced far apart though not as far apart as Utah or Colorado. Would yall recommend planning things out mroe and booking motels in advance? We'd hate to end up in a town at night with the next town an hour away with all the hotel rooms taken by other travellers.

- What is it like visiting the small Kansas towns that are not directly on the freeway? Can locals be nervous about out of town folks? Even in Baltimore there are neighborhoods where people are wary to see a stranger because of issues with crime, gangs, illegal immigration, car theft, etc. We're all men in our 20s, one of my friends was originally from downstate Illinois, I was born in New Orleans and am still told I'm very Southern (at least by east coast standards) despite being Asian so we're not the trouble making type. Ellsworth sounds like an interesting stop maybe for lunch since Rascal Flatts wrote a song about it. Any other must visit places? The famous Kansas City barbecue, is it in both Kansas Cities or only in Missouri?

We'll be going to Kansas City, St. Louis, maybe some national parks in Colorado and Utah, Las Vegas, L.A. for the touristy stuff but something about Kansas just screams 'the real America".
1. Tornado's won't be an issue.
2. Small towns are friendly.
3. Suggestions:
- Flint hills scenic areas, I hear at night you can see the Milky Way
- Hutchinson has an incredible collection of space stuff if you are into that.
-Jack Stack BBQ in Overland Park KS is the best in the KC metro
-Look for any sort of county fair or local festival. For example, county fairs or the Lenexa KS BBQ competition.

Just get off the interstate for stretches and hit some antique shops, dirt roads etc. for part of the trip too.
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Old 05-07-2010, 11:37 AM
Status: "79" (set 13 days ago)
 
12,493 posts, read 12,684,770 times
Reputation: 9167
Don’t worry about tornados, there is bound to be some storms over the summer months, but you can see them coming. I was on the road the day of that that devastating tornado in Greensburg, I just calculated if I should stop and wait it out or drive to Dodge City.

If it was me I would try to get an early start in Salina and drive to Denver from there. Kansas City , Lawrence ,Topeka , Manhattan will give you a good feel for the state. I would try to check out the Sunflower fields while you are out this way, There are some large producers in the west.
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Old 05-07-2010, 12:02 PM
 
Location: Aloverton
6,564 posts, read 13,817,567 times
Reputation: 10152
Think about the mathematics of what you are implying about tornadoes. You are implying that, on a couple of days crossing one fairly narrow ribbon going the full width of Kansas, you could be at real risk of harm from a tornado. You will be covering an infinitesimal amount of the state's territory in a very short time, so that if any spot on Kansas has a chance to get hit (it does), getting hit there is essentially like finally winning the grand state Tax-A-Spend Lotto.

So, mathematically, what you are asking is the equivalent of asking whether if you pass through, say, Ohio, and buy five lottery tickets, is there any chance of winning however many million bucks whatever version of lottery Ohio has? "There's always a chance. There's always a chance, also, that you could die from gangrene resulting from a freak toenail clipper accident, too, but I really wouldn't panic over that either."

If you do it every day for a thousand years, all day, your odds are good of getting hit eventually. Since you are not planning on that, and in any case probably will not live that many years much less spend all of them in Kansas, your odds of the following hazards are greater:

1) Getting run off the road and killed by an a-hole trucker
2) Hydroplaning in a sudden cloudburst and eating utility pole
3) Hearing the K-state fight song
4) Encountering visiting Texans, yee-haw
5) Straying into Missouri or Oklahoma (you'll know because of the lack of shoes)
6) Victim of Amish Road Rage in Reno County, using his riding crop on your car as you speed by
7) Asked point blank which fricking church you go to
8) Stuck listening to neocon political incontinence
9) Blundering into Topeka
10) Offending cowboys in Cassoday, getting roped, dehorned and branded
11) Getting inadvertently homeschooled in Wichita
12) Gaining weight because the food is good
13) Losing the struggle against the temptation to talk like the Swedish Chef in Lindsborg
14) Ejected from Shoney's for slovenliness
15) Getting ticketed by one of the seized druggie sports cars the Highway Patrol uses
16) Having a flat and having cowboys stop and help you fix it
17) Having a flat and having Highway Patrol stop and help you fix it
18) Having a flat and having two young gals stop and fix it for you
19) Overdose of limestone
20) Snubbed in Lawrence for not being part of the 'KU community'
21) Stopping to see the Knute Rockne memorial off the Turnpike, only to find that the real one is in some guy's pasture
22) Slain in a hail of Oz Rage gunfire when you say, brightly, "Gee, Toto..." and someone finally snaps and shoots you with all fifty guns in his gun safe
23) Hit a deer. Learn that even when the deer loses that round, it wins.
24) Mispronouncing town names. It's not OH-loth, it's o-LAY-tha. It is not the AR-kun-saw River, it is the our-KAN-sas River from the first drop that flows into Kansas until we're all done with it and it's used up, in which case, like anything else in that situation, it moves to Oklahoma.
25) Stared at disapprovingly by elderly people
26) Fainting when you find that we have Goths in Kansas too

Be brave. Dare all of the above. Come anyway.
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Old 05-07-2010, 12:38 PM
 
Location: NE Ks.
321 posts, read 1,164,001 times
Reputation: 135
Quote:
Kansas City , Lawrence ,Topeka , Manhattan will give you a good feel for the state.
Respectfully... That's not true. There is so much more to Kansas than the eastern 1/3 of the state. Like Hueffenhardt stated, Hays has the Sternberg Museum. Before you get to Hays, if you drive north of Interstate, exiting at Walker, go about 15 miles or so, you'll see the some of the most beautiful topography Kansas has to offer! Gove County has - Monument Rocks/Chalk Pyramids, Kansas. Oakley has - Discover Oakley | Fick Fossil Museum it's been a long time since I lived in Oakley, but there were some pretty interesting displays last time I went to the museum. There's so much more to Kansas than the "romanticized" version Hollywood has created. Take some time to enjoy the scenery.
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Old 05-07-2010, 04:20 PM
 
Location: The Heart of Dixie
9,882 posts, read 14,883,354 times
Reputation: 6827
Quote:
Originally Posted by j_k_k View Post
Think about the mathematics of what you are implying about tornadoes. You are implying that, on a couple of days crossing one fairly narrow ribbon going the full width of Kansas, you could be at real risk of harm from a tornado. You will be covering an infinitesimal amount of the state's territory in a very short time, so that if any spot on Kansas has a chance to get hit (it does), getting hit there is essentially like finally winning the grand state Tax-A-Spend Lotto.

So, mathematically, what you are asking is the equivalent of asking whether if you pass through, say, Ohio, and buy five lottery tickets, is there any chance of winning however many million bucks whatever version of lottery Ohio has? "There's always a chance. There's always a chance, also, that you could die from gangrene resulting from a freak toenail clipper accident, too, but I really wouldn't panic over that either."

If you do it every day for a thousand years, all day, your odds are good of getting hit eventually. Since you are not planning on that, and in any case probably will not live that many years much less spend all of them in Kansas, your odds of the following hazards are greater:

1) Getting run off the road and killed by an a-hole trucker
2) Hydroplaning in a sudden cloudburst and eating utility pole
3) Hearing the K-state fight song
4) Encountering visiting Texans, yee-haw
5) Straying into Missouri or Oklahoma (you'll know because of the lack of shoes)
6) Victim of Amish Road Rage in Reno County, using his riding crop on your car as you speed by
7) Asked point blank which fricking church you go to
8) Stuck listening to neocon political incontinence
9) Blundering into Topeka
10) Offending cowboys in Cassoday, getting roped, dehorned and branded
11) Getting inadvertently homeschooled in Wichita
12) Gaining weight because the food is good
13) Losing the struggle against the temptation to talk like the Swedish Chef in Lindsborg
14) Ejected from Shoney's for slovenliness
15) Getting ticketed by one of the seized druggie sports cars the Highway Patrol uses
16) Having a flat and having cowboys stop and help you fix it
17) Having a flat and having Highway Patrol stop and help you fix it
18) Having a flat and having two young gals stop and fix it for you
19) Overdose of limestone
20) Snubbed in Lawrence for not being part of the 'KU community'
21) Stopping to see the Knute Rockne memorial off the Turnpike, only to find that the real one is in some guy's pasture
22) Slain in a hail of Oz Rage gunfire when you say, brightly, "Gee, Toto..." and someone finally snaps and shoots you with all fifty guns in his gun safe
23) Hit a deer. Learn that even when the deer loses that round, it wins.
24) Mispronouncing town names. It's not OH-loth, it's o-LAY-tha. It is not the AR-kun-saw River, it is the our-KAN-sas River from the first drop that flows into Kansas until we're all done with it and it's used up, in which case, like anything else in that situation, it moves to Oklahoma.
25) Stared at disapprovingly by elderly people
26) Fainting when you find that we have Goths in Kansas too

Be brave. Dare all of the above. Come anyway.
Well #18 sound the best haha. Some of the others have happened in Louisiana and Virginia and here so I'm used to it and it don't bother me, I'm open about church and all anyways. I do know that KU and Kansas State hate one another terribly thought perhaps not as much as Alabama and Auburn hate each other
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Old 05-07-2010, 09:28 PM
 
Location: Aloverton
6,564 posts, read 13,817,567 times
Reputation: 10152
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Lennox 70 View Post
Well #18 sound the best haha. Some of the others have happened in Louisiana and Virginia and here so I'm used to it and it don't bother me, I'm open about church and all anyways. I do know that KU and Kansas State hate one another terribly thought perhaps not as much as Alabama and Auburn hate each other
The Barn and Periods don't necessarily hate each other worse than KU and Misery, or UW and Oregon. They just are the loudest in making sure the whole rest of the country never underestimates their hate. Both are convinced that theirs is the premier CFB rivalry and any info that suggests that anything else is on par passes through the SEC Reality Distortion Matrix until it supports their opinion. Same dynamic is found at Cows vs. SS, Michigan vs. Acorns, and a few other places.
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Old 05-16-2010, 01:27 AM
 
Location: The Heart of Dixie
9,882 posts, read 14,883,354 times
Reputation: 6827
Thanks for the replies. Actually there was just a tornado on the news the other day, hopefully it wasn't too bad. Are there storm shelter located near the major highways in parts of western Kansas where the towns are spaced very far apart from one another?
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Old 05-16-2010, 08:56 AM
Status: "79" (set 13 days ago)
 
12,493 posts, read 12,684,770 times
Reputation: 9167
Most Tornado warnings today are given so far in advance that I would not concern myself with them. The last bunch that passed through this area came at pretty much the exact hour that they were predicted . Usually there will be a large storm passing through capable of forming tornadoes and you will have plenty of time to adjust your travel plans. You might have even a whole days notice. So in effect you will be lucky in that you can leave the entire area before the storm arrives,
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