Garden City, Kansas


Of course, Garden City has a huge grain elevator.  Guess what?  So does every other town in Kansas.  You’ll soon tire of taking pictures of them.  Garden City also has a tidy little downtown district.  I’m sure it would have looked much nicer under clear, sunny skies.

Just south of the railroad tracks on US 83, you’ll find Finnup Park, which has two claims to fame.  First is the Lee Richardson Zoo, which is free, and second is the huge municipal swimming pool.  At 2.8 million gallons, Garden City claims that it’s the world’s largest free, concrete, municipal swimming pool.

After you’ve left town, headed east, a funny thing happens.  As you’re driving through the relatively level land, you come to a brief rise in the landscape–probably no more than a 50-foot elevation gain.  As you’re climbing this “hill”, you see a sign that says something like “Scenic View, Next Right”.  When I saw this, I thought that once I reached the top of the hill, there would probably be a dramatic drop-off on the other side, and I’d have a view of miles and miles of prairie.  I anxiously awaited the viewpoint, and when I arrived…

this was the view.  A cattle feed lot.  I stepped out of my car to make sure I wasn’t missing something (which was dangerous, since “next right” meant a wide spot at the edge of US 50).  The smell hit me instantly!  Cows stink, and a lot of cows in a very small space really stink a lot.  Suddenly I realized that I was standing on the edge of a busy road, in the freezing cold, breathing some very foul odors, all to enjoy the “scenic view” of a feed lot!

What fun… and only about 400 miles more to go to Missouri.

Note: This trip was first published in 2008.

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