There is a trap in all the states of America that it is best to try to avoid. It will require that you make an effort to look for places that have character. In large cities and increasingly in small towns along the interstate you will find the faceless and boring.
You could wake up in the parking lot of these fake places and be unable to determine where in the U.S you are because they are all the same. They contain the same national stores and restaurants that are found in almost every city in the U.S.
So if you want to see the real America you must look for the local and Main street businesses. You will be rewarded with a much more authentic experience.
You will find this especially true in the western states that are crisscrossed with limited access highways.
The first post card of the tornado was about a mile wide. It was on the ground for over two hours. (Usually they dont stay on the ground that long..)
Here is the tornado scale.
F-1:wind speeds 73-112 mph
damage: moderate: trees broken and toppled;trailers overturned;roofing shingles peeled off;large signs blown down.
F-2: Wind speed:113-157 mph
Damage: Considerable: roofs toirn from wooden frame buildings;most outbuildings and barns destroyed; cars blown off the highway.
Winds:Severe:Extreme danger from flying debris; walls of frame houses are blown down; cars lifted off of ground.
Inteerior closets may still provide safe shelter.
F-4:wind speed:207-260 mph
damage: Devastaing: frame houses leveled and left as piles of debris;effects of flying debris become very spectacular. trees completely debarked.
F-5:Speed 261-318 mph
Damage:Incredible:total devastation; frame houses disintergrate; foundations left bare; cars and trucks carried over 1/2 mile.
Now dont let a little tornado scare you. (I have only seen 3 of them and my husband none and he has lived here his whole life!) The right shelter can save you. Get in a basement or a closet. If your outside and no where to go they say go into a ditch.
I have lived in Kansas my whole life. It is a wonderful place to live, and I would highly encourage anyone who wanted to to visit and stay. :) It is beautiful. I do have a word of advice for you, though. When driving through Atchison, Ks. becareful of gang activity. Kansas is not a dangerous place on average....this is just a word for the wise.
However, if you have time.....go to Valley Falls, Kansas and drive up and down the main street, named Broadway. It seems weird, but go about 9 p.m. and you will have the time of your life! It may sound REALLY strange, but honestly, go! It's fun :)
I'm sure you have all heard the story by now. BTK, the strangler killer has finally been caught, charged & safely in jail. Thank Goodness! But as I look back over the last 30 years of his rein in terror I think how close I have come into contact with him. Very errie! He started his killings in the 70's and his killing spree lasted a full ten years. I believe he quit about the time I graduated from high school. But I look back at his most destructive years in the early 70's and am reminded that Dad worked on this case (a former policeman). Through the 80's & 90's BTK became silent and although the case went cold, he was never far from officers & residents minds. How old is he? What age would he be now? What type of person could get so much enjoyment out of this type of crime. Then all of a sudden he popped into action in the beginning of the 2000's. Thank goodness the killing spree didn't involve a lot of families, nor did it last long. This now fameous serial killer, messed up with his need for attention which ultimately led him to his capture. Then the personal side of this history came into contact with me again. A very good friend of mine works for the attorney prosecuting BTK & was very involved in his trial. I got to work on real estate portion of his case regarding his home. Eerie once again. On a side note, I was hesitant about posting this, but since it is history & for Wichita, I changed my mind. But I can't post the pictures, If you want to look, go to the website.
For the most part Wichita is fairly safe. You do have to watch for gang activity though. They are prominant in the malls & you can identify them by their "colors". For the most part , thanks to the Wichita Police Department, gang activity shouldn't be a problem in the Mall, but be careful of those shopping bags you take to the car so you can resume shopping. Place your shopping bags in the trunk to avoid car theft or breakin.
Another thing you need to watch for is Drive By Shootings from the Gangs. But that isn't necessarily a worry as long as you stay away from possible residential areas that have gang activity or gang members living on the same street as you. Most gang shootings are related to gang warfare & have nothing to do with the average individual
I was in Kansas at a hotel. They have a thing called HARD WATER, which is water that basically doesn't wash off anything. So it was three days before I noticed that I wasn't getting a good shower. I was very surprised why my skin was acting up, so I went ot the store and bought everything that can cleanse my face. After a shower, When I used astringent, all this makeup came off! Three days of mascara and powder..yuck! The Midwest is NOT for the GLAMOUROUS!!! The water is so bad...
If you're just driving from one end to the other, don't underestimate the time it will take. It takes almost an entire day to get through here. And the roads are very flat and straight, so it's easy to get bored. So stay awake!!!
Real travelers will purposely get off of the interstate highways to get a far more interesting view of the state. If you do so in much of the state - especially the west half - you will see these signs along the highway as you approach grain elevators such as those pictured. On a windy day, the gusts whipping around these structures can blow your car around a little bit. On a recent trip, I noticed that my Isuzu Rodeo SUV was blown as much as a foot off course. It's not really dangerous if you pay attention to these signs.
Beware of ice storms. Ice storms can make roads become slippery and dangerous to drive on. Tree limbs and power lines can become so heavy under the coatings of ice that they break. I'll add a few pictures to a travelogue from a recent ice storm.
Check your gas. Kansas is not very populated and in some regions it´s quite hard to find a gas station. Take some extra fuel in your car.
Service was outstanding from front desk to the maintenance man who went out of his way to say good...more
2300 W. 6th Street, Lawrence, Kansas, 66049, United States
Good for: Families
I only stayed here once. It is stale and not many people usually stay here. It is the anchor hotel...more