Skip to comments.Vanity thread: Seeking info from Kansas Freepers
Posted on 11/24/2005 9:33:46 AM PST by COBOL2Java
I know, I know - sorry for the vanity thread! Today's a slow day hopefully, so you won't mind.
Our daughter and Son-in-law are in the Army and stationed at Fort Riley, Kansas. She's expecting her second son in February, and Mrs. COBOL2Java and I will be out there for two weeks to assist, and help usher in our next grandson.
We checked flights, and discovered that the cost of a plane from Kansas City airport to Manhattan Regional airport was more expensive than the flight from Reagan National Airport to Kansas City, so we're flying to KC and then driving the 2 hours to Fort Riley.
My daughter says that there is housing at Fort Riley, so no worries there. However, we are wondering about 1) Kansas weather / road conditions in February, and 2) any points of interest in and around Fort Riley. I understand that the Dwight Eisenhower Presidential Library is nearby.
Any information / suggestions from Kansas Freepers would be appreciated!
Thanks! They were previously stationed at Fort Myer in Arlington, just a few miles away. Now that they're 1,200 miles away, we're experiencing a bit of an "empty nest" - bittersweet...
Points of interest around Ft. Riley? You must be joking...
Kansas weather is a lot like Iowa weather only Kansas gets it a day earlier.
Heavy winter coats, hats & boots 'might' be necessary if you are going to attempt to drive thru a blizzard.
Inquire at the car rental desk as to what necessary provisions you should purchase at a C/store for your trip to the Ft. The skies may be clear and balmy. You just never know.
Noooo! It can't be that bad, can it? Hey, we're flexible... :-)
Maybe we should stock up on outerwear from Cabela's before we leave! :-)
A tour of the Fort would likely be the most interesting, and could turn out to be pretty cool if you're into seeing Army hardware up close and personal (depending on what your kids are able to show you).
Having been stationed there myself and done a Change of Command in February it can be bitterly cold and windy at that time of year.
From KC to Riley you have Ft Leavenworth and old Historical Post and still in use, Topeka has a nice Railrod museum, Manhatten is home for the Kansas Jayhawks Univ of Kansas, Riley has a great museum as well as several old military quarters on main post that are huanted, 1Lt George S Patton lived there, Captatin George Marshall, Lt Col George Custer, enjoy things in the area but the best part is the grandchild.
You might want to go here http://www.riley.army.mil/ to see some of the things in the area http://www.riley.army.mil/AreaInfo/ and on the post
Check weather conditions right before your trip. In February, it can literally be anywhere from below freezing and snow to a nice 50-ish. A longtime Kansas farmer once described February as "the snow month".
The drive from the KC airport to Manhattan is an easy 2-hours. There are also good shuttle services if you don't need a rental car while at Ft. Riley. I-70 is an excellent freeway that runs right next to Ft. Riley.
The Eisenhower museum is in Salina about 30 minutes away and is highly recommended. However, it is a campus with multiple buildings so make sure the weather is accomodating. Manhattan is the home of K-State University and there are a few things to do around the campus. Nothing special though. The area is know as the Flint Hills. Believe it or not, it's pretty. Rolling hills, native grasses, scenic views. There is a scenic drive between Ft. Riley and Manhattan off I-70. Watch for signs on I-70 to direct you to the correct exit.
My Son-in-law is an NCO, and he's been assigned a platoon of spanking-new soldiers fresh out of Basic. I told a military co-worker, who opined "He has my sympathies". :-)
Well, I'm on the faculty at K-State (the other major 'industry' near Ft. Riley).
Unless it's the day before, I wouldn't hazard a guess about road conditions
in Kansas in February. You could have anything from dry roads, sunny skies
and highs in the 60's or 70's, to snow-packed icy roads with snow and highs in the single digits or rain and highs in the 40's.
For sight-seeing, Ft. Riley itself is scenic (believe it or not), and has a museum to that military moron George Custer, as well as the original Kansas Territorial Capitol. Nearby, there is the Konza Prairie, one of the last stands of tall-grass prairie, jointly run by K-State and the Nature Conservancy, which
has some very nice hiking trails (and slightly further afield the Z-Bar Ranch, another tall-grass preserve). You know about the Eisenhower Museum in Abilene. Abiliene also has a few notable mansions--one built by a 'patent medicine' (aka 'snake oil') magnate, which is well preserved, and the only restaraunt in KS outside the KC suburbs or Wichita to get written up in guidebooks, the Brookville Hotel (serving the same family-style chicken dinners made famous when the restaraunt was in the actual Brookville Hotel in a tiny town south of I-70 about an hour west of Abilene).
There are a few architecturally notable courthouses fairly nearby (Chase County, being the most famous).
The state capitol in Topeka (a little over an hour east of Ft. Riley) is worth
touring, as it has the set of John Howard Curry murals with the famous picture of John Brown as a monumental figure holding a Bible and a rifle.
That's about it for touristic things in this part of KS.
Most likely the weather will be cold, but roads will be clear. If it does snow, then just stay in where you are for a day, and the road departments will clear the roads.
West of Ft. Riley is Abilene, Eisenhower Museum, Old Town and such. Ft Riley itself has museums. East of Ft. Riley is Manhattan and Kansas State University. Most things to do in that area will be museums or historical sites and events unless K-State happens to be putting on a musical or some such event.
I grew up in that area, it is rich in culture, but a long way from Broadway.
the CALICO INN in Riley, KS
the CAVELRY MUSEUM at Ft. Riley, KS
the DUTCH MILL in Wamego, KS
And then you might go here.....http://www.thingstodo.com/states/KS/northeast.htm
Nope, Manhattan (a fairly nice conservative town) is the home of the K-State Wildcats. Lawrence (a blue blot in the red state of Kansas) is the home of the Jayhawks--but it's far enough from Ft. Riley as to be of no consequence.
Thanks! My wife and I are FAR from cultural snobs. Last summer we spent two weeks driving around rural Nevada, and loved it! Did the Vegas thing and that was nice, but we had more fun checking out the numerous ghost towns. We're history buffs, so museums fit the bill...
As far as sights to see, consider seeing KC attractions before you drive to Ft. Riley.
The Cosmosphere has a detailed display of the history of rockets, including the German programs during WWII, and it has displays of the Apollo 13 space capsule, Gus Grissom's space capsule that sank (along with dimes on display), and a lunar rover. It also has several auditoriums, including a planetarium, where they conduct demonstrations. I don't remember if they have an IMAX, but I'm thinking they do.
If this type of thing interests you, it's worth the drive to see.
Hmmm...there's Wichita a coupla hours south of Ft. Riley...you could go there and see the tornado damage from two years ago.
I hear Liberal is also a great place - they call it the pancake capital of the world because it's so darned flat.
Okay, seriously - by all means, do go see the Eisenhower Library and also check out Harry S. Truman's home. It'll be too cold for water sports, but the fishing at either of the huge reservoirs near Ft. Riley will be good.
Other than that...well, it is kinda bleak. Custer didn't shed any tears leaving Ft. Riley when he headed up to the Dakotas.
Hey Tex, got any ideas for Cobol2Java?
Cosmosphere sounds good. Our first grandson wants to be an astronaut. Thanks!
Another professor who frequents FR! (There are a few of us.)
What do you teach? Is your campus mostly liberal, or is it different in KS?
Sorry. Mark it up to keeping one eye on the kitchen and one eye on the keyboard.
Arts & Sciences (my college) is mostly liberal, though with big Engineering and Vet Med schools, the campus as a whole is well to the right of most.
My own department tends to be effectively apolitical (Though I think most vote left, except for myself and my closest colleague--an ex-new-leftist who said of Kerry that 'he still sounds like a communist'--and the big contingent of folks who lived under communism and escaped).
(Now that's K-State, KU is as loony-left as anywhere.)
Ah Kansas; so much to see and so far apart...I've lived in this state for most of 51 years and feel I've not seen much of it.
It tends to get windy here in Kansas...well, most of the time -- so make sure you cover as much of your body as possible. Cold isn't bad. Wind makes cold bad.
He gets an entire platoon of fresh-meat?! He has my deepest sympathies.
Heh...don't look at me. The only places I go is to work and the airport.
The Kansas Cosmoshpere and Space Center is in Hutchinson about 2 hours southwest of Ft Reily its pretty neat.
The worlds largest handdug well is in Kansas as well.
"Kansas the land of Ahhhs"
Brookville chicken dinners are great but only one scoop of Icecream?
They have a SR71 Blackbird on display in the lobby too
They were using that slogan back when I lived in Kansas in the mid 80's.
I got caught in two severe blizzards in two weeks. I think it was March instead of February tho.
I would be prepared for severe weather although it is not likely.
Just stay out of the wind and KS aint too bad.
I found the love of my wife there and brought her to Texas my in-laws hate me but I'm too arrogant of a Texan to care.
Worst blizzard I've ever seen was Mid March in Central Kansas
I was sort of irritated as I had a 4wd pickup and the roads looked fine. The next day when they let us through, I saw 18 wheelers with just a corner sticking out of the snow. Plenty of drifts were probably 15 feet deep.
When I got home, a front end loader had just cleared a path to my house. The snow was nearly to the roof but with a three foot area clear for some reason.
For a Florida native it was impressive. A week later I got caught again in an identical one.
Spent the night in Pratt...
"Pratt gateway to Liberal"
Don't envy you there, My Father in law was a county maintainer he pushed a lot of snow up that way mostly in Rice County around Sterling
Yikes! This could have been you! :-O
The only negative is the girls were plain. I grew up in the deep South and was used to seeing absolute babes everywhere. Hardly saw a pretty girl the whole time I was there. Surprisingly one of the mot beautiful girls I ever saw was in Liberal, which is not very liberal btw.
Care to revise that statement?
Bah, it's just a few inches....