As I started driving East from Colorado Springs to Kansas City, it was immediately clear that I was in America’s bread basket. For miles and miles there was nothing but ranches and farms. I realized I was in the High Plains because public radio told me so. Kansas produces wheat, sorghum and sunflowers. I was most fascinated by the 6-ft tall (or more) sprinkler systems dotting the countryside. I’d seen these in other states as well, but not as many as in Kansas.
Kansas is literally the geographical center of America. It’s exactly halfway between the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific. Did you know that? I didn’t get to sightsee in Kansas, as I was only driving through it to get to Missouri. A highlight on my drive was exit 206 off I-70 that proclaimed to lead to the Garden of Eden. Who knew? Looks like Adam and Eve were actually from Kansas!
As I got closer to Missouri, the landscape started changing from relatively flat plains to hills and forests. Missouri is wonderfully green and inviting in spring. Kansas City, Missouri–not to be confused with its sister across the border, Kansas City, Kansas–is built right where the Kansas and Missouri rivers meet. It boasts the famous Kansas City Chiefs football team. Their home, the Arrowhead Stadium, is a beautiful work of art. Alas, I was driving past and couldn’t take a picture of it.
I’ve been to Kansas City a few times and, most famously, remember it for the best peach cobbler I have ever eaten had (at one of the Peachtree restaurants). The city is known for its influence on jazz and blues, and it has a vibrant artistic community. It’s been named one of America’s best downtowns.
The other gem in this state is the city of St. Louis, lying on the Mississippi river, right at the Illinois border. I so badly wanted to get close to the Arch and take a good picture of that “gateway to the west,” but there was so much construction downtown and my GPS couldn’t figure out a way around it. The little I saw of the city from the riverfront looks intriguing. I must plan a return visit. If you’re looking to buy commercial buildings, some are up for sale by the river.