24 October 2006

The Road is my Favorite Place: Day 9

(Days: one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight)

25/viii/04: Abilene, KS to Concordia, MO
207 miles/333 km

My first stop was a Walmart Supercenter in Topeka. It was the largest one I'd ever been to including a full size grocery store, Subway, and other vendors. I picked up 5 rolls of Fuji 200 and 5 pairs of socks since I was about to run out of clean pairs. A local radio station announced a nickel size hail warning would be in effect for another 13 minutes for a county I might've been in (counties weren't marked on my map). I drove over to a Cracker Barrel for lunch hoping to give the storm a chance to move ahead of me.

The bacon was burnt to perfection, but my waitress noticed my eggs were overdone and put in another order for them before she'd even brought out the first batch. Her attention to detail was inspired. I started on the biscuits (also excellent) and my second batch of eggs were out just a few minutes later. She even gave me an iced tea refill in a to-go cup. The service is usually fine when I dine alone, but I really appreciated the extra effort she went to and tipped accordingly.

When I paid my bill at the register, I got the name of the county we were in, Shawnee. It was raining when I left but there was no sign of hail.

The myriad adoption-not-abortion signs in Kansas made me wonder if there were more unplanned pregnancies there because there was less sex ed. Maybe it was just a response to all the Passions Adult Superstores I kept passing.

Union Station windowMid-afternoon, I stopped in Kansas City, on the Missouri side, to check out Union Station. It was pouring when I arrived, so I started shooting indoors.

Storm clouds kept it somewhat dark inside but as they passed, the overcast sky brightened the large halls.

Flag Hall Chandelier

vertical flag
(Image available for sale at my shop.)

When the rain eased up, I took some exterior shots. Union Station,
Union Station Union Station WS
The Liberty Memorial across the street,
Liberty Monument
And then several of or from "The Link," a raised, glass-enclosed walkway connecting Union Station to the Westin Crown Center.
the Link Link View 2
Kansas City Skyline Link View 1
Link Reflection
("The Link" image is available for sale at my shop on a variety of products.)

side hallAs I walked back through Union Station to get to my car, I spotted this side room blocked off for (I think) a wedding the next day. I furtively ducked through the curtains and snapped a quick shot.

Western AutoAscending the parking exit ramp, I spotted this excellent structure and pulled over to shoot it from my car window. (The Western Auto image is available for sale at my shop on a variety of products.)

The humidity was intense, but I did get to see a rainbow as I drove out of KC.

About an hour away is Concordia, MO where I planned to stop for the night. I took a sunset drive down South Main St., an old strip with lots of abandoned and empty store fronts. Streets branching off had some businesses, but the main drag looked dead. I found my way back to Biffle's Smoke House BBQ for dinner. Wood paneling, sort of cafeteria style, but tasty.

In Limon and Abilene, the water had been hot even from the cold tap, but in Concordia, cold once again meant cold.


One year ago at TTaT: tip of the week- even better, A little mischief
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  1. Who knew that KC hosted a structure as keen as that Union Station? Also, in my experience, the best BBQ places serve cafeteria-style.

  2. A friend of mine knew about it from a family road trip, otherwise I probably wouldn't have known it was a worthwhile stop.

    The photos don't even do justice to how large it is. It also contains a science museum, restaurants, and a 5-story high 3-D movie screen (and additional screens I think).

    That's mostly true about BBQ now that I think about it. Or if not strictly cafeteria style, then you order at a counter and retrieve it when it's ready. Mmm, bbq.

  3. I don't know why, but that Western Auto building photo really piques my interest.

  4. Kevin: You really don't see semi-cylinder buildings that often...