By Melody Pittman on March 3, 2020

Big Kansas Road Trip

Visit interesting places across Kansas

Big Kansas Road Trip _ Horses

For 20 years, Kansas natives Marci Penner and WenDee Rowe created a grassroots effort to showcase the state of Kansas with the “Big Kansas Road Trip” (BKRT).” The road trip offers the opportunity to get to know locals, eat local food, visit local attractions and see what goes on in communities across Kansas.

Big Kansas Road Trip _ Horses

The first BKRT in 2018 traveled through Kiowa, Barber and Comanche counties. In 2019, the event took place in Wallace, Sherman and Cheyenne counties. Itineraries were created for anyone who wanted to join the road trip. Road trippers could choose from multiple activities in all three counties for three full days. Some of the stops included :

  • Touring the historic Sherman Theatre
  • Getting a selfie with the giant Van Gogh sunflower
  • Visiting the U.S. National Weather Service in Goodland to learn about weather forecasting
  • Conducting a blogger/tourism board session at the Goodland Carnegie Arts Center
  • Seeing the first patented helicopter (and more) at the High Plains Museum
  • Participating in the Stumpin’ for Kansas trivia game at the Wallace County Courthouse
  • Touring the Fort Wallace Museum, complete with costumed interpreters
  • Watching the 1,200 wild mares in fields across from the Fort Wallace Museum
  • Shopping for antiques at local stores
  • Listening to free concerts with Michael Martin Murphy
  • Discovering the incredible geological land formation known as Arikaree Breaks 
  • Visiting three states at one point at Three Corners (where Nebraska, Colorado and Kansas come together)
  • Posing in a fun Jolly Green Giant display (the voice “Ho, ho, ho” for Green Giant vegetables commercial was from the St. Francis area)
  • Paying our respects and seeing the military heroes monument at the Cheyenne Valley Cemetery 
  • Touring Horse Thief Cave 
  • Getting face-to-face with more than 600 buffalo (and calves) with The Buffalo Guys on ATVs

Big Kansas Road Trip _ Goodland

While the activities were interesting, the real takeaway from the trip was meeting people along the road, sharing travel stories and personal histories, being invited into locals' homes for a slice of pie or glass of tea and the all-around happy feelings of sharing something so unique and intimate in a small setting. We were in awe at the sense of fellowship and found ourselves feeling like we truly belonged in the community at once. 

The Big Kansas Road Trip comes back to the counties of Brown, Nemaha and Doniphan May 7-10, 2020. You can learn more and see the schedule at Rest assured, half the fun is getting to meet people who share a common interest in enhancing and developing community spirit and travel.

Here is what I'm most looking forward to in 2020: 

  • Touring the A.L.Wynkoop Home
  • Participating in Goat Happy Hour 
  • Seeing the Painted Ladies in Seneca
  • Paying tribute at the Nemaha County Veterans Memorial Wall
  • Finding the best piece of pie in all three counties
  • Taking the Double G&L Farms Tour 
  • Getting my picture taken on John Riggins Avenue (one of my favorite football players)
  • Seeing the red-brick Clock Tower Building in Brown County
  • Visiting several historic churches, namely St. Mary's Church at St. Benedict
  • Feeding a porcupine 
  • Seeing the panoramic view of Four State Lookout (Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska and Missouri)
  • Touring the local barns 

Big Kansas Road Trip _ Mt. Sunflower

To participate, simply get in your car and start visiting. Create your own plan from the schedule of the things you want to see and do. BKRT yard signs will be displayed at participating locations throughout the towns in Brown, Nemaha and Doniphan counties. If you are active on social media, post your adventures with #BKRT20.

  • Melody Pittman

    Melody Pittman is a blogger and travel writer from Vero Beach, Florida who is on a quest to conquer all 50 states and visit as many countries as she is years old. To date, Melody has visited 44 states (12 to go) and 48 countries (1 to go). Visit her blog, ... Read more