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Author Topic: OK Panhandle/W Kansas travel?  (Read 2028 times)

dkblake

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OK Panhandle/W Kansas travel?
« on: November 03, 2022, 08:59:01 PM »

In the spring I'll be going to Denver, and will likely have a day to travel. I'm planning on taking that day to drive east because I haven't been to either Kansas or Oklahoma (or really much of the Western plains except for around the Black Hills), and getting those will leave only 4 more states to go. I've also done RMNP/Eisenhower Tunnel and north before, so trying something new.

I'm planning on going down 287 to the panhandle, then take either 54 or 56 back up to 83 north to 70 west back to Denver. The question is, is there anything, er, interesting to do for an hour or so in both the Panhandle and Western Kansas? I'd like to do something in Oklahoma, but it might just be lunch somewhere in Boise City. Kansas has Cathedral Rocks, but I was wondering what else might be worthwhile.
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kphoger

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Re: OK Panhandle/W Kansas travel?
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2022, 09:31:07 PM »

Boot Hill Museum, Dodge City.  The live gun fight recreation is fun, sure, but the museum itself is awesome.

St Jacob's Well, south of Minneola.  I haven't been there, but my good friends like it.  If you just want to get out, stretch your legs on a short hike, and see some nature, maybe it's worth it.

Fick Fossil & History Museum, Oakley.  I've only been there in 4th of 5th grade, but I remember liking it back then.
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Hot Rod Hootenanny

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Re: OK Panhandle/W Kansas travel?
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2022, 10:12:42 PM »

Off the beaten path, but I checked out Kansas 'Point of Rocks' last spring (2021).
I thought it was neat.
https://geokansas.ku.edu/point-of-rocks#:~:text=Point%20of%20Rocks%20is%20west,restored%20by%20the%20federal%20government.

My Flickr album of that area: https://www.flickr.com/photos/roadfan_reborn/albums/72157719941746497
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JayhawkCO

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Re: OK Panhandle/W Kansas travel?
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2022, 10:52:47 PM »

Staying in Hays tonight as I have a funeral in Victoria tomorrow morning. I think Mr. Hoger got pretty much the entirety of "interesting things". Defiance Brewery here in Hays is really good. :)

Scott5114

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Re: OK Panhandle/W Kansas travel?
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2022, 12:09:31 AM »

The Oklahoma panhandle only exists because Texas didn't want it (it was the only part of Texas north of the Missouri Compromise line). Most of it isn't anything special.

OK-325 is worth checking out. You can watch the landscape gradually change from the flat plains of the Panhandle to the mesa-studded landscape typical of New Mexico. From there you can take NM-456 and NM-406 back to US-56/64 near Clayton NM, and use that to return to Boise City. OK-325 also puts you very close to Black Mesa, the highest point in Oklahoma, and US-56/64 puts you pretty close to the OK/TX/NM tripoint, if either of those appeal to you at all.

Depending on when in the spring you travel, be sure to check the forecasts and plan for the possibility of severe weather. Oklahoma gets most of its tornadoes from April to June, peaking in early May.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2022, 12:11:42 AM by Scott5114 »
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Re: OK Panhandle/W Kansas travel?
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2022, 12:33:36 AM »

The Oklahoma panhandle only exists because Texas didn't want it (it was the only part of Texas north of the Missouri Compromise line). Most of it isn't anything special.

OK-325 is worth checking out. You can watch the landscape gradually change from the flat plains of the Panhandle to the mesa-studded landscape typical of New Mexico. From there you can take NM-456 and NM-406 back to US-56/64 near Clayton NM, and use that to return to Boise City. OK-325 also puts you very close to Black Mesa, the highest point in Oklahoma, and US-56/64 puts you pretty close to the OK/TX/NM tripoint, if either of those appeal to you at all.

Depending on when in the spring you travel, be sure to check the forecasts and plan for the possibility of severe weather. Oklahoma gets most of its tornadoes from April to June, peaking in early May.

Well, Texas couldn't have it, unless they wanted to (gasp) ban slavery...

I spent a morning in the far western panhandle last year. After a night in Clayton NM, I went to the NM/OK/TX tripoint, hiked Black Mesa, went to the CO/NM/OK tripoint, then east to Boise City and up 285. It's amazing just how empty that area is...and that there's mesa country and cacti in Oklahoma. I'm not sure I'll be back soon just because of how isolated that area is, but that was a fascinating trip and I intend to return at some point.

As for the weather...it can do pretty much anything in spring in the high plains. When I was in that area, I'd just driven through the Texas panhandle where it was a sunny, humid 90 degrees. Went through a huge thunderstorm right around the TX/NM line and got to my motel in Clayton, which had lost power from the earlier storms. It then snowed that night and the next day was windy and wet and overcast with a high somewhere around 45. And this was in May.

kphoger

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Re: OK Panhandle/W Kansas travel?
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2022, 12:41:25 PM »

One other interesting thing would be to check out the northwestern corner of Texas.  The official marker is just a couple of feet from US-56.

The key to finding it is to park at the rural junction near the spot, then line yourself up with the line of telephone poles running north-south.  Where that line hits the shoulder of US-56, the marker is just a couple of feet south of the edge of the shoulder.

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« Last Edit: November 04, 2022, 12:45:04 PM by kphoger »
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Rothman

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Re: OK Panhandle/W Kansas travel?
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2022, 12:45:56 PM »

One other interesting thing would be to check out the northwestern corner of Texas.  The official marker is just a couple of feet from US-56.

The key to finding it is to park at the rural junction near the spot, then line yourself up with the line of telephone poles running north-south.  Where that line hits the shoulder of US-56, the marker is just a couple of feet south of the edge of the shoulder.

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...and don't mistake the witness marker for the actual corner.
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kphoger

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Re: OK Panhandle/W Kansas travel?
« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2022, 01:37:43 PM »

...and don't mistake the witness marker for the actual corner.

Correct.  If it says "TO COR" in the middle, with an arrow, then you haven't actually found the corner of Texas.  If, however, it says "NW COR", then you've found the corner of Texas.
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Re: OK Panhandle/W Kansas travel?
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2022, 05:19:44 PM »

The Black Mesa is worth visiting from Boise City even if you don't do the hike. Just make sure you fill up in Boise City before you venture out there. You can take the road all the way up to the 3 corners monument (CO, OK, NM). I also enjoyed visiting the Capulin Volcano from there in NM. Eventually I'd like to live part time in the panhandle.
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JayhawkCO

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Re: OK Panhandle/W Kansas travel?
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2022, 08:21:41 PM »

Also forgot to mention the Sternberg Museum in Hays which is with a stop.

 


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