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Author Topic: KC to Points Undetermined  (Read 2077 times)

briantroutman

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KC to Points Undetermined
« on: April 10, 2014, 06:11:04 PM »

I booked a cheap last-minute flight with frequent flyer points this weekendóprimarily just to get out of town (and out of California) for a couple of days. By the random luck of Southwestís pricing structure, the bargain destination of the week is Kansas City. Everything from the time my wife and I touch ground late Friday night to the time we fly back to SFO Monday night is completely open. We're planning to pick up the rental car and head wherever.

(Only after booking did I read about the KC freeway sniper, but Iím not too worried.)

Iíve been through KC on I-70 but havenít really spent much time in the city. Similarly with Omaha and Des Moines via I-80 and St. Louis on both I-70/270 and I-255/44. Iíve clinched I-80 coast to coast and driven all of I-70 in the relevant area, but I havenít yet driven:
  • I-35 between KC and Des Moines
  • I-35 between KC and Wichita
  • I-29 at all (except the short co-signed section in Omaha)
  • I-49 at all
Anyone have any suggestions of either: interesting or otherwise rewarding drives from a roadgeek perspective, non-roadgeek points of interest, and cities to visit? Iím willing to do some pretty extensive driving and will consider destinations in any direction, although we canít spend the entire weekend driving or my wife will complain.
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formulanone

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Re: KC to Points Undetermined
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2014, 10:57:25 PM »

Downtown Loop comes to mind.

I've been through the airport a few times (MCI), and they have a gas station right next to the airport's rental car facility (which appears to be an underground structure). Very helpful, I've found.

bugo

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Re: KC to Points Undetermined
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2014, 01:47:19 AM »

    I booked a cheap last-minute flight with frequent flyer points this weekendóprimarily just to get out of town (and out of California) for a couple of days. By the random luck of Southwestís pricing structure, the bargain destination of the week is Kansas City. Everything from the time my wife and I touch ground late Friday night to the time we fly back to SFO Monday night is completely open. We're planning to pick up the rental car and head wherever.

    (Only after booking did I read about the KC freeway sniper, but Iím not too worried.)

    Iíve been through KC on I-70 but havenít really spent much time in the city. Similarly with Omaha and Des Moines via I-80 and St. Louis on both I-70/270 and I-255/44. Iíve clinched I-80 coast to coast and driven all of I-70 in the relevant area, but I havenít yet driven:
    • I-35 between KC and Des Moines

    Yawn.

    Quote
    • I-35 between KC and Wichita

    Take old US 50 from Ottawa to Emporia instead of I-35.  It's in good shape, has little traffic, and you can make decent time on it.  I-35 through the Flint Hills is quite lovely.  The terrain reminds me of a blanket that somebody has tossed on the floor.

    Quote
    • I-29 at all (except the short co-signed section in Omaha)

    Boring, except for some hills in South Dakota and the Loess Hills in southern Iowa.  I haven't been on I-29 north of Fargo so I cannot comment on it, but if it's anything like the rest of I-29 that runs in the Red River Valley, then it's a snoozer.

    Quote
    • I-49 at all

    Boring north of I-44.  Neat drive south of I-44.  Continue into Arkansas and take I-540 to I-40 in Fayetteville if you get the chance.  It's quite a lovely drive and is an example of some pretty amazing engineering.  Take AR 282 as an alternative.  It goes underneath a huge viaduct that must be 200 feet in the air.  I-540 also features a tunnel.  Forget about clinching the soporific I-29 and I-35 and head south on I-49.  The boring part is only 2 or 3 hours long.

    Quote
    [/list]
    Anyone have any suggestions of either: interesting or otherwise rewarding drives from a roadgeek perspective, non-roadgeek points of interest, and cities to visit? Iím willing to do some pretty extensive driving and will consider destinations in any direction, although we canít spend the entire weekend driving or my wife will complain.

    You could head east on US 50 into central Missouri.  There are a bunch of swinging suspension bridges in Miller County (The Grand Auglaize bridge is a must-drive.  If you want directions PM me) and some old trusses in Cooper County.  There is a much bigger suspension bridge on Route J in Camden County. 
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    J N Winkler

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    Re: KC to Points Undetermined
    « Reply #3 on: April 13, 2014, 09:34:26 PM »

    The Flint Hills are scenic and with the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve open, there are visitation opportunities as well.  You could combine that with a hike in the Konza prairie near Manhattan and stops in Topeka (Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site, state capitol, Kansas Museum of History) to form a pretty do-able day loop out of KC.  What Bugo describes as the "interesting" part of I-49 begins 150 miles out of KC, so I don't really think it is comfortably do-able as a day trip.  Bentonville (Crystal Bridges, Wal-Mart visitor center) is another 60 miles, and Eureka Springs is another 40 miles from there through very rough terrain, so those options push to burst out of the weekend format.

    In Kansas City proper, the Country Club Plaza area is nicely walkable and the Nelson-Atkins is worth a visit; Bruce R. Watkins Drive should be driven at least once for the ornamentation and the contrast with the plain-vanilla South Midtown Freeway.  You can hang a U-turn at Bannister Road if you don't want to be part of the freeway shooter drama.  There are plenty of other sightseeing options, such as the Kansas City Historical Museum, the Truman library, Thomas Hart Benton's house and studio, the Electric House, etc. but again, a weekend is barely enough to get started.
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