The expedition proceeds…
…Now that you’ve left Missouri, make sure to enjoy your time in Kansas, for it will be brief. Route 66 passes through the southeastern tip of Kansas for just over 12 miles, but that does not mean that you should fly right through it. There are plenty of things to see and learn about along Historic Route 66 in Kansas.
The first town you’ll probably encounter is Galena. In Galena, there was an old, crumbled bridge that used to be a part of the original road until it fell out of order. However, the citizens of Galena have recently renovated and beautified the historic bridge.
Before you leave Galena, keep an eye out for the abandoned Palace Drug Store. This old drug store is no longer curing the ailments of the people of Galena, but take a minute to admire the ghost signage painted on the side of the building.
As you are driving along the road that was originally paved in 1929, undoubtedly you’ll notice the abundance of wheat. Kansas is the nation’s leading producer of wheat with over 400 million bushels a year totaling 1 billion dollars in revenue. You’ll see plenty of silos, fondly known as “Castles in the Corn,” that are used in Kansas for storing all that grain. Surely, you’ll also see a sunflower or two, because Kansas is known as the Sunflower State.
In addition to the wheat, Kansas is also the childhood home of Amelia Earhart. Earhart was born in Atchison, Kansas on July 24th, 1897. “Lady Lindy” was the first woman to make the transatlantic trip by plane, accomplishing this feat on June 18th, 1928. In 1937, Amelia planned to circumnavigate the globe in her final long distance “stunt” flight. Tragically, her plane disappeared somewhere over the Pacific Ocean, and despite an extensive search effort, she was never seen again. Nevertheless, the citizens of Kansas still consider Amelia Earhart one of their own.
Before leaving Kansas you will also pass through Baxter Springs and can stop by Murphey’s Restaurant. Legend has is that Murphey’s was located in a former bank building that was robbed by Jesse James‘ gang. The building is much safer now, so you can enjoy without worry.
Baxter is also known for one of the worst massacres of the Civil War. 87 Union solders were killed by William Quantrill‘s Confederate forces. A monument now stands in the Baxter cemetery to commemorate the victims of this brutal act of war.
It’s been fun, but the journey in Kansas has come to a conclusion. Say goodbye to Dorothy and Toto, and remember to keep your eyes open for Amelia Earhart. This is the end of the 12.6 mile “Yellow Brick Mother Road,” but 66 travels on to the great oil fields of Oklahoma.