Adventures at Matheran Hill Station
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Matheran is a Hill Station located near Mumbai, Karjat.   It is located 800 meters above sea level in the Jambol Forest of Maharashtra.  It was found by Hugh Poynts Malet in May 1850.  It spreads over an area of 8 square kilometers in Sahyadri Mountains.  It is one of the best places to spend a two-day holiday if you are in Mumbai or in the vicinity of Mumbai or its suburbs.  To reach Matheran,  [...]

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Get Wild In Kansas

Posted on November 10, 2009 | Remarkable DrivesNo Comment


Wichita and Dodge City, Wild West

Kansas

Wichita and Dodge City are the two towns exclusive of which the familiarity of Wild West is never known. These settlements are a summation of archetypal cowboy lifestyle and cattle-based neighborhood of southern plains in Kansas.

Formerly known for its bustling cattle farming, Wichita is now budding as a progressive, striking neighborhood flaunting some remarkable spectacles which includes the old Cowtown Museum where civilization of 19th century are still commemorated, and the renowned Wichita Art Museum which shields imperative artwork by Charles M. Russell. The legendary city of Dodge is acknowledged for some of the best practices from wild livestock farming to bison-hunter vicinity to serene farming population along with the home town of some very famous television celebrities like Marshal Matt Dillon. This voyage starting from medieval art houses to contemporary attraction of shorebirds of North America is an unblemished journey for adventurers and cowboy-styled personas. So, fasten your seatbelts, fuel your tanks and get on the street.

Kansas City

Outline

The staggering drive of 240 miles starts from the city of Wichita, moving north toward Newton, then to the Hutchinson. The road also brushes you through the destinations like mythical Quivira, Larned Great Bend, Kinsley and eventually to Dodge City. You will halt your car at Old Cowtown, Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center, Fort Larned, Front Street and the Boot Hill Museum.

Zoom from Wichita

Start your wild flight from Chisolm Trail of 19th century, known as a centre for cattle drives, positioned in the Old west town. This Trail was established by Jesse Chisolm in 1864 when he brought a herd of cattle as big as 3000 from the city of Texas, also making Wichsita a major shipping destination. To get the experience of living among Wichita’s civilization, take a walk through the farm of 5-acre land clasping animals and ancient farm technologies, try helping locals in activities like milking a cow, gardening or harverting corn, riding in the wagon drawn by well-built horses, or Wichita Art Museumgulp down a glass full of sarsaparilla in the nearing saloon of the museum. Here, a place worth visiting near Slim Park is the Old Cowtown Museum spread across 17 acres of land which exhibits ancient human civilization of Wichita in 1870’s. Also check out Indian Center Museum present in the mid-America All Indian Center to see the art, culture and technology of Native America.

There are many other momentous places in Wichita which shows evidence of its early culture and evolution. Wichita Art Museum has a great collection of American art from 18th, 19th and 20th Century. Some of the works by Charles M. Russell like his painting of landscapes and few of his letters sent to his friend in his own handwriting are present even today in The M. C. Naftzger Collection.

The ancient pieces of art and modern-day works are coalesced with information to exhibit the customs and record of Wichita, who steered Coronado in to the city of Kansas in 1541 to grant the city its name. Previously, the people of Wichita described themselves as Kirikirish meaning real inhabitants and resided here for a very short time.

Driving ahead you will reach The Wichita Gardens in Botanica. During my trip to Wichita, I spent most exploring the swathes of Sunflower (state flower of Kansas) in Elizabethan gardens and the wildflower land with pampas grasses. These gardens help you to invigorate your mood because there are few more historical stops before you exit the town. In the heart of this city lies the Wichita-Sedgwick County historical Museum that depicts mores from the primordial era of bison hunting to the modern age. A gigantic frieze “Personnages Oiseaux” made by Joan Miro welcomes you at the foyer of Ulrich Museum of Art. This museum demonstate shows of modern artists and engrossing assortments of contemporary art from 20th Century.

Improve your GK at Hutchinson

Zoom your car north on the route I-135 toward North Newton. On the way, halt at Kauffman Museum to be familiarKansas Cosmosphere with the tale of Mennonite colonists who arrived in this locale in 1870’s from Europe. For refreshment, visit the nearby farmhouse and grassland re-establishment. Next, progress westward on U.S. 50 to reach Hutchinson or, in the words of Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center, the greatest air and space museum outside Washington, D.C.. You will be amazed to know how the heat shield functions in the space shuttle with the help of its real size replica. Suspended from the ceiling is the American scout plane, SR-71 Blackbird which used to resist the temperature of over 1000°F while flying. You can know more about space through rocket science manifestation, space museum, a planetarium along with several space costumes, and command element of Apollo 13. Along with astronomy, keep yourself more well-informed on zoology as well by visiting the Hutchinson Zoo toward south on the Palm Street.  This small and free zoo conserves wildlife of Kansas like coyotes, bobcats, American kestrels, and hawks with red tail. Kids can slink through the neighboring dog town for added entertainment.

The Myths of Quivira

Next, take Route 96 toward west and then north from Route 14. Allow you car to move west on U.S. 56 and track the mile marker toward the largest mythical village called Quivira. Why Mythical? Here goes the story. Francisco Vasques de Coronado was informed by a Pawnee Indian recognized as the ‘The Turk’ that the village of Quivira had so much gold that the people here not only laden their horses with gold but also wagons. This piece of information made Coronado come here with Father Jaun de Padilla and 30 horsemen to carry gold. However, it turned out that The Turk was lying and was garroted by Coronado’s men for his trouble. Father de Padilla revisited to Quivira as a follower and, in due course of time, acquired the doubtful distinction as the foremost martyr in the premises of contemporary United States. After hearing the story from the locals, I believed it. You can hear it yourself, if it sounds suspicious to you. Follow the aged Santa Fe Trail toward west on U.S. 56 to Kans. Route 156. Keep driving on 156 to reach Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area. This vast piece of landscape is a vital halt to watch the flights of some unseen migratory birds that lands here every spring. To catch the best view, ascend to the tower of observation and capture these rare snapshots in your camera. After driving 9 miles through the pools and wetlands of refuge, you will arrive at Great Bend which embraces the Barton County Historical Society famous for a pioneer village of just nine buildings and remnants of the Victorian era.

Fort Larned National Historic Site

Keep driving on the same route without deviating toward Larned to be acquainted with the history of Santa Fe Trail. Distinct from other major trails of west, Santa Fe Trail was the only two-way trail used to take merchandise from U.S. land into the city of Mexico and returning with silver, gold and other trade products. Farther down the road you’ll come across Fort Larned National Historic Site built in 1859 to defend the Santa Fe Trail. This vicinity is famous for the remains of nine buildings made of original stone with a garrison and a redone blockhouse. Its difficult to understand the history of Fort Larned by yourself. Try to get in-dept knowledge through watching enactments at local museums, as I did.

Park your car at Dodge City

Move southwest on U.S. 56 to reach the once worst city of the West. This was considered as home of many genuine and imagined characters like Wyatt Earp, Matt Dillion, William ‘Bat’ Masterson, and heaps of many Western good and dreadful guys. The best attractions of this venue are Front Street and the Boot Hill Museum which depicts city of Dodge in its celebrated age of boomtown. A part of the corner of this city is covered by the renowned Boot Hill Cemetery that embraces both reprobates and victims. The museum will help you to clear up the mystification between a marshal and a sheriff. Visit the city during summer to catch the excitement of shootouts and many entertainments. To quickly glance the western heritage of the town, ascend the Dodge City Trolley. Famous personalities from legendary TV series Gunsmoke and many U.S. presidents can be found residing at the Gunfighter’s Wax Museum.

Trip Tips

Spare at least 3 to 4 days for this 240 miles trip. The journey is most pleasurable between the months of May to September.

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