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VOL 73





two-wheeled issue

o p en r o ad

motorcycle routes | biker breakfasts | gravel grinders motor museums | bicycle races | a bit of Evel Knievel

contents features 38 |

Cyclists and Bikers

46 |

All-Terrain Kansas

52 |

Let’s Ride, Again

There are few better ways to explore the state during the summer than a two-wheel journey—with or without a motor—on a route chosen to match your interests

From sand dunes to river bottoms, parks across the state offer ATV enthusiasts unique trails and thrills.

Kansas accelerates its motorcycle love affair at bike-themed museums across the state

departments 04 |

In This Issue

06 |

From the Editor

09 |

This Season

10 | Culture 12 | Sampler 15 | Outside 17 | Shop 18 | Eat 20 | Behind the Lens 22 | Reasons We Love Kansas 25 | Summer 2017 Events

26 |

Wide Open Spaces

26 | TOTAL ECLIPSE A photographer shares advice for capturing this summer’s total eclipse of the sun in northeast Kansas 28 | EMPORIA’S DIRTY KANZA WEEKEND Host to one of the world’s leading gravel road races, this town offers a full weekend of excitement 32 | TASTE OF KANSAS: BIKES AND BREAKFAST Buckle your helmet and come hungry to one of several Kansas motorcycle meet-ups

59 |

KANSAS! Gallery: Summer

64 |


A cyclist races on a road outside of Hutchinson | Deborah Walker



VOL 73





two-wheeled issue

open r oad

motorcycle routes | biker breakfasts | gravel grinders motor museums | bicycle races | a bit of Evel Knievel

ON THE COVER A group of bicyclists ride on N. Whiteside Road, west of Hutchinson as they pass a silo on 4th Street. Photograph by Deborah Walker


issue 52


How do you cover stories about motorcycle museums and motorcycle routes? You tap motorcycle enthusiasts, of course. Brian Pitts, who shot this edition’s cover image, is a veteran motorcyclist who often travels the state on his Yamaha Stratoliner. He was joined in this issue by Justin Lister, the McPherson-based photographer who shot the images of the Marquette Motorcycle Museum in the features section of this issue just before setting off on a cross-country journey on his custom 2010 Triumph Bonneville 900.Tough work, but someone’s got to bike it. Kansas is fortunate to fall within range 26 of this summer’s rare total solar eclipse (see Bill Stephens’ story on p. 26 for more info). But the best locations in Kansas to experience the longest and darkest eclipse are in Doniphan County. Several venues are organizing events around the eclipse.


The city of Atchison is planning an eclipse event at Benedictine College, Mount St. Scholastica Convent, and the Amelia Earhart Airport. More information is online at Highland Community College, located on the line of totality, is hosting several groups on their campus. The campus will be open to the public, but Craig Moser, the school’s vice president for institutional advancement, warns that parking may be at a premium. Some of the events on their campus are reserved for select groups of astronomers and not open to the public. Troy will also be hosting many public viewing events at their County 4H Fairgrounds, baseball field, the county courthouse square, and high school. A summary of their events can be found online at news/eclipse-in-the-heartland-viewing-areas


Dave Leiker, who took the photographs in our guide to Emporia and the Dirty Kanza, has been documenting the popular racing event for four years. The Emporia-based photographer has this advice for photographers arriving for the event:

1) Pan your camera and set focus mode to “continuous” to capture motion of racers. 2) Up your shutter speed to 1/500 sec. or higher if you have enough light. 3) Be safe and keep the racers safe by not driving on the race route. Get a course map and find intersections where you can drive to and set up for your shot.





DON’T FORGET TO VOTE! We’re in the final leg of our readers’ choice “Favorite Local Eats in Kansas.” The top finalists have been determined— and now they want your vote. Visit either our Facebook page or website ( to vote for your favorite. Voting ends May 31st.



KansasMagazine (get spotted; use #kansasmag to tag us)

PHOTOGRAPH Courtesy Andrea Etzel

Long, winding roads and clear blue skies as far as the eye can see set the perfect backdrop for a summer adventure. While many choose to explore Kansas on four wheels, for those on two wheels the Sunflower State holds an unexpected experience. With miles of rolling hills along the beautiful countryside, Kansas offers picturesque settings. The Kansas landscape is one you will want to stop and capture to remember for years to come (and to share with friends when asked about your journey). One moment you don’t want to miss this year—because it won’t happen again for many decades—is the total solar eclipse passing over the northeast corner of Kansas this August. Communities along the path of the eclipse have been preparing for the event for the last year (and you can find out more on pages 4 and 26-27). People from across the nation will be visiting our state for this spectacular phenomenon. As mentioned in the spring issue, this year KDWPT, the Kansas tourism office, is holding a photography contest. We hope you’ll use the hashtag #NoPlaceLikeKS and share your travels in Kansas on either Instagram or Twitter. Winners will be chosen monthly, and your photograph might be selected to run in a nationwide campaign or be featured in the Kansas Official Travel Guide. Wishing everyone happy, safe travels this summer!


THIS SEASON PHOTOGRAPHS (CLOCKWISE FROM TOP) Dave Leiker, Pitts Photography, David Mayes, Deborah Walker

Welcome to KANSAS! magazine’s “This Season.” Here we explore what’s new and buzzing throughout the state—from restaurants and shopping to cultural happenings and attractions. 10 Culture


12 Sampler 15 Outside 17 Shop 18 Eat 20 Behind the Lens 22 Reasons We Love Kansas 25 Summer 2017 Events



WIDE OPEN SPACES 26 Total Eclipse 28 Emporia’s Dirty Kanza Weekend 32 Taste of Kansas: Bikes and Breakfast

this season


By Lou Ann Thomas


Food with a view

hether enjoying some barbeque from a riverside picnic table, a plate of pub nachos from a rooftop lounge or some wild-caught seafood lakeside, Kansas has some great food with a view. The experience of being able to enjoy a good meal alongside the Mighty Mo’ is one of the things that brings people to Chuck & Hanks. “We’ve become a destination spot, and I don’t know anywhere else in Kansas that is this close to the river,” Charlie Wilburn says. Cousins Wilburn and Craig Handke opened Chuck & Hank’s River Shack, located along the Missouri River in Atchison, in 2015. Whether you choose to sit outside at a picnic table or inside at one of the tables in the small kitchen, bar and dining area, the river is always part of the experience. Another Kansas spot where great food is accompanied by a beautiful view is the Newport Grill in Wichita.The outdoor deck overlooks the small lake at Bradley Fair, an upmarket shopping and entertainment center on the city’s east side.The main dining room’s east wall open views of the lake and island. Diners can savor fresh seafood flown in six days a week; it usually reaches Wichita within 24 hours of being caught. Newport Grill also sources locally grown produce, herbs and other items. “Our goal is to serve everything as fresh as possible, and we are committed to supporting local farmers and growers,” Noah Ranovish, manager, says. But great views don’t always involve water.At the Tallgrass Tap House in Manhattan, the rooftop deck overlooks downtown Manhattan with views stretching to the south and west to the Flint Hills and the sea of native grasses. The deck sits atop an 11,000 square-foot, ten-barrel brew house, which features a rotating lineup of a half-dozen craft beers paired with American cuisine. Whether you’re looking for an eclectic place along a rolling river, a seafood spot on a lake or a rooftop deck to watch a sunset, you can find it in Kansas.

NATIONAL FESTIVAL OF BREADS Manhattan | June 17 The 2017 National Festival of Breads will be in Manhattan on June 17. The festivities include a baking competition, trade show, exhibits, demonstrations and samples at the Hilton Garden Inn. The festival is open to the public, and admission is free with a donation of a canned or nonperishable food item. All food donations benefit the Flint Hills Breadbasket.

Where in


Atchison Topeka Manhattan

FIESTA MEXICANA Topeka | July 11–15 Now in its 84th year, Topeka’s Fiesta Mexicana is one of the longest-running events in the state and one of the largest celebrations of Hispanic culture in the Midwest. The five-night festival, held from July 11–15 this year, kicks off with a parade, followed by traditional Mexican food, music, dancing, crafts, a carnival and a jalapeño-eating contest. The festival is hosted by Our Lady of Guadalupe Church and is a fundraiser for the Holy Family School in Topeka.



this season


By Cecilia Harris

REASONS we love Kansas

Rising summer temperatures provide reason to explore the state’s water attractions

COOL OFF FOR FREE Spray Parks Spray parks charge no admission fees and typically are open more days and for longer hours than traditional swimming pools. In Atchison, you can enjoy Independence Park’s water sprays when you are in town for the Amelia Earhart Festival July 14-15. In El Dorado you can spray a water cannon in the North Main Spray Park. In Wilson, you can brave the hanging dump bucket at the Spray Pad in PRIDE Park, and in Kansas City, you can pass through the water jets at the Eisenhower Park Sprayground. (785) 658-2272 | (316) 321-9100 | (913) 573-8327 | (800) 234-1854 |

FLOAT DOWN THE RIVER National Water Trails Paddlers in kayaks and canoes can view the woodlands from the Kansas (Kaw) River or spot wildlife along the Arkansas River on educational float trips organized by the Friends of the Kaw and the Arkansas River Coalition. The National Park Service designated as National Water Trails the Kansas River from Junction City to Kansas City and the Arkansas River from Great Bend to the Kansas-Oklahoma state line southeast of Arkansas City. (866) 748-5337 | (316) 684-0730 |

this season

EVENTS summer 2017

NASCAR RACING SERIES May 12-13 / Kansas Speedway NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series

SYMPHONY IN THE FLINT HILLS June 10 / Deer Horn Ranch, Geary County Annual outdoors concert celebrating natural landmark and classic music

LAWRENCE BUSKER FESTIVAL May 26-28 / Lawrence Street performers, musicians, acrobats and more

NATIONAL FESTIVAL OF BREADS June 17 / Manhattan Wheat State hosts exhibition of milling and baking

DK200 BIKE RACE June 3 / Emporia One of the world’s premier gravel road races with citywide celebrations |

HEARTLAND ART GUILD SHOW July 3 - August 4 / Paola Thirteenth annual international miniature paintings and sculptures show.

NATIONAL BIPLANE FLY-IN June 3 / Junction City Gathering of vintage and modern biplanes |

SYMPHONY AT SUNSET June 3 / Abilene—Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum Annual symphony concert honoring D-Day and nation’s veterans



FOURTH AT THE FORT July 4 / Fort Leavenworth Day-long celebrations marking Independence Day |

AMELIA EARHART FESTIVAL July 15 / Atchison City-wide fair to celebrate famed hometown pilot

KANDANGO June 8-11 / Manhattan Three-day bike tours around Flint Hills |

PRETTY PRAIRIE RODEO July 19-22 / Pretty Prairie Smalltown rodeo known for nighttime competition that brings in huge crowds |

PRAIRIE DAYS June 10 / Independence—Little House on the Prairie Museum Celebration of prairie pioneer life

KANSAS BIGGEST RODEO August 3-5 / Phillipsburg Nine decades of history and still going strong


Because all events are subject to change, please confirm with organizers before finalizing plans.

wide open spaces

Eclipse Total

A photographer shares advice for capturing this summer’s total eclipse of the sun in northeast Kansas

By Bill Stephens

wide open spaces

Emporia’s Dirty Kanza Weekend

Host to one of the world’s leading gravel road races, this town offers a full weekend of excitement

Racers assemble at the starting point of the Dirty Kanza in downtown Emporia.

By Christine Steinkuehler

Photography by Dave Leiker

CyclistsB Gretchen Wisby races her bicycle outside of Hutchinson.

Story by Kim Gronniger

Photography by Deborah Walker

There are few better ways to explore the state during the summer than a two-wheel journey—with or without a motor— on a route chosen to match your interests

Bikers Thomas Latimer and Tina Kirkpatrick ride their motorcycle on a rural road in central Kansas.

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KANSAS! Summer 2017  

This season we're hitting the open road on two-wheels.

KANSAS! Summer 2017  

This season we're hitting the open road on two-wheels.