Hello Camp Courageous!!
The Travel Group is back on the road again! This weekend we are visiting Topeka, KS. This is Camp’s first trip to Topeka so we are excited to explore this city! We started the day off with picking up the travelers at Camp, Marion and Coralville. Then we headed to Newton, IA where we stopped at Culver’s for lunch and to pick up our last traveler.
After a delicious meal we continued our drive to Kansas. To help pass the time we watch a couple of classic movies, Willy Wonka and Mrs. Doubtfire. We arrived at out hotel a little after 5pm. We got settled in our rooms then headed out for dinner. All of the restaurants were pretty busy! Traveler, Eric Paulsen said that he would love to go to Golden Corral…guess what we found nearby?! Golden Corrall! They could get us seated right away so we enjoyed a great variety of food on their buffet.
After dinner we headed back to the hotel to get some rest for our big day in Topeka tomorrow!
Hello Camp Courageous!
The Travel Group had a great time exploring Topeka today! After eating breakfast at our hotel we made our way to our first stop, Great Overland Station. This Union Pacific passenger station opened in 1927 and was considered to be “one of the finest passenger stations on the line”. When we arrived we were greeted by our tour guide, George. George was a great guide! He told us the history behind the station and threw in some jokes along the way as well. This station survived a fire and a major flood! This station had gone through a $6 million renovation! Along our tour we got to see train simulators that engineers would use to learn how to drive trains, baggage carts, old menus and china from the dining cars and more. We even got to visit the old train depot. The travelers enjoyed getting to stand behind the ticket counter and pass out tickets!
After our tour of the station we headed to visit the Great Mural Wall of Topeka. The Great Mural Wall is a community based art project that started in 2007. The community wanted to put some color back in the community so a few local artists got together and painted a mural on the wall that surrounds an old water reservoir.There were several murals that had been painted on the 900ft wall! Each mural told a story about Topeka’s culture and history. It was great learning about Topeka’s history and seeing the beautiful murals!
Our next stop was lunch! We went to a restaurant that was started in Kansas by two brothers back in the 70s.This restaurant is called Spangles. Spangles had some great meals deals that included dessert so we had to indulge! The travelers enjoyed their sandwiches and ice cream!!
After lunch we drove by the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site, Monroe Elementary School. Brown v. Board of Education was a landmark U.S. Supreme Court case where the Court declared segregation in public schools to be unconstitutional.
We then made our way to the North Star Supper Club. Here we met Cathy Ramirez, a local ghost hunter/ghost tour guide. She joined our group on the bus and directed us around North Topeka telling us all about the history and hauntings of this area of the city. This was a great tour! She told us stories from this restaurant where a 30lb meat sliced flew off of the top of the refrigerator, a stack of extra larger cookies sheets fell over and landed end to end and more! We stopped at an old animal shelter where a worker’s coat which was only partially zipped at the bottom, zipped the rest of the way up on it’s own! There had also been sightings of a light colored/almost translucent dog that had been spotted running down the hallway before disappearing. We also stopped at a few cemeteries, where we got to get of of the bus and explore and take pictures for a few minutes. Keep an eye out when looking at these pictures for anything our of the ordinary! Cathy gave us the tip for picture taking when ghost hunting. She said you should take three rapid pictures of the same shot so you can see if there are any changes. Cathy had told us about a night in the animal graveyard where a pinwheel started spinning after she put her hand near the marker of a grave with the name Hailey on it. There wasn’t a breeze that night and none of the other pinwheels at other marker were spinning. Other stops along the tour include an old Moose Lodge where there have been sightings of a little old lady sitting in a chair on multiple occasions and sounds of dancing and laughing when there wasn’t anyone else in the building. Cathy kept us on the edge of our seats with all of her stories and the travelers enjoyed the 2 hour tour!
After the tour, we made our way to Weller’s Grill and Bar where we enjoyed a delicious dinner! After dinner we went back to the hotel to take advantage of the pool and hot tub! The travelers loved spending time at the pool! We are all now resting up for our last day in Topeka before heading back to camp!
Hello Camp Courageous!
We started off our morning with another delicious breakfast at our hotel. We then packed up the bus and made our way to our final activity of the weekend, the Topeka Zoo! With the colder temperature and the little bit of snow that fell yesterday, some animals were inside staying warm but we still had a great time! We saw a wolf, tigers, lions, elephants, giraffes and a hippo just to name a few! They also had a tropical rainforest building that we got to explore! Inside there were different kinds of birds, turtles and really big bats (Indian Red Fox Bats) that were just hanging out at the top of the building. No netting or anything! A zoo staff member told us that usually around 4:30pm they will start flying around the lower area of the building! The travelers thought it was very cool to be able to see such large bats that close! Traveler, JoAnn Malik told us her favorite animal was the tiger so we had to go see them! There were three adult tigers that were moving about their habitat and JoAnn was very excited to see them up close! There was still some snow on the ground so traveler Chris Weir decided to start a snow ball fight with a couple of the staff! Traveler, Tony Cavin also joined in while everyone else cheered them on! What a fun day at the zoo!
Because of the snow forecast for Iowa we decided to leave the zoo a little early so we could make it back before all the snow! So we grabbed lunch (and a surprise cookie treat!) from Subway to eat on the bus. We watched a couple movies along the way as well! We stopped in Newton to drop of a traveler before continuing our drive to Coralville. We stopped for dinner at McDonald’s where 4 travelers were picked up. Our next stop was Marion to drop off 4 more travelers and we dropped off our final traveler at camp. Everyone has been picked up and made it home safely.