Our Kansas Trip


According to Google Maps, we traveled 590 miles, and drove for 11 hours and 24 minutes during our week in Kansas while avoiding highways.

Each state we visit, we will choose at least one point of interest from each of the following categories: Famous Person, Famous Food, Road Side Attraction, State Capitol & State Museum, National Park, Historic Location, Can't Miss Attraction, and Made in the USA Tour. Some of the categories may have more than one selection, and sometimes a category will be vacant due to the lack of a candidate. Please click on the links below for the corresponding blog related our experiences in Kansas the past week.

Famous Person: Amelia Earhart

Famous Food: Bierock & The Donut Whole

Roadside Attraction: Little House on the Prairie Museum

State Capitol/Museum: Topeka

National Park: Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve

Historic Location: Brown V. Board of Ed

Can't miss attraction: Teacher Hall of Fame

Made in the USA tour: Reuter Organ

Please view our previous blog posts for further explanations of our experiences in

Kansas over the past week.

A breakdown of our expenses of the past week are as follows:

Gas $ 111.00

$ 2.37 gal. in Topeaka, KS was the lowest price paid.

$ 2.45 gal. in Emporia, KS was highest price paid.

Comments:

We did great in this category!

Groceries: $179.00

Walmart $64.00

Costco $115.00

Comments:

We did great in this category!

Dining out $31.00

Starbucks $2.00 (Tea x1 in exchange for free WiFi)

Cici’s $13.00 (Unbudgeted, pizza on the go)

Kind Cravings $11.00 (Budgeted, bierock x1)

The Donut Hole $5.00 (Two delicious artisan donuts)

Comments:

We did great in this category!

Entertainment: $ 20.00

Redbox $2.00 (Movies x1)

Little House $6.00 (Admission x2)

Earhart Museum $12.00 (Admission x2)

Comments:

We did great in this category!

Lodging: $0.00

Walmart $0.00 (Slept in parking lot x7 nights)

Comments:

We did great in this category!

Miscellaneous: $3.00

Parking $3.00

Comments:

We did great in this category!

Kansas Expenses Grand Total: $ 344.00

(Our expense list does not include re-occurring expenses such as insurance and cellphone etc. )

Is Kansas Our New Home State?

Here are the rules:

Below are the 5 categories that are important to us in choosing our new home state. Each category is rated from 1 to 10 based on our personal experience in no particular order. 1 is the lowest and 10 is the highest for each category. Each category will receive 2 scores; 1 from Lori and 1 from Nate. The average of these two scores will determine the final score for each category. To determine a state’s final score, we will average the total score of each category. If a state’s final score is less than 8, then that state is eliminated from consideration. At the end of our year long cross country trip, the states that scored 8 or higher will be subject to further consideration. In addition, Lori and I each have 1 wild card option, which allows a state that otherwise would have been eliminated, to be considered as our new home state.

Economy:

Nate: 6

“Agriculture, aviation, energy, military, food processing, automotive, and telecommunication form the basis of Kansas’s economy. The state's unemployment rate is 3.4%, which is 25% lower than the national average, but in 2015, the state’s job growth rate was .8 percent. The lowest in the country.”

Lori: 5

“Kansas had a $350 million budget shortfall in February 2017, and S&P downgraded Kansas's credit rating to AA-. I see a tax increase coming very soon! The states average family income of $53,906 ranks 27th in the nation. Not very impressive”

Economy score: 5.5

Cost of Living:

Nate: 4

“With an income tax as high 5.2%, a sales tax as high as 10% after local surcharges, and the 10th highest property taxes in the country, Kansas taxation is not very alluring!”

Lori: 8

“When compared to the national average, the cost of housing is 1/3 less, the cost of a gallon of gas is 10% less, and the cost of food 8% less. I like it!

Cost of living score: 6

Quality of life:

Nate: 3

“The weather is Kansas is wild, dramatic and unpredictable. The state lies in the heart of tornado alley, and has the 3rd highest incidence of tornadoes in the US. I cringe thinking about my insurance premiums.”

Lori: 7

“Kansas is a clean state both in the cities and throughout the countryside. The state’s violent crime rate of 3.8 is a spot on match with the national average. I felt safe where ever I traveled.”

Quality of life score: 5

Culture:

Nate: 6

“In addition to offering a solar incentive for homeowners, Kansas ranks 2nd in the US for wind energy, and just invested 8 billion in wind energy infrastructure. Kansas has wind and they know how to use it! We love a green state!”

Lori: 6

“Kansans social outlet include; BBQ, basketball, guns, hunting, stargazing, and they are the self-proclaimed most patriotic state. Sounds like fun to me!”

Culture Score: 6

Environment:

Nate: 7

“A majority of Kansans live in the Eastern part of the state around Topeka and Wichita. They also live around the state borders and commute to surrounding states for work, and to purchase goods and services. Despite having vast expanses of land used primarily by agriculture, Kansas ranks 8th in the nation for shortest commute averaging 19 min.”

Lori: 7

“Kansas is home to the great plains! Some of the plains are low, some of the plains are flat and some of the plains are high. The state features endless scenic byways, and is home to 10 national parks/monuments, and 26 state parks. There is a lot of wide open land and lonely roads in Kansas!”

Environment Score: 7

The verdict is in:

The final score for Kansas was 5.9, and it will NOT be our new home. Nate already used his wild card, and Lori chose not to use her wild card on this state

Below are the current standings:

Colorado 9.2

Michigan 8.3

Oregon 8.2

Ohio 7.6

Indiana 7.4

Texas 7.3 (NATE’S WILD CARD)

South Dakota 7.1

North Dakota 6.9

Washington 6.9

Georgia 6.8

Virginia 6.6

Wyoming 6.5

Arizona 6.5

Pennsylvania 6.5

Florida 6.2

Idaho 6.1

West Virginia 6.0

Alabama 5.9

California 5.9

Kansas 5.9

Nevada 5.8

Nebraska 5.7

Arkansas 5.4

South Carolina 5.4

Utah 5.0

Kentucky 4.9

Wisconsin 4.5

New Mexico 4.5

Mississippi 4.7

Louisiana 4.3

Minnesota 4.2

Montana 4.1

Missouri 3.5

Iowa 3.3

Illinois 1.9

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