New Year’s Eve in the Midwest for $25 or Less

New Year’s Eve in the Midwest for $25 or Less

You don’t have to spend a fortune to celebrate New Year’s Eve. Here are events throughout the Midwest that won’t break the budget before the New Year even begins. (Updated for New Year’s Eve, December 31, 2019.) Read more

Follow the Yellow Brick Road to Dorothy’s House and The Land of Oz

Follow the Yellow Brick Road to Dorothy’s House and The Land of Oz

When insurance salesman Max Zimmerman attended a convention in California in 1978, he went to dinner with his name tag still on. His waitress told him she had never been to Kansas. Max asked what she might expect to see in the state. She replied, “Dorothy’s house,” referring to the classic movie The Wizard of Oz. So upon his return home to Liberal, Kansas, Max and the community worked to bring Dorothy’s house to Liberal. Today, the attraction includes both Dorothy’s House and The Land of Oz. Read more

B-29 Doc Comes Home to Wichita

The restored B-29 Superfortress named Doc is back home in Wichita, Kansas, where it was made during World War II. The aircraft appears in 12 to 15 air shows every year and offers periodic rides. When not at an air show, visitors can tour the plane at the B-29 Doc Hangar, Education & Visitors Center in Wichita. Read more

Dalton Gang Hideout Secret Tunnel

Dalton Gang Hideout Secret Tunnel

The little house on a corner in Meade, Kansas, looked like any family home in the late 1800s. The family who lived there appeared to be the average family. John Whipple owned a local mercantile. His wife, Eva, partnered in a millinery shop before the two married and Eva gave birth to a little girl. But the wife and mother didn’t come from your average family. She was a Dalton, and three of her ten brothers belonged to the Dalton Gang. After Eva and John moved out of the little house on the corner, a 95-foot tunnel connecting the house with the barn was discovered. Historians believe Eva occasionally harbored the Dalton Gang in the house, and the Wild West outlaws used the tunnel to avoid being noticed. Today you can tour the Dalton Gang Hideout, walking from the barn, though the tunnel, and into the house. Read more

2018 Midwest Wanderer Year in Review

2018 Midwest Wanderer Year in Review

What a busy year! As we look back on our photos, it’s hard to believe we packed so much into 2018. Besides two month-long trips west, we spent a lot of time touring the Midwest. We traveled the Great River Road from the Mississippi River headwaters near Bemidji, Minnesota, down to the Quad Cities. We also visited southwest Kansas for the first time, with stops in Liberal and Dodge City. As we look at our year in review, we’re sharing a few photo highlights from our 2018 travels, which perhaps will give you inspiration for your 2019 travel plans.
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Mid-America Air Museum: 100+ Aircraft, Home-Built to Military

Mid-America Air Museum: 100+ Aircraft, Home-Built to Military

The lightweight Beechcraft 35 Bonanza civilian airplane, produced post-World War II, was expensive compared to other personal aircraft. Because of the steep price, mostly professionals, like doctors and lawyers, could afford them. The tail, an unusual V shape, was designed to reduce both the weight and drag of the aluminum plane, helping to make it faster than most of its competitors. But unfortunately, the tail design was also attributed to an initial high accident rate. That early Bonanza became known as the “Doctor Killer.” The Beechcraft 35 Bonanza background was just one of many fascinating stories we learned as we wandered the Mid-America Air Museum in Liberal, Kansas. Located on the former Liberal Army Air Field, the museum displays over 100 planes, ranging from small home-built aircraft to large military jets. Read more