Topeka, Kansas

On our way from Lincoln, Nebraska to Topeka, Kansas we stopped for an overnight at Cebela’s outside of Omaha.  Since we learned from so many friends at the Fulltime Family Rally that they boondock often, we decided we should try to overnight at Cabela’s more often.  Cabela’s are very camper friendly.  Most of them have a dump station and fresh water.  We always ask if it is ok to park overnight at the front desk and we usually eat at the restaurant.  Kind of how we pay for parking there.

The next day we drove to Deer Creek Valley Campground.  A beautiful campground outside Topeka.  They had all concrete roads and sites and lots of green grass.  We did some laundry since we hadn’t had full hook ups in over a week and went grocery shopping.  We watched TV all evening since they had cable!  We go for days without TV, but Marcus and Caroline really enjoy it when we have cable once in a while.  So the $37 we paid for the night was worth it for the amenities.

It was a rainy Monday morning when we headed to visit the Capitol.  There was scaffolding over most of the outside of the building.  They were doing some renovation.  This Capitol took over 37 years to complete.  First, one wing was completed, then the other. And finally the center connecting building with the dome was finished.  The building was made of Kansas limestone.  The dome is covered with copper sheeting, which when exposed to weather, oxidizes to the green color we see today.

We started the tour in the rotunda.  The inner glass dome allows light to filter into the building.  There are 256 panes of glass, most of them original, surrounded by shiny copper.  Copper was really the theme in this Capitol.  The columns were all covered in beautifully polished copper.

First we visited the Supreme Court Chambers.  The kids on the tour had fun pretending they were justices!  The State Library has more than 200,000 federal and state documents.  The second floor is made out of glass to allow light to flow through.

We made our way to the House of Representatives where the 125 legislators work.  Then on to the Senate which houses the 40 Senators.  Both chambers are beautifully restored.

Back in Harpers Ferry over a year ago we had learned about John Brown and his antislavery movement.  We had seen a copy of a famous painting of him and now we could actually see the real thing.  John Steuart Curry’s, Tragic Prelude is a powerful painting.  This painting along with his Kansas Pastoral both are controversial and larger than life.

As the last stop on our tour we stopped by the Governor’s ceremonial office.  The Governor chose the decorations himself.

We will remember this Capitol for the artwork and the use of copper throughout the building.



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