Friday, September 09, 2011

Hutchinson Happenings

The famous Kansas State Fair started this morning here in Hutchinson. So, of course, I just had to go check it out.

There were very large exhibition halls for each type of large animal -- horses, cows, sheep, goats, swine, etc. -- surprisingly large buildings for each type of small animal -- bunnies, birds, etc. -- and several buildings just for produce, one of which housed the season's largest pumpkin weighing in at 366 pounds! It took me a couple of hours just to walk around the place.

I especially enjoyed watching the kids work with their animals, leading them around, getting them checked out and preparing for the big show. I laughed out loud when I saw some of the fancy clothes they put on their animals to keep them clean! (Click on the photos below to embiggen.)

Agriculture is the main point of the fair, of course, and it's big business. Besides the animals, there were farm machines of all kinds. I did my best to find out what all they were used for, and worked up a pretty good appetite for a retrospectively disgusting variety and quantity of food!

The state fair was great fun, but what really surprised me here in Hutchinson is the Cosmosphere and Space Center!

I'm a pretty big aerospace junkie, and I've been to what I thought are all the great air/space museums around the world. I had no idea that Hutchinson not only has a space center, but that it is easily one of the best anywhere. They've got everything from actual V-1 and V-2 rockets to an Apollo LM and rover, an SR-71 and even a space shuttle! The exhibits are extremely informative and I am surprised at how much I learned.

If you're ever anywhere near Hutchinson you've got to see it, even if you're not a space junkie!

To top off my day I tracked down the world's largest grain elevator, which was harder than you might think in an area that has so many of them. I was invited by my RV park neighbors to go to the local high school football game -- which probably would have been a blast -- but there's only so much a guy can do in one day!

I'll be back on the road heading east in the morning… Stay tuned!

Click here to see exactly where I am posting this from on Google Maps.

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