My grandson, who is home from a tour in Afghanistan, said he’d like to take a trip to Greensburg to see the new town and visit his old high school basketball coach. Visiting Greensburg is something I’ve had in mind for a long time and I wanted to work that into a trip through the Gypsum Hills and have a cold beer at Buster’s Saloon in Sun City, population 40. Yesterday, we did just that.
Our first stop was in Pawnee Rock to visit a friend, who wasn’t home, as I suspected she might not be. We enjoyed her yard to stretch our legs.
Our next stop was in Greensburg at the Pueblo Nuevo Restaurant where we had some very good Mexican food. Mine included a chile relleno, beans, guacamole salad and a taco, all for $5.95. I don’t know that there are very many, if any, alternative places to eat in Greensburg. Everyone in town appeared to be eating here.
The first day of school in Greenburg…in their brand new sensational $52 million dollar building…was yesterday, and thanks to Travis and Heather Powell, a tour of the school was made available to us. If it weren’t for them, I’m sure we would not have had the opportunity to visit this outstanding facility…the first in the nation LEED Platinum school.
Front entry to Greensburg’s high and junior high schools, and grade school. They are all one building but separate from each other through the use of angles in the building so each grade level is apart from the others. We met Heather Powell in the office and she took us on a personal tour of the entire building. It was a wonderful experience.
All the wood in the school was reclaimed after Katrina and other such natural disasters. The cafeteria area is on the right. I don’t know who the fellow is who joined us except that he said he was born in the Ellsworth Hospital by Dr. Clair O’Donnell. Weird encounter.
This is on the second level of the school. Student lockers are made from recycled products. People come from far and wide to see this school. Newscasters were there too on this day as they have been through the whole building process. Both the architects and contractors…and the workers…all came from Kansas City for this project.
This shows the water collection system from the school roof that flows into several huge tanks and is used for watering plants, filling ponds, etc. Their roof is designed for horticultural purposes, but they haven’t decided and what direction they will go with that.
The outdoor classroom area, as you might expect, is one of the most popular areas in the building.
They have two large gyms that any school district would jump through hoops to own. Like everything throughout the school, the gym is fully automatic. There are no light switches in the building as the light is determined by available outside light and need. This is one incredible building. It makes you wonder why we keep patching, fixing and pouring money into old school buildings instead of starting over and just doing it the right way. Maybe it takes a tornado or other natural disaster before that can happen.
Tyler is a willing subject for Travis Powell, his EHS teacher and coach, to explain to his students how Tyler couldn’t see any point in taking anatomy or physiology when he was in high school as he said he’d never have any need for it in the future, and now, in his work, he finds a need for it all the time.
If you have an opportunity to visit the Greensburg school, you could probably take advantage of their next open house. It would be worth your time to do so.
Downtown Greensburg is a vision of the future and built “green”. It’s a conversation piece and has consumed a lot of my thoughts since we were there. We didn’t visit all the stops, but for the most part, they seemed to be geared for tourists. We saw a sign that said “Butt Wax” so we had to check that out…and ended up buying some. The store owner was delightful and had some nice gift items in his store…leaf lamps and the like.
Dillon’s grocery store was interesting, but not to my liking. It had a huge, huge stock of frozen processed food item and canned items, a very small produce, meat and dairy section. I imagine they do their regular grocery shopping in Medicine Lodge or Pratt. I’ve never seen a store quite like it.
You’ll also find other city buildings and homes that are green from top to bottom as well as the very attractive Kiowa County Hospital. We’re not accustomed to be surrounded with so many new buildings in one location such as these.
Buster’s Saloon is a destination that can’t be denied. I could rattle on a lot about how unique it is, and how much fun, but take a look at this video instead. It’s about as unique as any place in Kansas and exemplifies Kansas spirit of entrepreneurship that includes transplated Floridians. This part of Kansas is like no other part of Kansas.
The town of Sun City was founded around gypsum mining. The 40 people who live in Sun City work at the mine. It’s in the middle of absolutely nowhere and for prairie loving people, it’s a wonderful place to be. Buster’s Saloon (newly remodeled) is the only business in town. There is a small post office, as you might expect. Sun City is north off highway 160 about seven miles and is a beautiful scenic drive without any official designation.
Ally and Tyler…ready for a frosty fish bowl full of that sudsy stuff. Me too.
The food Buster’s serve is BBQ….pulled pork, brisket, ribs and rib eye with sides. There are no hamburgers, sandwiches or the like.
From Sun City, we drove south to highway 160 to finish the Gypsum Hills Scenic Byways trip. It’s a beautiful part of Kansas which we all thoroughly enjoyed.
The Gyp Hills……………..miles of unusual topography…
My two companions on the tour…Grandson Tyler and daughter Ally. This was taken at the scenic outlook on highway 160. We had a great day together immersing ourselves in Kansas.
Sunset north of Pratt on the way home. The trip took 13 hours…and was worth every second except for dinner at the 160 Cafe in Medicine Lodge. Truck on by. For more, and better photos, check Ally’s Facebook page.
Thanks for tuning in…