Kansas Journals

A Lakeside, Well Centered Ball of Twine

A December 2000 trip to Kansas by Casual Tourist

Waconda Lake Photo, Kansas, United States More Photos
Quote: Can you live your life without having traveled to the center of the US or without seeing the World's Largest Ball of Twine? I think not. Enter here to learn about these places.

A Lakeside, Well Centered Ball of Twine

Overview

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Lake Waconda provides a marvelous wildlife viewing arena for wildlife buffs. This is a very sparsely populated area of our country and where people are few animals abound. Early morning and at twilight are the best time for getting a peak at the deer, racoons and other animals that come to the lake to drink. There is an abundance of marine fossil rock around the northeast shore of the lake. Almost every piece of limestone you turn over displays the impression of ancient mollusks or other underwater life. The Ball of Twine and the US Geographical Center are just two of those things that are interesting to throw into a conversation to say that you've seen.Quick Tips: Take food with you. A...Read More

Waconda Lake

Story/Tip

Waconda Lake Photo, Kansas, United States
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Waconda Lake is the third largest lake in Kansas and sits between the towns of Glen Elder and Cawker City. There is quite a bit of Native American lore associated with this lake. Both wildlife areas and developed camping areas are available for visitors to the lake. If you happen to be into the ancient past, many marine type fossils can be found around the rocky shore areas. Ducks, geese and deer abound in the fall.
It was quite chilly when we visited the lake and our main purpose for the visit was just to check it out and see what was there, so we didn't stay long. We plan a return trip when the weather is warmer.
Cawker City Photo, Kansas, United States
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Check it out!!! As attested by the Guinness Book of World Records, Cawker City, Kansas is home to the World's Largest Ball of Twine. The ball is easily found as it faces the highway through town. It sits under a metal canopy and is open to the elements and viewing at all times.
Don't expect to find anything else to do in Cawker City, as it is a very, very small town. Driving around town, we did notice some old buildings that were interesting to see but that was it.

Geographical Center of the US

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Center of US Photo, Kansas, United States
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Two miles north of Lebanon, Kansas, at the edge of a field, you will find a marker indicating that this spot is indeed the geographical center of the 48 contiguous United States. Beside the marker, there is a cute little chapel on wheels to sit in if you wish. Slightly to the southwest of the center marker is an abandoned motel, suggesting that someone at one time felt that this would be an attraction to draw multitudes to it. I don't think this has been the case, however. The marker is located just off of US highways 36 and 281, 16 miles south of the Nebraska border. We had a few contemplative moments looking out across the rolling fields as we stood at the center of the US. The n...Read More
Waconda Lake Photo, Kansas, United States
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I enjoy collecting fossils. Nothing big, mind you, mostly marine life from times gone by. As Kansas (and parts of Nebraska) once lay at the bottom of an inland sea, these fossils are easily found if you know where to look. The shores of Waconda Lake are full of stones that contain these fossils. I was amazed at their abundance. The fossils don't seem to be of much interest to science. I suppose that there are so very many of these and they are so small compared to dinosaur bones that the scientists must have more than enough of them. I didn't collect many fossils on this trip as it was quite chilly and there was a good breeze taking the temps down even further. I do plan to return to the...Read More
Cawker City Photo, Kansas, United States
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Across the street from the 'Ball of Twine' is a souvenir shop that is supposed to sell Ball of Twine souvenirs. We visited on a Sunday and the town was locked up tight, including the souvenir shop. It appeared that the souvenir shop was basically an antique store that added the Ball of Twine souvenirs as a sideline.
About two blocks to the north of the Ball of Twine was a small building that had a sign indicating that it was a museum, but this also was closed. It actually appeared to be in a state of reconstruction. The structure itself was interesting to see, but nothing to travel out of the way for.
Center of US Photo, Kansas, United States
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A short distance from the US Geographical Center is a Historical Marker with a map of the 48 contiguous states. The map displays just how far from the center of the US many of the major US cities are. It was a rather interesting curiosity.