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Would you describe Kansas as beautiful?

Asked at Free State High School on November 20, 2007

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Photo of Chase Hoag

“I do think Kansas is beautiful, especially this part of Kansas with all the hills. Western Kansas is pretty boring.”

Photo of Katy Postma

“It’s simple. The plains are very pretty, but monotonous and boring. I’d rather be in Colorado, where it’s different everywhere you go.”

Photo of Drew Braden

“Yes I do, especially during the fall. I think a lot of people have the misconception that Kansas is just big and flat.”

Photo of Melodie Ozorkiewicz

“I think for the most part it is. The Flint Hills are beautiful, and so is the vast prairie.”

Photo of Laticha Bennett

“I think it’s boring, but I’ve lived here all my life.”

Photo of Ashli Hill

“Yes. It gets a little cold, but it’s pretty. There’s a lot of open country, and it’s very beautiful in all its seasons, especially when the leaves change or when it snows.”

Photo of Ryan Lee

“No. It’s big and flat. I’m from Colorado, so I guess I just prefer the mountains.”

Photo of Bailey Beasley

“It depends on where you go, I guess. I like it out in the middle of nowhere on the plains, where you don’t have to worry about anything.”

Comments

BABBOY 6 years, 5 months ago

Sue:

If we are thinking of the same area of the Big Island, then that area actually reminded me of parts Kansas because it is flat and there was no trees. I went there three years ago and we drove through that area to go on helicopter ride over the volcanos which was pretty cool.

But, I did not think the baren lava fields were ugly; however, just wide open and different looking. I do not think flat parts of Kansas are ugly either and really think the Flint Hills are underrated which of course is anything but flat.

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BrianR 6 years, 5 months ago

Of course Kansas is beautiful. I've been in most of the states and they're all beautiful.

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herbalife4life1 6 years, 5 months ago

Alaska is still the best...who wants the same scenery for an entire state? Not me...

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slang4d 6 years, 5 months ago

I grew up in Colorado, spent a short time in Virginia and have lived in Kansas for over five years. I've also driven through almost every state in the U.S. Without a doubt, every western state has some boring terrain. The area of Colorado I grew up in is on the plains. The mountains are only an hour or so away and the city did put a great amount of time and money into the appearance of the place (planting trees, city parks, etc.), but drive five minutes out of town and it wasn't so great. Wyoming was an hour north...if you want to see "ugly" take a drive through the southern part of Wyoming. However, Yellowstone is amazing. Rocky Mountain national park in Colorado is amazing, There are parts of Utah and Montana that are stunning as well. And yes, even Kansas has it's beautiful and boring spots as well. I'm happy to be here.

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sdinges 6 years, 5 months ago

Kansas is truly beautiful. I lived most of my life in Ontario, so I find the plains to be gorgeous. Can't beat the wide open spaces, vast sky, rolling plains and (relatively) mild winters. And there's not a more breathtaking sight than when the sunflowers are out!

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max1 6 years, 5 months ago

"the cows( can't see those in California)" -denak

Maybe not along the coastal areas of Southern California, but the central California coastline is pristine and full of cattle grazing right up to the shoreline. Hundreds of miles of the California coastline are zoned for agricultural usage, and if California didn't have such strict zoning laws preventing development of agricultural land it would be paved over just like the LA basin and San Diego. http://www.mprpd.org/images/PCR%20Wildflowers2.jpg

Cattle graze near the ocean at Big Sur http://www.inetours.com/CA-Coast/images/Big-Sur/Cattle_5473.jpg

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riverdrifter 6 years, 5 months ago

Denak: I-70? No. K-18, US-54, US-56, US-36, K-4, etc, etc.

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GretchenJP 6 years, 5 months ago

I'm from Kansas and I love it and all but calling it beautiful? Mm not so much. It's flat. Western Kansas is b-o-r-i-n-g. From the sky it looks sorta cool... like a big quilt.

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denak 6 years, 5 months ago

When I was younger, I couldn't wait to leave Kansas because it was "so boring." It took only five years in Southern California, to make me run back here. Kansas is a very beautiful state. There is still a lot of green area. After 5 years of pavement as "backyards" and smog, I love driving on I-70 and just looking out on all the pastureland, the cows( can't see those in California) and fake ponds. :)

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max1 6 years, 5 months ago

Letters and Notes on the Manners, Customs, and Conditions of North American Indians by George Catlin (Letter # 32, Ft. Leavenworth, 1832)

There is no more beautiful prairie country in the world, than that which is to be seen in this vicinity. In looking back from this bluff, towards the West, there is, to an almost boundless extent, one of the most beautiful scenes imaginable. The surface of the country is gracefully and slightly undulating, like the swells of the retiring ocean after a heavy storm.

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riverdrifter 6 years, 5 months ago

I've logged 305,000 miles all over in Kansas, every single county. I like it, the emptiness of the Great Plains.

Stafford says it best:

The Farm on the Great Plains

A telephone line goes cold; birds tread it wherever it goes. A farm back of a great plain tugs an end of the line.

I call that farm every year, ringing it, listening, still; no one is home at the farm, the line gives only a hum.

Some year I will ring the line on a night at last the right one, and with an eye tapered for braille from the phone on the wall

I will see the tenant who waits-- the last one left at the place; through the dark my braille eye will lovingly touch his face.

"Hello, is Mother at home?" No one is home today, "But Father--he should be there." No one--no one is here.

"But you--are you the one . . . ?" Then the line will be gone because both ends will be home: no space, no birds, no farm.

My self will be the plain, wise as winter is gray, pure as cold posts go
pacing toward what I know.

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Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 6 years, 5 months ago

I was studying at the University of Costa Rica. It's a beautiful country with rain forests, beaches and mountains. I was feeling kind of down, and I thought it was because I missed my family, but the KU secretary in charge of their office down there had some books delivered from home. One of them was a photo collection of Kansas. I almost cried looking through it. I realized I missed the sky. When I was at the beach I saw some great sunsets, but not as beautiful as those in Kansas. I love the Flint Hills in the fall. The grasses are just as beautiful as the trees. I want to see the rest of the world, but Kansas is for me.

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max1 6 years, 5 months ago

"maxi, you really need to learn how to take a joke. Geez." -beatrice

Was this the punch line?

"Kansas, on the other hand . . . is beautiful." -beatrice

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max1 6 years, 5 months ago

"Is there an ugly state?" "yes - Oklahoma: if you think Oklahoma is beautiful, you need glasses." -beatrice

The Arbuckle Mountains are a narrow range in southern Oklahoma that trends WNW-ESE, approximately perpendicular to the Ouachita structures. http://academic.emporia.edu/aberjame/struc_geo/ouachita/ouac26.jpg

Ouachita Mountains http://www.travelok.com/graphics/media/photography/10.jpg

http://www.friendsot.org/about_trail.shtml

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beatrice 6 years, 5 months ago

maxi, you really need to learn how to take a joke. Geez.

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RETICENT_IRREVERENT 6 years, 5 months ago

Gootsie, That was a fairly current picture of Kansas... They were at Verizon Amphitheater in September...

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Ceallach 6 years, 5 months ago

bea, that's one reason it became indian territory. All that red dirt, eeewwwweeeeeee. But then came crude!!

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beatrice 6 years, 5 months ago

"Is there an ugly state?"

yes - Oklahoma. And they serve 3.2 beer, so it is almost impossible to drink enough to make it look even semi-attractive. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder alright, but if you think Oklahoma is beautiful, you need glasses.

Kansas, on the other hand, has a minimalist aesthetic that can be quite charming (rather than just dull -- see above). It might not be the most diverse landscape (see Arizona for diversity), but it is beautiful.

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Andini 6 years, 5 months ago

Compared to Missouri.....YES

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sunflower_sue 6 years, 5 months ago

BABBOY, some of the ugliest scenery I ever saw was in Hawaii. Doesn't get much uglier than a barren lava field. However, Hawaii has a few pretty places, as well. :) p.s. We are in the 70' today as well...of course it's going to snow tomorrow and Katie is on the TV so we're all going to die!!!

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BABBOY 6 years, 5 months ago

I am Hawaii right now. Impossible to be objective.

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Gootsie 6 years, 5 months ago

R_I, are you thinking of a different name - perhaps VINTAGE? Funny post, by the way.

Blessed3X, you are talking my part of the state - big basin, St. Jacobs Well, Red Hills, Dalton Gang Hideout, Mullinville. And the World Big Well will be back.

I didn't think this thread would get very many posts. And not many nasty one either! Good!

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DotsLines 6 years, 5 months ago

Having grown up in an area where I was never more than an hour from the ocean or the mountains - both of which are notably lacking around here - it's certainly different. I also got used to having four seasons - this 90 degrees one day and freezing temperatures the next thing is a little abrupt. And having snow actually cover the ground, and stay there for a few days instead of turning to mud the next morning, was always nice.

The beauty of Kansas has more to do with being less cluttered, less garishly tarnished, more peaceful. Although a lot of people from where I grew up would probably use the term boring more than peaceful.


H_Lecter (Anonymous) says:

"After a about three or four beers maybe."

Yeah, but then you wake up in the morning and look over and say "I moved where last night?

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75x55 6 years, 5 months ago

Burlington, Colorado - it's so much more beautiful than Goodland. [eyeroll]

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and reflects as much about the beholder as the scene before them. With that, was it purposeful that those in the photos that found beauty in Kansas are smiling and those that are not quite there yet are not? Methinks it's time to declare shenanigans on the photographer!

Western Kansas is beautiful - you must have an appreciation for sometimes desolate vistas, however.

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sunflower_sue 6 years, 5 months ago

Would I would describe KS as beautiful? Sure! Why not? I've seen some beauty. It has beauty. Beautiful beauty.

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blessed3x 6 years, 5 months ago

For those of you that aren't filled with hate and loathing of Kansas, below is a link my family uses to plan weekend road trips. Big Basin, the Red Hills, the Airakee Breaks, Jacob's Well and the Z-Bar Ranch are all beautiful natural sites. For a taste of history, I suggest the Mine Creek battle site and the Dalton Gang Hideout Museum. For a taste of the silly, you really can't go wrong with "The World's Largest anything" or the Praire Nut Hut in Altoona (Never eaten there [yuck] but we did drive all the way just to get a picture of it one time! The friendship forest is Atchison is very nice but if you go you must visit the Sugar Cone afterwards for ice cream. And for a political/silly twist grab your 3 best friends, your favorite tunes and head out to Mullinville to view some of the wackiest yard art you've ever seen! It's worth the trip.

Kansas is beautiful, amazing, silly and fun. If you're too blind to see it, oh well, it keeps the crowds down for me and my family!

http://www.kansasphototour.com/

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Bassetlover 6 years, 5 months ago

A few autumns ago, we were westbound on 70 this side of Abilene. It was early morning and the sun had only been up a short time. We passed a large field there on the north side of the interstate. We've passed it a hundred times over the years, never paid that much attention to it. But on that fall morning, the feeling I had about the beauty of my home state changed forever. The way the early morning sun hit that sloping field, OMG....it was breathtaking. Looked like something VanGogh would have painted. I'll never forget it. It was stunningly beautiful with so many shades of color. I am one of the few people who also find beauty in our western half as well. Perhaps it is the respect I have for agriculture and farmers. The older I get, the more I value and appreciate the unique beauty of this state I am proud to call home.

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blessed3x 6 years, 5 months ago

Gootsie, I couldn't agree more. The trip down HWY 160 is not something to be missed. Absolutely beautiful! The flint hills around Manhattan are very nice and the tallgrass priarie around Council grove is amazing. I think too many times people never leave their little circles except to visit another state and they miss out on what Kansas has to offer. Sure, sometimes you have to look a little harder, (they're not obvious beauties like the Rocky Mountains) but they are still there.

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trinity 6 years, 5 months ago

i love kansas and think it's a beautiful state. sooo many breathtakingly gorgeous vistas! if you've never been around the pottawatomie or scipio bottoms-go on a lil' road trip&drink in the beauty.

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Ceallach 6 years, 5 months ago

Sorry, Carol, could you repeat that? :):)

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ChristmasCarol 6 years, 5 months ago

that depends if you are asking about the people. Land can always be considered beautiful.

I sure like aspects of Kansas compared to say Colorado, however I would suppose that differing terrain is beautiful to perspective. I like places in Kansas. However if you are asking about people. I still strive to make anything I say important to anyone around Kansas.

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TheOriginalCA 6 years, 5 months ago

Kansas is certainly prettier than that bubba country of mizzeruh. Kansans don't store old furniture and appliances in the front yard.

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mom_of_three 6 years, 5 months ago

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

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bobberboy 6 years, 5 months ago

Funny - all the losers in the above pictures think Kansas isn't pretty. Maybe they should look in their mirrors.

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Gootsie 6 years, 5 months ago

Yes I do. I've lived in different parts of Kansas all my life and find it very beautiful in its own way. And I think Colorado is beautiful; Hawaii; Idaho; California; etc etc. Maybe it's because I look for the beauty in things whenever my mood swings allow it.

See the gypsum hills area around Medicine Lodge/Coldwater. Lovely.

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aeroscout17 6 years, 5 months ago

Being from the mountains of Montana, I hated Kansas when I first moved here. I thought it was flat and ugly. After spending some time in the prairie however, I started to appreciate a different beauty. Still think the eastern half is prettier but I haven't spent a lot of time in the western half.

Still miss my mountains, skiing, fly fishing for trout, etc. but this is my home now.

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bastet 6 years, 5 months ago

"Me, I think Kansas is pleasant enough to look at. Provided you only look at the eastern side of her. Her western side is, well, not her best side"


Not true. Western Kansas has some of the most beautiful country in the state, and if you haven't been to the Cimmaron Grasslands, make the trip. It's worth it.

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observantone 6 years, 5 months ago

Kansas is beautiful, every bit of, and I miss it terribly.

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Flap Doodle 6 years, 5 months ago

I (heart) Kansas and I still respect her in the morning.

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Sigmund 6 years, 5 months ago

Kansas, it's a great place to be from.

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Tony Kisner 6 years, 5 months ago

Cut it out 4th grade.

When you get to 5th grade you will learn that it's is better not to show others how little you know. Don't pick on high school kids. Key word KIDS.

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prospector 6 years, 5 months ago

Is there an ugly state?

It is in the eye of the beholder.

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Ceallach 6 years, 5 months ago

Heaven forbid a female states an opinion contrary to yours. Give her a break 4th, she's entitled to her druthers. And she's in high school for crying out loud. Pick on someone your own age.

I happen to think there are many, many beautiful things about Kansas. But that won't keep me from vacationing in Colorado next summer :):) Go Katy! Go Katy!

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4th_grade_education 6 years, 5 months ago

Katy wonders why she's never had a boyfriend.

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jonas 6 years, 5 months ago

"H_Lecter (Anonymous) says:

After a about three or four beers maybe."

http://a503.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images01/33/l_1ce096095649b134253ddcc7b6911186.gif

Me, I think Kansas is pleasant enough to look at. Provided you only look at the eastern side of her. Her western side is, well, not her best side.

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JJE007 6 years, 5 months ago

Kansas is so ugly as to be repulsive. Everyone should move out to protect themselves from bilious feelings educed by the hideous countenance of this state...except for me. I am blind to all but its charm.

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preebo 6 years, 5 months ago

I've lived in California, Colorado, Montana, Massachusetts, and Kansas, and I can say that without a doubt that Kansas is and can be even more beautiful.

Then again I am one of those ecomalogical, liberal, elitists, so...

The only variable is the people who live here. If the people take pride in their state, and I don't mean the abstract meaning of the term but rather the actual land then we can preserve areas for the future generations to take pride in.

Honarable mention: Cheyenne Bottoms, Tall Grass Prairie, Konza Prairie

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H_Lecter 6 years, 5 months ago

After a about three or four beers maybe.

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