Day 92 • June 1, 2012 • Norton to Phillipsburg, KS • 31 miles
Two things are beginning to stand out in Kansas: relentless headwinds and easy, friendly, inexpensive overnight accommodations. Not much to say about the headwinds except that I would expect at least some westerly component at some point. As for accommodations, last night in Norton we stopped in at the chamber of commerce office. Unlike many of the towns in Kansas, Norton doesn’t have city-sponsored camping. But the woman at the chamber drove us over to a nice spot on some land her family owns, next to a diner for food/restrooms. Phillipsburg was better, with a beautiful campground overlooking the city ball fields and rodeo grounds. Showers and electricity for $10.
We got to Phillipsburg as the town was preparing for Riverless Days, an annual celebration honoring, tongue in cheek, the fact that no river runs through Phillipsburg. From our campsite we watched kids competing in a horsemanship competition. The next day we spent some time at the celebration that included a local band and a number of local food and craft vendors. We also caught a movie, Dark Shadows, at the newly renovated downtown theater. Several Kansas towns we visited had renovated their historic theater. The attitude seems to be that a viable town needs a theater. I’d agree– just seeing a working theater in downtown Phillipsburg makes the town seem more substantial and inviting.