Mission San Juan, December 30, 2017

Mission San Juan, December 30, 2017
Mission San Juan, December 30, 2017

Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Copper-Top Capitol: Topeka, Kansas - Sat., Sept. 20

Topeka, Kansas Capitol
Wow, wow, wow, and impressive. Topeka has a world-class Capitol and it's 306 feet tall, from the ground floor to the top of Ad Astra's bow, approximately 17 feet higher than the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C.

Bob walking up to Topeka, Kansas Capitol

Construction of the Capitol began in 1866. Thirty-seven years later it was completed at a cost of 3.2 million. (Where did all that money come from??) The building was made with Kansas limestone and the outside of the dome is covered with copper sheeting. [Factoids: (1) The copper on the dome would make 2,350,746 pennies!! (2) The outer copper dome extends approximately 75 feet above the glass inner dome. (3) The inner dome is composed of 256 glass panels; each is 1/2" thick. (4) The bronze statue of the Kansa warrior, Ad Astra, was placed on the top of the dome in 2002. It is 22' 2" tall and weighs 4,420 pounds. (5) Ad Astra received its name from the state motto: Ad Astra per Aspera, "To the stars through difficulties." (6) The dome is open for free guided tours Monday through Friday.]

We would have loved to take the tour up into the dome, but they only offer it Monday through Friday. No self-guided tours up there. Drat!

Copper dome topped by Ad Astra
Two of the statues on the capital grounds were really good. The Pioneer Women memorial below represents the confident and watchful pioneer mother protecting her children. It was dedicated in 1937. Robert Merrell Gage created this memorial and also the Abraham Lincoln statue in the photo below it.

Pioneer Women memorial
Abraham Lincoln statue
After exploring outside, we headed inside.

Replica of an old poster
What an amazing place. The first thing that caught our eye on the ground floor were the limestone wall supports to hold up the building.
Look how thick those limestone walls are
The ground floor houses history
This limestone provides the needed support for the building.
Marble stairs, copper bannisters
Stairs heading up on the Dome Tour
North dome mural: Plenty with Labor on the left and
Agriculture on the right
Inner glass dome allows natural light to filter into the building
Rotunda Mural: Arrival of the Railroad
by David H. Overmyer, a Topeka native
Surrounded by copper and marble
Marble in the Capitol: Marble was imported from the southeast United States, Belgium, Italy, and Mexico. Marble was shipped to Topeka by the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway.

All the guided historic Capitol tours are Monday through Friday, but you can take a self-guided tour on Saturdays. The building is closed on Sunday. There is so much more to see. We highly recommend seeing the Kansas state Capitol!

You can also see Janice's take on the Topeka Capitol here.

When we finished the Capitol and the Volksmarch, we headed back to Lake Shawnee Park, battened down the hatches on the 5th wheel and got ready to head out. Janice and David weren't in so, since we couldn't give them good-bye hugs, we wrote them a thank-you note, hopped in the truck and heard a horn honk. Janice and Dave had returned from their visit to the Topeka Capitol.

We did exchange good-bye/see ya later hugs. Janice and Dave told us the Iowa State Fair Campground would be a good place to stay for our Des Moines, Iowa visit and then we were off to Des Moines.

Janice and Dave outside their spot at Lake Shawnee Park

One last photo of our site before we hit the road.
Next stop: Iowa State Fair Campground. Full hook-ups for $25/night. Be prepared to level your rig, drive through dirt/mud and potholes, and park on grass. It's an adventure, don't you know?

Bunny eating "salad bar" behind our rig.
Our beautiful site
The scenery at the campground
Groundhog stuffing its face with acorns.
Another view of our site at Iowa State Fair Campground.

And a pretty bird to sing us a lullaby.
 Travel Bug out.


  1. I made three Pinterest entries off this one post.
    We really enjoy seeing the capitols in each state. Thanks for the great job on the tour of this one. Hopefully we will pass that way this spring.
    Thanks for the heads up on the two campgrounds also. Always good to hear how other bloggers feel about them.

    1. Happy to hear you've added some of these places to your list.

      We have sure had a variety of experiences with campgrounds on this jaunt so far! We will never take a level site for granted again!

  2. Loved your tour of the Capitol as well. . .will be adding this link to my post, so others can click and see your take on it. . .

    Can you imagine 2000 rigs parked at the Iowa Fairgrounds. . .on some of those spots? . . .aiii yaiii yaiii. . .we were right on the main road, so we didn't notice any potholes. . .guess you guys got extra lucky. ..LOL!

    1. Thanks, I put in a link to your blog about Topeka's Capitol as well.

      The lady who checked us in at the Iowa Fairgrounds said she works special events with 2,000 campers, but she doesn't work the State Fair. She told us there are 4,000 campers for the State Fair, but that includes all the tent campers. Still, I just CAN'T imagine that. Those sites are on some serious hills!

  3. Replies
    1. Thank you. We thought this Capitol building was very well done.

  4. State capitals are always interesting.


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