Cathedral of the Plains in Victoria, Kansas with Zeb the Duck

We are on another road trip.   I just love road trips.   Driving through Kansas on I-70 we saw a sign for Cathedral of the Plains.   So, of course, we had to see it.

Cathedral of the Plains

This church is beautiful, and big.   This church is not a seat for a bishop, so it really is not a Cathedral.  In February 2014, the church was declared a minor Basilica.  The first Basilica in Kansas and the 78th Basicila in the United States.   But it is still called Cathedral of the Plains by many people.   We liked the carved Bible verses in front of the church.

Scripture

This Basilica is 220 feet long, 110 feet wide with two towers, each 141 feet tall.   From the other side, we can see an additional area for church use.

Basilica of the Plains

The exterior of the Basicila is made from native limesone blocks.   We admired this exterior, but I want to see the inside.

St. Fidelis Church in Victoria, Kansas

We are getting closer, and mom said we can go inside.

Interior of Cathedral of the Plains

Wow!   Isn’t this beautiful?   The ceiling is 44 feet above ground.

Altar of Italian marble

This altar is made from Italian marble.   Along both sides of the church there are beautiful stained glass windows.

One of many stained glass windows

I love these big windows.   The sun shines through the glass in a perfect way.   From the altar, let’s look to the doors and the choir loft.

Looking back to choir loft and circular stained glass window

Isn’t that circular window beautiful?  Don’t you just love to visit huge, beautiful churches?  I do.  Construction on this church began in 1908 and was completed in 1911.   The community had outgrown three previous churches.   The first 23 pioneer families arrived here April 8, 1876.   These pioneers were Volga-Germans.   As more pioneers arrived, the town flourished and this church was built.   Across from the Basilica, we admired this statue, a tribute to the early pioneers.

Tribute to pioneer families

Victoria, Kansas is a small town that is proud of its history.   I, Zeb the Duck, hope you visit St. Fidelis Church, commonly known as the Cathedral of the Plains.   It is just a few miles from the highway and I think you will love it.

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Colorado’s Interstate 70

Zeb the Duck here and today I want to tell you about one of our highways.  I-70 crosses Colorado, east to west.  This highway has earned the “Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award.”

First, let’s talk about the Eisenhower and Johnson tunnels.  These two tunnels are 11,158 feet above sea level and go under US 6 and the Continental Divide.  The tunnels are 1.69 miles long.  They are the highest and longest mountain tunnels in the US interstate system.  These tunnels are well lit, ventilated and video monitored at all times.

Driving west, under the Continental Divide

Driving west, under the Continental Divide

This is the westbound entrance.  Still lots of high mountains on top of the tunnels.

Now let’s talk about Glenwood Canyon.  Glenwood Canyon is beautiful,

Glenwood Canyon

Glenwood Canyon

with the Colorado River and Union Pacific Railroad.  This was the last section of I-70 to be completed.  The 2 eastbound lanes of I-70 extend cantilevered over the Colorado River.  The westbound lanes are suspended on a viaduct several feet above the canyon floor.   This allowed a 4 lane interstate highway to be constructed through the canyon with minimal changes to the beautiful Glenwood Canyon.

Highway from the rest area

Highway from the rest area

The rest areas in these 12 miles are beautiful.  The are located on the banks of the Colorado River, with picnic tables and hiking trails. There is no stopping on the highway, so photos just didn’t happen.

Glenwood Canyon and Colorado River

Glenwood Canyon and Colorado River from rest area

Video cameras and real people constantly monitor this section of I-70.

Colorado, like every mountain state has provisions for runaway trucks.  These are trucks with failed brakes.  This is a runaway truck ramp.

Runaway truck ramp on I-70

One of many runaway truck ramps on I-70

The truck drives up this mountain to reduce speed.  The middle of the ramp is deep, loose gravel and there are barrels at the end of the runaway ramp.  Often trucks will be on these ramps.  These ramps save lives in Colorado and elsewhere.

Here are some other photos from I-70.  If you are driving through Colorado on this road, you will see small towns,

Georgetown, Colorado from I-70

Georgetown, Colorado from I-70

mountains, and even the ski slopes of Vail, Copper Mountain and Beaver Creek.  If you are driving through in your car or truck, passing through in your motorhome or cruising on your motorcycle, you will see some beautiful scenery.  Our mountains are beautiful, the rivers are clear and refreshing and if you are east of Denver, the prairie and ranch land is also beautiful.  There is a lot of wildlife in Colorado, so deer, elk and moose will see you and you may see them also.

If you have time, stop to hike, fish, zip line, kayak or raft.  We have so much to offer you, but if you cannot stop, you will still enjoy your scenic drive across Colorado.

Mountains from I-70

Mountains from I-70