Kansas is home to world’s ‘biggest’ ball of twine; center of United States

Ball of twine

Who can pass up the chance to see the world’s “biggest ball of twine?” Or, the geographical center of the United States? Not this guy. I channeled my inner Clark Griswold and off we went in the family fun wagon (OK, sedan). The two attractions were less than 45 minutes from Red Cloud.

Our first stop was at the geographical center of the contiguous United States. Lebanon, Kansas, is home to this attraction. The community is about 17 miles south of Red Cloud, where we spent the weekend.

A flag atop a base stating you are the center of the contiguous U.S. greets you. We weren’t the only ones there. A couple from South Dakota also veered off the path to check out the spot.

Center of US

A small chapel is located a few feet from the monument.

Center of US

Our next stop in north central Kansas was Cawker City. It was about a 30-minute drive from Lebanon.

The ball of twine is located on the main street. It’s almost impossible to miss. I felt like Clark in “National Lampoon’s Vacation.” A chill ran down my spine. I was there! I was at the world’s “biggest ball of twine.”

Ball of twine

The twine was magnificent to see. The ball of twine is more than 10 feet high and weighs more than 19,000 lbs.

Frank Stoeber started the ball in 1953. In about four years, it was about 12 feet high and weighed about 5,000 lbs., according to www.kansastravel.org. He donated it to the city in 1961. It sits under an open-air gazebo. People can touch it. You can also add your twine to it, once you have bought it at a local tourist spot.

During our visit, a group of young bicyclists were enjoying a break there. The bicyclists are riding across the country to help raise money for affordable housing.

I love off the beaten path attractions. And on this trip, I was able to knock a couple off my list.

Happy traveling!