Keeper of the Plains in Wichita KS

20150911_202420TRAVEL THERE: THE RING OF FIRE CEREMONY FOR THE KEEPER OF THE PLAINS

I’d just like to complain a little bit.  This particular attraction was the sum total of things available to me in Wichita KS.  It’s not that they don’t have museums and gardens.  It’s that the museums and gardens were all against me.  They closed about the time I got there Friday.  They opened back up when I went into the Ministry Event, but closed when I got out.  Then they waited until I left town to open up again.   Thank you Keeper of the Plains for lighting your firepots for me.20150911_202635

Dramatic Positioning

Our waitress at Taste and See gave us great directions to the site of the Keeper of the Plains.  We found parking and saw the pedestrian bridge before we could see the Keeper.  Once the Keeper came into sight, it was clear he’s in a very dramatic position.  He stands at the confluence of the Arkansas and Little Arkansas Rivers and looks down towards the modern city.

The Keeper himself is a work of modern art, but he makes me think of the popular Kokopelli figure.  While Kokopelli is hunched forward, the Keeper stands erect with his face lifted to the Great Spirit.

As we approached the pedestrian bridge, with its bow and arrow motif, the arch of the bridge framed the Keeper.  Each perspective seems to add to the mystery of the great figure atop a stone outcropping.

20150911_202858Once across the bridge, we entered an open-air interpretive center explaining the spiritual significance of the Keeper to Native Americans.  From this position you are below the stone out-cropping, looking up at the Keeper.  Soft tribal music fills the air in the interpretive area making it feel like a sacred place.

There are paths below the outcropping that allow you to walk all the way around the statue.  The area is dark, so it was quite popular with couples.  Deb and I were a little out of place.

Having seen the statue up close, we decided to wander back across the bridge and enjoy the Ring of Fire ceremony from afar.

I Anticipated the Wrong Ring 

Across the river along the esplanade was several tiers of seating and a different type of tribal music was playing, “Happy” by Pharrell Williams.  Deb and I climbed to one of the upper tiers and watched a couple of little boys dance to the trippy little tune.  As we enjoyed the boys I tried out the panoramic feature on my phone I had discovered at Myriad Botanical Gardens.  The light wasn’t right, but I will share the results anyway.

20150911_205047

Finally the moment came and flames erupted in the firepots at the Keeper’s feet, but that wasn’t what I was expecting.  I wanted fire to blaze between the hands of the Keeper.  Careful reading of the information I found revealed  they’d had all the prepositions right, I’d just decided I didn’t want it that way, so I ignored them.  My purposeful ignorance did not change a thing.  The magic light did not appear for me.

20150911_210022I grabbed a final shot for you and we went back to the car.  This was Friday night.  We spent Saturday in the arena and enjoyed the seafood buffet at the hotel that evening.  The next morning we headed home.  We experienced the worst service I’d ever had at a McDonald’s somewhere along the way in Oklahoma.  Then we were home.

I took this trip in mid-September.  When I got home there were still several articles about the San Antonio Stroll on my blog waiting for posting.  I went ahead and wrote all the items on the Wichita trip as soon as I got home, knowing the series would not start until late October, but not wanting to miss the details.  You are reading this in the new year, but I am writing them on a beautiful September afternoon in Dallas.   I wonder what will be going on in the New Year of 2016.

 

4 Comments

Filed under ART, Attractions, DESTINATIONS, Road Trips, TRAVEL, United States

4 responses to “Keeper of the Plains in Wichita KS

  1. Wow, I’m impressed how far ahead you work on blog posts. I’m definitely not that organized. 🙂

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  2. I’m glad to have marked it off my list, but I can’t say that I would suggest it for anyone’s itinerary. I was there for a conference, but I managed to have a good time.

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  3. Whenever I read about Wichita it reminds me of Steve Martin and John Candy in ‘Planes, Trains and Automobiles’.

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