I originally went to the World's Largest Ball of Twine as a joke. Before I left on this trip it seemed that was everyone's joke/ question to me. "Are you going to see the biggest ball of string?" - for those of you that don't get the cultural references it is from a 1983 Chevy Chase movie (National Lampoon's Summer Vacation). Though I think they visited a fictional ball or at least a different ball.
Anyway, I thought it would be a fun thing to do since I saw it on the list of roadside items in Kansas. It was a couple hours off the beaten path, and we didn't get there till well after sunset. All worth it for this simple little gag I thought.
I never expected a ball of twine in the middle of a small town in Kansas to be anything more than just that. However, I actually loved this stop! I love it when the unexpected happens.
The World's Largest Ball of Twine was started by Frank Stoeber in 1953. In 1961 he donated it to the city. Every year they hold a festival in August to add to the ball. In 1988 is was only 14,687 pounds now it's 17,886 pounds made of 7,801,766 feet of twine (as of 2006). Frank started the ball because he saw the ball Johnson's was starting up in Minnesota as a challenge, so he started his own. Frank died in 1974, at that time the ball had 1.6 million feet of twine on his 11 foot diameter ball.
On one of the signs near the ball there is this equation: Thrift + Patience = Success
This is spoke volumes to me. Partially because it reminded of one angle of this trip. I have to stay in budget and be thrifty plus patience is a HUGE part of this trip. I'm either being patient during drives with Mia, or waiting on hearing back from people for possible places to stay. When I'm perfectly balancing both thrift and patience, my trip is a huge success. Just as this ball of Twine.
Some day I hope to make it to the August festival and add my own twine to this ball.