Skip to the content

Kansas State University

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
  1. K-State Home >
  2. News Services >
  3. March news releases
Print This Article  


Source: Ted Cable, 785-532-1408,
Photo available. Contact or 785-532-6415.
News release prepared by: Katie Mayes, 785-532-6415,

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


MANHATTAN -- Years ago when the nation's Interstate highway system was built, shortening the time it took to get from place to place was first and foremost. Any roadside nature or history that went whizzing by was an afterthought.

To put the nature and history back into cross-state travel along the Interstate, Kansas State University naturalist Ted Cable has published "Driving Across Missouri: A Guide to I-70."

In the book, Cable and co-author LuAnn Cadden breathe history and culture back into Missouri's Interstate 70 landscapes. The new book is a companion to "Driving Across Kansas: A Guide to I-70," which Cable co-authored in 2003.

"I was inspired to write this type of book after some friends said they planned their road trips to Colorado so that they drove through Kansas at night," Cable said. "As an interpreter, I wanted to disprove the state's flat and barren reputation."

Cable, a K-State professor of park management and conservation, is an expert interpreter who takes facts about the natural environment and turns them into stories and experiences to help people understand the world's natural resources.

"Driving back roads has many merits, but the vast majority of people experience Kansas and Missouri from Interstate highways," Cable said. "By making the experience more entertaining and educational -- and by helping people see the subtle beauty in the landscape and culture -- these books can improve the overall impression and attitudes about these states."

Cable said that the Missouri book was challenging in that instead of interpreting the vast agricultural landscape of Kansas, his focus was to get people to look beyond the billboards and other roadside clutter that characterize Missouri's 251 miles of Interstate 70.

"There is a lot to see and experience along that drive," Cable said. "This corridor is rich in history going back to Lewis and Clark, Daniel Boone, and the drama and tragedy associated with the Civil War.

"The book features some quirky facts, but more importantly, contains inspiring stories of the courage, resourcefulness and ingenuity of people who lived and still live throughout the I-70 corridor," Cable said. "The goal is to point out the mundane miracles that we take for granted as we zip along. I want my readers to see beauty in the people and places that aren't necessarily 'pretty.'"

Cadden, co-author of the Missouri book, is a freelance writer and former naturalist with the Missouri Department of Conservation. She lives in St. Joseph, Mo. The book was published by the University of Kansas Press.

Cable also recently published "Interpretive Perspectives: Essays about Interpreting Nature and Culture," a collection of previously published essays by Cable and Larry Beck of San Diego State University. Three new essays also are featured. The book is for those who, like Cable, are interpreters by profession.