Sunday, July 20, 2008

A 300 Mile Lap around the Flint Hills

Where I started and how I got home. My points of destination took on a lap through the flint hills.I knew in my planning I'd covering ground already covered, so I went a different. On the trip to Cottonwood Falls and Tallgrass we took the turnpike ,getting off in Emporia and Highway 50 to our destinations. I had to go through Emporia and Highway 50 again, so I took a different route.

Topeka Blvd past Forbes Fields becomes US 75 South.It will take you through farm land and past exits for Carbondale ,Overbrook and right through Lyndon. Lyndon is going to have to be it's stop due to the fact it's the County Seat,boost several historic homes and a Carnegie Library still in use.It's own stop because Frankly, It's Sunday and the Library is not open. The highway passed right by the City Park and what do I find that makes me stop off the road bur this Log Cabin. It was the home of one Wells P. Bailey.The very beat up sign explains that the Cabin was purchased by the city in 1997 and they are trying to restore it.

After passing by Melvern Lake Dam and coming to Beto Junction Truck Stop,by linking to us-35 you find yourself in Emporia.The picture of the Bowling is where memory serves me that a Staking Rink used to be in the late 70's and early 80's. Then 15 or so,I met a tall,curvy blond named Kathy Hylton.We kissed and dated as much you could long distance.She was working as maid at hotel.She was the first.

When we were on Highway 50 a month ago we passed a historical marker ,today I stopped, this is the view and it says:

"The vast prairie, which surrounds this site is typical of the Bluestem pasture region, more commonly known as the Flint Hills. Named for its predominant grasses, the area extends from Oklahoma almost to Nebraska in a narrow oval two counties wide which covers some four and a half million acres. "

I was on highway 50 for about 80 miles west to just past Newton,Ks to the the town of Halstead where I turned off onto 89 which to took me to my destination. 50 goes coast to coast and it is a beautiful barren stretch of road. The towns have little population between Emporia and Newton ,so rest areas and signs of life few and far between. A website described 50 in Kansas:

When I reached Halstead I decided to take another,more used route home. 135 North to Salina about 60 Miles and then 99 miles once you turn East to Topeka and home. The distance was about the same with more rest stops.Some of the signs I saw and other Impressions of the Trip

-The Chase County 4h wants you to know "we help feed the world"

-K State Athletic boosters want you to know Salina and Junction City are "Powercat" county

-Lyndon,Newton,Neosho Rapids and a couple of town are proud of their State High School Championships

-There is a giant Adult Super book store outside of Abilene , some one who knows the next to it put a sign saying "Jesus Saves,Pornography destroys". Here I'll note I wish I was bold enough to pull off to the side of the road and take a picture while Traffic is buzzing by at 80mph (70 because we know no one speeds !).

-the last time I was in the area of Junction City, I ran across the Dreamland Motel. Timothy McVeigh spent the night there with the Ryder truck before going to Oklahoma City and bombing up the Federal Building. FBI got a description from the night manager which led to his arrest. I was looking for the hotel and couldn't find it, It was right off the highway. It must have been torn down, I saw several hotels in the area where I thought it was.

-A Historical Marker near Walton,Ks tells the story of Turkey Red Wheat:

"Children in Russia hand-picked the first seeds of this famous winter wheat for Kansas. They belonged to Mennonite Colonies preparing to emigrate from the steppes to the American prairies. A peace-loving sect, originally from Holland, the Mennonites had gone to the Crimea from Prussia in 1790 when Catherine the Great offered free lands, military exemption and religious freedom. They prospered until these privileges were threatened in 1871. "

A sign on 135 outside of Assaria,Kansas reads "If you lived here,You'd be home now"

-a alone the way,I saw hay bails rolled up and even encounters a controlled burn that blacked the sky for miles around. I reminder, no pun intended.... ok pun intended. This areas bread and better is Farm land.Harvest time for something just past.

a Wiki article on Controlled burning of farm lands:

It really can be quite beautiful at night.

Finally the third historical marker I came upon. Now on to the stops of the day. Close to home, maybe 9 miles out a sign told me this was the first 9 miles of I-70 the great interstate highway system that runs coast to coast. Dedicated in 1956 by President Eisnehower it lays west heading toward Ike's hometown of Abilene. It's good to have a President from your state and a big time building project.

1 comment:

Dr. Bill ;-) said...

Wonderful commentary on our Kansas Flint Hills! Really neat - THANKS!

Positive mention of the Flint Hills always gets my attention! Thanks!
So happy it brought me to your site

Our 22 county Flint Hills Tourism Coalition, Inc. promotes visits to the Kansas Flint Hills – the website is:
I'm recommending your blog to our whole coalition membership!

Best wishes!
Dr. Bill ;-)
Personal Blog: