Thursday, July 16, 2009

The picture we didn't take...

We turned west off of U.S. 83 about 27 miles north of the K-4 intersection in Logan County and headed cross country to Russell Springs.

One generally expects this area to look dry and barren. With plenty of rain this year, the High Plains vegetation had a lot of pep to it. The dry land crops looked lush.

But the most amazing part was the view. The picture we didn't take. At a certain point it seems that from a stance in the middle of the road, a person could have turned a 360 and seen little of civilization save the crops and road. Our guess was that we could see about 6-8 miles in every direction.

We does a farmer think about when he plows these colossal fields? What thoughts must he have? Likely a great affection for the isolation or it would have driven him mad by now and far, far away.

The wide open view was so awesome it was almost scary. A remote part of Kansas that most people likely can't imagine.

In fact, that is what our Explorer event, The Happening, is for. To encourage people to come to an area they aren't familiar with and learn about it, experience it.

By the time we got to Russell Springs, it was almost a shock to see a homestead. And what a great site it was to see the former courthouse. Civilization!
We saw many hitching posts as we approached this former county seat. A reminder of the annual Butterfield Trail Ride. We saw deer, pheasant, and flocks of turkey.

I was mostly reminded of how every county in Kansas is so different, has its own special characteristics. To the people that live here, this is the norm. Most years it's dry but that just makes the years with more moisture all the more special. If we just all understood and appreciated these differences, we could all pull together for one strong Kansas.

If I got on my soap box I'd say not everyone was made to live in Johnson County and I doubt that most natives of JoCo would be very comfortable in the expansive lands of Logan County. We ought to be glad we have people that can handle these extremes and be a little more respectful and supportive.

In any case, it was a great pleasure to have a reason to make this drive. We sure have a beautiful state.

The backroads of every county help us "Get Kansas."

KE #2 Marci Penner

1 comment:

Stan said...

another great post! Thanks Marci! You were in my favorite part of Kansas! The desolation speaks to me.