Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Kansas Highway 99
Regardless of the construction on Kansas Highway 4 and the inconvenience it causes many travelers from our neck of the woods, the detours are not all that difficult to traverse. My detour takes me to Kansas Highway 99 and through the beautiful Kansas Flints Hills. The pre-dawn and early morning hours are a special time, when everything is waking up. Including me!
However, driving through those curvy roads with the pale sunlight streaming through the trees is a delight. One particular curve is long and the highway snugs up a steep embankment and rocky outcropping. On the east side, the Historical Stone Fence - part of the Scenic By-Way Auto Tour of Kansas - lines the shoulder of the road. It acts as a barrier to a line of mature trees, their branches occasionally dipping over the fence. It is like driving through a natural tunnel, even though it is only about a quarter of a mile. For a brief moment you will seem isolated and a world apart from everything else. The sunshine, filtered and softened by the trees, plays over the rocks. The stone fence appears damp from the early morning dew. The green leaves of the tree seem brighter.
Suddenly you come out of the curve and at the end of the tree line and behind the stone fence is a large pasture that extends to the tree-lined Mill Creek. This year, the field is dormant and appears to be resting. On the left is the old stone "Poor Farm" of Wabaunsee County, just a stone's throw from the highway. "Poor Farm" road is immediately to the left and takes you up a small hill that over looks the old homestead. Another family lives there these days. I don't know who.
A marvelous way to begin the morning, don't you think?