Sunday, September 28, 2008

Two "Dare to do Dirt" Loops in One Day

On Saturday, Sept 27, I was able to finish exploring rural areas of both Comanche and Kiowa counties in Southwest Kansas. I had made previous trips this year to both counties, but still wished to explore further in each.

I left Wichita heading southwest on K-2 to Kiowa and then Hardtner. Then I continued west on a favorite drive along Hackberry Rd across far south Barber County and entered Comanche County in the extreme southeast corner at the Oklahoma border.

I followed a route thru the canyon areas of southeast Comanche County, stopping to view the areas around Cave Creek, Red Fork Creek, Mustang Creek, Salt Fork Arkansas River, and Nescatunga Creek. The Red Hills and canyons were vivid on the bright sunny day.

I ended up in Coldwater for lunch at Dave's Pizza Oven. Dave makes a great pizza and I enjoyed chatting with him during my meal.

After lunch, I headed north into Kiowa County, and followed a route from the south border on west, then north thru Mullinville, and across the northern part of the county before ending at the eastern county line at Wellsford.

Highlights of my journey in Kiowa County include the marshy oasis along the East Kiowa Creek at the Kiowa/Comanche county line, the Fromme-Birney round barn near Mullinville, visits to Hillcrest Cemetery at Mullinville and Haviland Cemetery, and driving thru the sand hills near Rattlesnake Creek across the northern part of the county.

I then headed home thru Pratt, Cunningham and Kingman. It was a very satisfying 335 mile day trip.

For more information about Comanche County, see the following link:
For more information about Kiowa County, see the following link:
Some of my favorite rural Comanche County photos are at the following link:

Some of my favorite rural Kiowa County photos are at the following link:

Friday, September 26, 2008

Shawnee County Dare to do Dirt

Saturday, Sept 20, I left for a day trip to Shawnee County, Kansas for a "Dare to do Dirt" journey. I stopped in Burlingame at the Santa Fe Trail Cafe for lunch and had an excellent hot beef sandwich with real pot roast beef chunks, followed by a good piece of coconut cream meringue pie for dessert.

I entered Shawnee County from the south and followed a 78 mile route around the south, east and northern parts of the county, beginning near the town of Wakarusa, then east and north around the east edge of Topeka, then thru the Elmont and Grove areas before ending at Rossville. Here, my route met a previous route I had finished in the western part of Shawnee County.

Along the way, I visited two cemeteries and passed over at least 4 historic bridges, two rainbow arch, a pony truss, and a beautiful concrete bridge built in 1914 over the Wakarusa River. I did especially enjoy driving along the Wakarusa River in the southern part of the county.

For more information about Shawnee County, see the following link:

For a gallery of my favorite Shawnee County rural photos, following this link: