Sunday, October 19, 2008

First Sesquicentennial Sunflower Barn Logo

On Saturday Oct 18, I went to Dexter in eastern Cowley County, Kansas for an event sponsered by the Kansas Barn Alliance and Kansas Sampler Foundation. This event, part of the BYOLC (Bring Your Own Lawn Chair) series, saw the completion of the first sunflower logo put on a Kansas historic barn.

I arrived in Dexter about noon, drove downtown and enjoyed a good meal at The Gathering Place restaurant. I had their Riley sandwich with pumpkin pie for dessert. I shared the meal with an Explorer friend, Bonnie Danley, from Kansas City.

After lunch, I drove 1/2 mile north of Dexter to the historic barn, owned by Grady and Shannon Martin, housing the Stone Barn Mercantile. Here, we set up our chairs and watched Kenny Unrein, an artist from Augusta, put the finishing touches on the sunflower logo on the roof.

While Kenny was painting, we heard about the barn logo project from Sally Hatcher, president of the Kansas Barn Alliance. Shannon Martin told about how she and Grady came to own this historic barn, came to participate in the logo program, and about their new rental cabins on the property. Kenny finished the painting and was gracious enough to take some of us up on his lift to see the logo from above the roof.

I left Dexter and decided to follow a route north and east generally following Grouse Creek to the extreme northeast part of Cowley County. I visited one of my favorite stone bridges, the Fox bridge northeast of Cambridge, then found an iron pony truss bridge I had never seen before, before finally stopping at the lonely Glen Grouse Cemetery in far northeast Cowley County, which is overgrown with prairie grass. Finally, I continued on north to Latham, in Butler County, then west and on home.

Links: Kansas Barn Alliance:

Kansas Sampler Foundation:

The Gathering Place:

Stone Barn Mercantile:

My Photo Gallery:

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Shopping, Railroad Photography, and Nature Trails

On Saturday Oct 11, I decided to make a shopping trip to several of my favorite locally owned food stores.

My first stop was at the retail outlet at Yoder Meats. I picked up a package of Dutch Mill cinnamon rolls, some Amana dill mustard (goes great in baked beans), a jar of wild huckleberry preserves, and some cinnamon candy.

Then I went into Hutchinson for lunch at Roy's Hickory Pit Barbeque. Their smoked turkey is my absolute favorite barbequed meat I have yet found - it is always tender and their sweet tomato vinegar sauce perfectly compliments the meat. A meal at Roy's includes their ranch style beans, your choice of several salads, and their grilled toasted bread.

Two of my favorite small town grocery stores are the Hometown Stores in Buhler and Inman. Today, I stopped to shop in both of them. In Buhler, I bought a 40 oz bottle of Grannie's Sweet and Spicy Mustard, made near Hillsboro, and about 2 lbs of the great locally made German rope sausage. In Inman, I bought an 84 oz bottle of Knackies Bear-B-Que sauce. This is my favorite all round barbeque sauce - I always have some in my refrigerator. I was pleasantly surprised to see these stores now carry MarCon pies, baked in Washington, Kansas. I bought a strawberry - rhubarb pie in Inman.

As I was leaving Inman, I noticed a southbound Union Pacific train parked on the siding waiting for a northbound train to pass. I headed south on K-61 to the 43rd Avenue bridge to wait for this train, and took several photos of the train passing underneath me. It's a great spot to watch trains in the tunnel of trees.

Finally, I decided to stop at the Dillon Nature Center near Hutchinson and take a leisurely stroll along the nature trails. Fall is a favorite time for many people to visit this oasis of animal and plant life, but I have visited the center in all seasons and taken many photos here.

Some links:

Dillon Nature Center:
My photo gallery of Dillon Nature Center:

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Naturally Limestone Tour - Cowley County, KS

On Saturday, Oct 4, 2008, I went to Arkansas City to take a bus tour sponsered by the Arkansas City Area Arts Council.

Our group left Ark City and headed east for a drive thru of the Docking Estate, where we viewed the historic limestone buildings on this property. Then we headed to the town of Silverdale for a guided tour of the Born Limestone plant. We saw what operations are done to the raw limestone from the quarry to make it into finished stone. We then drove just south of Silverdale to view the historic Goff Ranch limestone house and barn.

We then headed for Dexter, following the scenic route along Grouse Creek Road and made a stop at Henry's Candies for some shopping. From there our route took us back west for a visit to the historic Andes double arch stone bridge. A local artist completed a sketch of the bridge and it was given to a lucky tour participant by a raffle.

After that, it was on to Cambridge for a good chuckwagon lunch with some music performed by local artists. We then headed west around Winfield City Lake to the town of Floral. At Floral, we viewed the old limestone Baptist Church and were treated to some violin music by another local artist.

Next, on to the Magnolia Ranch, which has six limestone buildings and is on the National Register. The owner graciously explained the history of the ranch and let us enter the horse barn for a tour. Finally we drove on to the historic Long House before returning to our starting point at the Burford theater in Ark City.

For more information, contact the Arkansas City Area Arts Council:

(620) 442-5895 or thru the Convention and Visitors Bureau at the following:

For some of my favorite photos of the trip visit the following gallery: