Friday, March 27, 2009

WeKan Conference

On Tuesday March 24, I had the privilege of attending the WeKan Conference in Salina.

I volunteered to help people who had technical questions about digital cameras, computers and the like. Another Kansas Explorer, Frank Thompson, from Overland Park worked with me throughout the day, and it was a pleasure getting to know Frank. I found Frank to also be a passionate photographer.

WeKan is a network group of rural tourism leaders supported by the Kansas Sampler Foundation. The conference is held every 2 years. I found this group to be motivated and energetic about keeping their communities alive.

For more information about the WeKan network see the following link to the Kansas Sampler Foundation website:

I'm enclosing a photo and video of the parade of signs at the conference. The music heard in the video is a new theme song recently created.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Wabaunsee County Exploring, Part 3

On Monday March 23, I left Salina intent on another exploring day in Wabaunsee County. First though, I drove 100 miles east to Topeka to pick up another accessory for my digital SLR at Wolfe's Camera Shop. I picked up an Expo Disc white balance adjusting tool. More about this in a later blog when I learn how to use and have some experience with it.

I entered Wabaunsee County near Dover and travelled the back roads up to the Maple Hill area. Here, I found the Old Stone Church and cemetery and also the twin bridges over Mill Creek, with an Iron Truss auto bridge and steel railroad bridge.

Leaving Maple Hill, I zig zagged across the northern part of the county near the Kansas River (the northern border). I stopped at the beautiful Immanuel Church of Christ and cemetery, then headed southwest to the town of Wabaunsee. I visited the Wabaunsee Cemetery east of town with elegant stone entrance gate.

Entering Wabaunsee, I visited the Beecher Bible and Rifle Church, dating back to 1862, and the memorial plaque in town. Then, I headed south thru the hills to I-70 and on back to Salina for the night. I fought 50 mph wind gusts all day and a couple of thunderstorms on my way back, but had a great day.

In three (3) trips to Wabaunsee County this year, I logged 157 miles in the county, most on unpaved roads. I visited seven (7) cemeteries and the towns of Alta Vista, Alma, Maple Hill, Volland, and Wabaunsee. I did not get to explore the southeastern part of the county near Eskridge and Harveyville, but I'm sure to return at a later date.


Wabaunsee County:

Beecher Bible & Rifle Church:

My photo gallery of Wabaunsee County:

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Cowley County Geocaching & Crabby Patty's

On Saturday March 14, I spent the afternoon in Cowley County, always one of my favorite places to visit. First, though, I went to the city of Douglas in southern Butler County, where I enjoyed a good lunch of roast pork and dressing, mashed potatoes, corn and tossed salad at the Triangle M Restaurant. I also had a piece of sugar free chocolate cream pie that tasted every bit as good as regular pie.

Then it was on to northern Cowley County,where I located geocaches at two (2) stone bridges in the Rock area. After that, I travelled south to the Floral area. I found a geocache in the cemetery there and another at the stone bridge over Timber Creek just south of town.

Next, I went on southwest to the area just north of Winfield. I found a geocache at the beautiful McKnab pony truss bridge over Cedar Creek, then drove 1/4 mile west to find the geocache at the Elrod stone arch bridge over Timber Creek. The Elrod bridge is nearly abandoned, and the last section of "road" back to it from the east is only suitable for high clearance vehicles, and then only in dry conditions.

I finished my geocaching for the day by travelling east to the Timber Creek stone bridge southeast of Atlanta.

Having some daylight left, I determined to head to eastern Cowley County into an area I had not yet explored. I headed east across the Fox stone bridge over Grouse Creek on 62nd Rd into the ranch lands near the Ferguson Ranch. The winter grasses were golden in color with the low sun behind me. I then turned south for a look at the Grand Summit railroad depot area just north of US160 near the Elk County border. In it's heyday, Grand Summit was a busy livestock shipping area.

Finally, I travelled back southwest to Dexter for supper at Crabby Patty's, the town gas station, grill & deli, grocery, bait shop, etc on K-15. This place is currently featured as a special support project of the Kansas Sampler Foundation. The goal is to have at least 1000 people go there and spend at least $5.00. I had a good cheeseburger and really enjoyed chatting with both the owners and the local people who had come in that evening.

Then I had a pleasant evening drive back home to Wichita. Another memorable day!
Triangle M Restaurant
326 S. Forrest
Douglass, KS
Crabby Patty's
K-15 in Dexter
2 Galleries of my photos of Cowley County: