Sunday, August 23, 2009

Carolyn's Essenhaus

Yesterday, while in Reno County, I enjoyed lunch at one of my favorite places, Carolyn's Essenhaus in Arlington.

I had a dinner with Ollie's smoked pork, which is sliced into 1/4 inch think slices and served with baked beans, cole slaw and homemade bread. Ollie's smoked pork is served all day Friday and Saturday. This may be my favorite dinner meal at Carolyn's.

Carolyn's is also known for their homemade pies. Yesterday, I had rhubarb warmed up and served alamode with soft serve vanilla ice cream. The pie was served with a crumb type topping and was certainly among the very best I've had in Kansas.

Carolyn's Essenhaus was recently named a finalist for the Kansas Sampler Foundation's Eight Wonders of Kansas Cuisine contest. See the following links for more information:

Kansas Sampler Foundation page about Carolyn's:

Web page for Carolyn's:

Monday, August 17, 2009

In the Right Place at the Right Time

There have been a number of times when I have been blessed to be in the right place at the right time to take a dramatic photo. I have found that it pays to be ready to snap some photos with almost no notice when conditions change quickly.

Such a situation happened this past Saturday. I had stayed around Wichita during the afternoon, and had been out in some rural areas near town. As I came back into town, I drove into a thunderstorm. While trying to navigate thru moderate rain down the city streets, I noticed a dramatic low arcing rainbow off to my left, so I quickly pulled into a parking and composed some photos.

This is my favorite photo of the rainbow. I cropped the photo to show the low arcing effect.

After I again headed down the street, the rain became heavier, the sun disappeared, and the rainbow was gone from my view in another few seconds.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Riley County Exploring

On Saturday, August 8, I made a trip around Riley County for my "Dare to do Dirt" quest.

I started by heading north on Deep Creek Rd from I-70, exit 316. This is scenic drive with views of hills all around. I passed the Deep Creek Schoolhouse, then turned east and stopped at Pillsbury Crossing. At this site, Deep Creek drops 5 feet over the underlying rock to form a waterfall about 60 feet across. I took some photos from downstream and some from the side. For an excellent description and photos of this site, see Keith Stokes page at this link:

After exploring around the Zeandale area for a bit, I headed west to the south edge of Manhattan, then southwest on McDowell Creek Road to the Konza Prairie. Even though it was about 95 degrees, I did walk the 3 mile nature trail and was rewarded with views of wildflowers, bluestem and many other tallgrass prairie vegetation, as well as spectacular views. For more information about the Konza Prairie see the following link:

I went to Junction City for a late lunch at Stacy's Restaurant. I've always had good home cooked meals here, this time a good hamburger steak with great grilled onions.

I left Junction City and headed back north into western Riley County. I first stopped at the Bala stone bridge to check out this great spot. I had the place to myself. After leaving Bala, I headed north to check out the historic ghost town of Lasita, then back east towards Randolph. Finally, I headed west along Fancy Creek Rd for some great views in this valley, before heading over into Clay County and heading for home.

During the day, I also found 3 historic pony truss bridges in Riley County. There are a couple of areas in the northern part of the county I still wish to explore at a later date.

For my photo gallery of Riley County, use the following link: