From a photograph by Solomon D. Butcher of four daughters of rancher Joseph M. Chrisman, at their sod house in Custer County, Nebraska. From left to right, Harriet, Elizabeth, Lucie, and Ruth. Photographed in 1886.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Scenic Kansas Highway 160

What I saw between Independence and Winfield


Here are a few photos I took last summer in Kansas. I attended my aunt's funeral in Independence, Kansas, in the morning and then drove to my brother's place north of Harper, Kansas, that afternoon.

I took Highway 160 from Independence to Harper. Kansas Highway 160 is a two-lane, east/west, "principal highway" that stretches across the entire state of Kansas. The section I traveled runs about 20-30 miles north of the Kansas/Oklahoma state line.



This valley just west of Independence, KS,
has a unique topography.


I wondered if this old building had once
been a boarding house or hotel, or perhaps
the town home of a wealthy cattle baron. I
can't remember which little town this was in,
so I must drive Highway 160 again and find out!


Despite scorching temperatures, the grass was green and
lush in the Elk River valley. Rain had been ample thus far.

 
The Flint Hills are a tallgrass prairie. I always enjoy
driving through them. Trees are scarce, the sky
is immense, and the view seems endless.


Main gate of a Flint Hills ranch. No buildings
were in sight. It's impossible to guess how far
 from the highway the ranch headquarters are.


The Stockman's Cafe in Cambridge, Kansas. The
mural on the side of the building is called
"The Count." The cowboy is standing on the
hilltop, counting the cattle in the valley below.


After the small and empty cowtowns of the Flint Hills,
Winfield appeared both populous and prosperous.
Well-kept older homes and large trees line both sides
of Highway 160 as it enters the east side of town.

Related on the web:
Early Cambridge Kansas Pictures
Elk Falls - World's Largest Living Ghost Town
Old postcards of Longton, Kansas
Kansas - The Elk River Valley (Flickr)

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CONTENTMENT: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry, live simply, expect little, give much, sing often, pray always, forget self, think of others and their feelings, fill your heart with love, scatter sunshine. These are the tried links in the golden chain of contentment.
(Author unknown)

IT IS STILL BEST to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasure; and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong.
(Laura Ingalls Wilder, 1867-1957)

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