Saturday, October 26, 2013

Beautiful Backroads

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Sunset over the Kansas prairie
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It's autumn again, and the colors are absolutely beautiful!  Here in Kansas, at least in the little rural area we live in, this means even the yard itself is turning different shades.  Yes, some parts of our yard are turning shades of light reds and yellow, similar to the trees!

Here in South East Kansas, the sugar maples are blazing in crimson, orange, fiery yellows, and still hints of greens.  Smaller bushes are deep in reds, and leaves are starting to fill the yards.

Lately I've been travelling from the SE part of Kansas to Topeka to handle home visits with my son while he is at a psychiatric residential treatment facility (PRTF) for a short while.  We're talking approximately 180 miles one way, through the flat prairies and the edges of the Flint Hills.  This drive has been beautiful as the seasons change and colors turn from greens to a whole variety.

The photo above, from Art.com, shows a typical scene I see on the drive north on Hwy 75 between Yates Center and Topeka.  The land is still covered in fescue and other grasses, some baled for hay, some left standing, and lots of rolling hills.  This is what I imagine when I read the Little House books, where Laura describes her time in Kansas.  We live not too far from the area the Ingalls family travelled through and lived back in the late 1860's or early 1870's, so it is fun to imagine what it looked like back then.  There are many old Victorian houses and towns built along the trails from the early days of the territory and then state, and honestly some of the scenery and buildings I see along the more rural route to Topeka looks as though it hadn't moved along with time.  Old barns and sheds, outhouses, big beautiful unpainted Victorians, old smaller farm houses stand lonely and open in the fields along the way.



Bourbon County, KS (my own picture)



Log cabin in Lyndon, KS  city park on Hwy 75, courtesy of Capitol Journal of Topeka




Piqua, KS, St. Michael's Catholic Church (my own pictures)


What impresses me the most are the old buildings still in use.  One town I drive through a lot lately, named Iola, has kept their old buildings in working order, some as museums, some as commercial businesses, and many beautiful homes standing proud along the main streets of town.


Iola, KS, my own picture

Iola, KS, my own picture



  Another little town, Ottawa, has a gorgeous train depot museum complete with "incoming" train that never moves, as well as stunning old Victorians.




Old Burlington Flour Mill, Burlington KS



When you get a chance, take the rural route to your destination!  While these pictures were linked to sites, these are what I see driving each time I travel to Topeka.  I didn't have shoulder room on the highway to safely pull over and get pictures of everything I'd love to share.  There's so much beauty in the rural areas, little things you miss taking the interstates.  God created a lot of beauty, in the changing trees, in the fields of fescue and beans and other grains, the rolling hills, flat plains, and it's a shame to miss what He has created!

While it takes a little longer travelling the back ways, you'd be glad you did!

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