Thursday, December 22, 2011

The long way home

I took a couple days of work to go see my only brother who was hospitalized for a stroke in the Missouri Ozarks region. It is a fairly long and sometimes boring drive from the Flats so today on my way home I took a different route and stopped alot for photos and points of interest. I only took photos in Kansas and this was mostly southern Kansas near the Oklahoma state line. Lots of ghost towns in this are so I explored somewhat. I took the long way home. First stop across the KS line from Missouri is Baxter Springs which I knew as an old cow town (we have lots of those but this one is older) but my friend Bernard told me the town also had Civil War history. Not far from town I saw this big cemetery and noticed a monument for the first time and stopped to have a look around. It seems there was a Battle of Baxter Springs and there is a very nice Veteran's plot there honoring soldiers from several states. Very interesting and something I never knew before.

 Next town up the road was Chetopa (the catfish capitol of KS) and it sits right on the Spring river. Soon as you enter town is this nice old mill that looks abandoned.

And right up the street is this super cool Sinclair station sitting empty and neglected. It used to be so nice.....just imagine it in it's heyday. Must have been the owner's pride and joy.
And this additional building sits off to the end of it and is separate and so I racked my brain trying to figure out what it was used for. 
Then it hit me.....perhaps a motel office? And so I went behind the station and saw these cabins that are not visible from the front unless you were looking for them.
Wow, this place had it all. I was impressed.
This part of KS is the poverty most area of the state. Has always been depressed and run down for the most part. You can see giant piles of leftover gravel chat from zinc and lead mines that are abandoned (and toxic), ugly open pit abandoned coal strip mines full of water, and lots of junk and trash. Luckily I happen to like junk and trash! Ha I took time to see what I could. I did pass up some photo opps simply because there was too much clutter in some places.
Anyway, I was driving down the busy highway and there on the roadside were 3 big hogs.....

I swear, I see the craziest things on a daily basis! But this looked dangerous to me. Like a sausage fest just waiting to happen....yikes! So I went to the farm house and knocked on the door but no answer. Sadly I left the 3 little piggies to fend for themselves. I will never know their fate for sure.
I stopped at a little ghost town named Dearing because I remembered I have a friend who lives there. He wasn't home either but I took some pics of his place and it was cool. 

Another ghost town not far away yielded this nice old post war Spartan mobile home. Built by an aircraft company in Tulsa, OK that was first owned by wealthy oil man Skelly and later Getty. After the war they quit building planes and built the finest "Cadillac" of trailer homes in the industry. They closed the factory in 1962 and the Spartan name is still carried on by the Spartan School of Aeronautics which continues today. I liked this trailer....
Later in a small town I saw this very cool patriotic drive in hamburger joint that I really liked.
I changed roads and got far off the beaten path and saw some new parts of the KS Flint Hills region for the first time. I was not to be let down when I saw this station......I hit the jackpot! And as you can see it was starting to snow.

 and yet another drive in diner...
and a garage /dealership/station that is still open for business..........way cool to see one still being used like this!
And then the last photo in this entry is this very cool abandoned station at a ghost town a few more miles up the road.
That's all for this time but I have many more photos to share with you next time from this same road trip so stay tuned and thanks for looking!

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