Although the sunflower state is often the butt end of many tourism jokes, I have always found a simple beauty in the rolling plains. Sure, Kansas may be lacking in mountains and forests, but that doesn’t mean it has nothing worth stopping to look at.

This weekend Matt and I decided to take a day trip through the flint hills region of Kansas to do some hiking and photographing. The Flint Hills is a large, rocky prairie which spans the state north to south about 130 miles west of here. We stopped and enjoyed many small towns, one of particular note was Council Grove. To me, this town seemed to be what every small town should be… clean streets, well kept homes, a cute downtown, and a nearby lake….all around a vibrant community. This weekend was their town festival, so it was bustling with activity and traditional ‘fair food’ such as funnel cakes, cotton candy, and my personal favorite, corn dogs.

I am not sure if it was just a lucky day or what, but as the sun starts to set out there the landscape explodes with colors. The sky was a vibrant mix of red, orange, purple, blue, and a few other colors I have never seen before. The setting sun cast it’s colors all over the landscape…giving everything, including our skin a weird colorful hue…it really was quite amazing.

Sometimes even the most simple things can stunning.


kansas flint hills eureka lo-mar
We stopped for lunch in the town of Eureka, KS at this nifty small town placed called “Lo-Mar”. It’s one of those places where the food is as greasy as it is good. One of my favorite things about traveling the country is stopping at small eating establishments such as this.kansas flint hills
Does this look like the windows xp background to anyone else?

kansas flint hills
Here we have the remains of an old stone house… one of many that dot the kansas landscape. A guy that happened to be driving by informed us that people lived there until the ’60s and then it burned. I would have guessed it had been even longer.

kansas flint hills
The long road ahead and a beautiful summer sky.

kansas flint hills ryan mccoy
Here I am standing, enjoying the view.

kansas flint hills
The Chase County Courthouse in Cottonwood Falls – the oldest courthouse still in use in kansas.

kansas flint hills matt mcneece
Matt hiking along the trail at the Tallgrass Prairie National Park.

kansas flint hills abandoned school house
I am thinking school let out a long time ago here.

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The school from off in the distance.

kansas flint hills
The day ended with this great sunset over the flint hills. Actually it ended with a long drive home and getting pulled over by the Neodesha Police Dept for going 25 in a 20… but I didn’t take any photos of that. For the record, it takes a significant amount of effort to drive a jetta under 20mph.