I drove to Newton, Kansas to deliver art to a gallery. Making the opportunity to slow down I got off the beaten path and took a deliberately meditative 24 hour motorized walk-a-bout through the Flint Hills and surrounding areas. Exploring with my camera, I paused repeatedly to look and feel what the land had to reveal.
Erected in 1882, this pioneer church was destroyed by a tornado on April 26, 1991. I could have spent all day exploring its cemetery. So many stories are revealed on grave stones. I get a real sense of connection to people who lived 150 years ago.
Happy Look outlived her husband by 21 years and was eventually laid to rest next to him. I think about Happy who periodically visited this grave and stood where I was standing. I find myself hoping that Happy did indeed live a happy life.
I shot this mail box and it's shadow as reference for a painting but I also like it simply as a photograph.
I spent the night in Salina which has numerous mom and pop motels in the nostalgic tradition.
Exploring leads to gems like this. A one room school house of atypical architecture. I know nothing of this school and hope to uncover details about it. I also plan to shoot it again with a big supercell thunderstorm in the background!
Barn study for a painting I plan to make.
1918, when schools had merry-go-rounds and merry-go-rounds had door knob handles to hang on to.
Cedar Point, Kansas is a ghost town but the Cedar Point Mill is undergoing renovation.
The 1896 Bichet School House east of Florence. That old bell is still up there!
I observed this mother duck in the center of downtown Newton, Kansas. I hope she gets a police escort to the nearest body of water when the ducklings hatch.
The abandoned Holiday Motel in Florence, Kansas holds my attention because evidence of the owner’s personal expression is everywhere to be found in the form of sundry appointments like these chairs and tables. Why are these things still in place? What happened to the owner and why did he or she suddenly disappear?
Lunch in Alma.
The Volland one room school is majestically perched on a hillside as if to say, “We hold education in high regard!”. I was able to shoot it as a spectacular shelf cloud passed overhead. The Kansas landscape is 90% sky and we look to the atmosphere for drama.
Every road trip begins with the first mile marker. This image symbolizes the excitement one feels on the first leg of a journey. The feeling of departure and liberation that comes from finally getting away. Kansas is a quiet and contemplative place to explore. It’s a wonderful place to be alone with your thoughts. And just when you think you’re getting bored the sky will provide an incredible thunderstorm to acutely sharpen all your senses. Please share this with someone who needs a road trip.