Saturday, June 6, 2009

On the Road Again: Snokomo Road and the Native Stone Scenic Byway (Part 1)

Friday, June 5, 2009 - It felt good to get behind the wheel of the old Isuzu and head out for a day of Kansas back roads adventures again. This surgery recuperation business has been a long, slow process, and I have long been eager to get out of the house and go exploring!

With only a general itinerary in mind - Paxico and nearby Snokomo Road, I headed west. The Google map at left shows the route upon which I settled: Snokomo Road south to Kansas Highway 4 with a stop at Eskridge for lunch; then following Highway 99 (the Native Stone Scenic Byway) with a stop at Wabaunsee Lake to Alma. From there it was back on the interstate to home and suburbia.

Earlier in the year, I had stopped in Paxico only to discover that I had no battery in my camera. After back-tracking to Topeka to purchase a new battery, it was necessary to hastened on to my meeting in central Kansas, promising myself to re-visit this colorful village. I'm pleased that I made it back, and on such a glorious day for photography. The sky could not have been any bluer, the clouds any "puffier," as you will see in the church picture further below.

Main Street - Paxico, Kansas DSC_7973 cr ed jpg Ramblin Rose Cafe - Paxico, Kansas

Tourism must rank only second to agriculture in Paxico's economy, and travelers are there to visit its many antique shops which are located in the town's refurbished downtown buildings. Thirty years ago, this was almost a ghost town, but now it's a delight to see and visit. Furthermore, I read this progressive little burg now has not one, not two, but three annual festivals! There's the Harvest Festival in October, a one-day blues fest in September, and best of all - a Meat Loaf Festival in June! Who can resist a meat loaf cook off?

Chicken a la Cart

Above - "Chicken a la Cart." I didn't make that up. That's what the shop owner called it. "Chicken a la Cart" works for me. He had a number of other chickens (roosters, actually) around the place, too.

Antique Business - Paxico, Kansas

Just north of town is a stately church whose twin spires can be seen for a number of miles. It is the Sacred Heart Catholic Church, whose cornerstone indicated, in English and German, that the congregation was organized in 1874, and this lovingly-maintained building finished in 1922. I did not attempt to enter or obtain a photo of the interior.

Sacred Heart Catholic Church - Paxico, Kansas

Many times as I have driven along I-70 I have looked at the Snokomo Road exits and promised myself to explore that road some day. This was the day. It's gravel all the way south to K-4, but in good condition and is a nice drive through this section of the Flint Hills. There is a Snokomo Creek, and apparently at one time a hamlet called Snokomo in the area, but I don't see that community on any maps, even my DeLorme Atlas of Kansas. A number of picturesque, but abandoned, stone school houses and barns particularly caught my eye along the route. Below are scenes photographed along the way:

Part 2 of this blog (coming soon) will feature stops at the town of Eskridge, at Lake Wabaunsee, and views along the Native Stone Scenic Byway between Eskridge and Alma.

All photos in this blog © frank thompson photos, and may not be reproduced or reused in any manner without written consent of the copyright holder.

1 comment:

  1. Frank,

    Glad you're able to get back out again! Your barn photos and stone school brought back memories - I found some photos of mine from June, 2002 that are similar.

    Did you see the Snokomo school? It's in this area and has a historical sign in front.