|Looking West toward Morris County. This was where it started looking more like what I had remembered from the past.|
|Approaching Dunlap, Kansas.|
I figured on making a Northward turn and going a couple of miles to a forced left, then a mile West, and then a mile North to another left which should have me on the way to Council Grove. I set off and the land suddenly changed to steeply pitched rollers with rocky outcroppings and loose, shalely flint and limestone to traverse in spots. In other words, classic Flint Hills topography.
|Fewer trees, steeper hills, and less farming here. This is a classic Flint Hills look.|
Well, the map did show it, but I'll be darned if I could find it where the map said that I should. Okay, so there was one more chance a mile North of that. Hmm......I got there and the same deal. I looked really hard for this turn, and it wasn't there. The next right was though. Okay, maybe a case of the DOT maps being wrong then? I've seen that before in Iowa. But now I had to consider my options. Gravel to Council Grove wasn't an option now, and the thought of going into town several miles on U.S. Highway 56 wasn't very appealing. Oh, I should probably mention that there were two other mitigating factors here forcing my hand.
One was that I had a limited view via paper map. If it was off my maps, it was off limits. That kind of put going South and West out of the question. Secondly, I have an unwritten rule which is that I never backtrack. Always move forward. So, I had only one good option. Straight ahead. It was on my maps, didn't require running any pavement, and fit my rule. Okay then.... Just about at this time an old Ford Taurus passes me by which was being driven by a young man. I waved. He waved. I figured that was it. However; he stopped, backed up, and asked if I was okay. I said that I was, but "....thanks for checking up on me!" That was really a nice gesture on his part.
|Barns For Jason|
|A rarely used road|
I climbed up and up and the road got more and more rustic until I came upon a warning sign for a Minimum Maintenance Road. We call these "Level B Roads" in Iowa, but the rest of the country seems to have fallen on "MMR" as the designation for these old, little used roads in remote areas.
|More grass than gravel!|
|The gravel returns, but where does the road go?!!|
|A low water crossing and turkeys up on the road ahead.|
I followed them through the wooded area out into an open meadow where I stopped once again to set new goals. I needed to assess where I was at with water supplies and food so I could figure out how much further I could push on. I wanted to get into Wabaunsee County if I could. The county named after a Potawatomi Chief. The name, Wah-bon-seh, means "Dawn Of Day", and I had a great "dawn to my day" already, so I figured it was only fitting, but I needed to know I could get there safely. I also had to figure out where I could get into and out of that county, as the grid didn't exist up there. Choices were few and it was critical to make the right move.
|Flowers for Kristi. (She likes living ones, I hear)|
|At the border of Wabaunsee County. Gotta love the name of this road!|
Next: Chalk District 3