Only a couple hundred miles from Wichita to Kansas City and the freeway seemed by far the most direct way to get there. Only after I got onto the on ramp did I realize it was a tollroad. Who knew there were tollroads in Kansas?
I soon got off the turnpike to tour the Flint Hills, which my friend Steve Rinkle told me about. It is a beautifully lush area, but calling them hills is a little bit like calling a dollar a fortune. In the West, such a hill would be lucky to qualify as a speed bump.
Nevertheless, the area appears to be very productive and I was startled to see, in Council Grove, the Farmers and Drovers Bank, pictured here. I thought a drover was someone who drove a wagon, but it is defined as one who drives cattle to market or a cattle dealer. So in this area, the name probably still makes sense.
As proof, I offer pictures of some of the residents of Flint Hills. You can tell it was a warm day because of the heavy attendance at the local swimming pool.
So far in this state I’ve been struck by how green and agriculturally fertile it is. Another feature on the flat horizon is the ubiquitous grain elevator, the Midwestern cathedral.
The real reason for getting to Kansas City a day early is barbecue. My host here is a friend (originally and still my son Eli’s friend) who lived with us for a time in Portland, Josh Sturgis. He sent me first to Q39, where I consumed the pictured feast (tip of the hat to number one daughter-in-law, Miriam, who taught me to take pictures of food). The potato salad was just okay, the ribs were good, but not as tender as some, the pulled pork was outstanding, the sauce – excellent, the cornbread acceptable (but no honey butter) and the beans were probably the best ever.
Finally, a bit of history. I was thinking more about the Wingnuts and their independent league and recalling the days when there were many more teams about, some of them semi-pro and some barnstormers. Perhaps the most interesting was the House of David, which my friend Kateri Walsh reminded me about. You can read more here.