Sign
Sign
Sign
Peaches and I needed another picture-taking trip; I'm running out of puzzle material. We thought that Castle Rock in Gove County, KS would be a good place. We headed west on I-70 from Russell and decided we would stop in Ellis for lunch and to visit the Railroad Museum. They have a really nice model railroad setup, and a lot of railroad memorabilia. It would be nice to see some of the story of Kansas railroading incorporated in the presentation. They also have a train ride around the grounds. This looked like fun, but we didn't take it. The museum costs $2.00.

Castle Rock is pretty much out in the middle of nowhere Getting there is half the fun, of course. Go to Quinter (Exit 107) and head south on Castle Rock Road. The paved road deteriorates into gravel, but you can still make good time. You drive about 15 miles south and will see a sign if you are paying attention. Head east for four miles until you see the sign in the picture at left. As we made the turn, Peaches said "The sign says 'Go 80'". I said, "Well, OK". I only made it to 70 before I started slowing down for the cattle guard.

Looking back on it now, with the wisdom that comes from age and experience, and through the hysterical laughter created by surviving a youthful indiscretion, I realize that the sign probably designates ' Gove County Road 80', not some sort of speed designation. To set the scene: The entrance road runs north for about a half mile on a slight uphill grade. This may be the best maintained road in the county. It is sand and provides decent traction without much squirming. You can get up a pretty good head of steam if you try. The cattle guard is raised up about two feet (that's why I thought I'd better slow down a little). As you go, what you see is the straight road, then the little hump for the cattle guard, and finally the bluff up ahead. What you don't see is that the road pretty much tees off just beyond the cattle guard. You will observe this from the picture at left. Yes, those are my skid marks running over the guard, through the washout, then heading off into the pasture. I think it would be advisable for the county to put a sign up at the cattle guard that says "Slow down stupid! We were only kidding!"

Now, just to tell you what kind of guy I am, I figured I would try again. After running around on the rocks taking pictures for a while, we went back to the end of the road for another run at 'er. It can be done! I touched 80 about 50 yards from the cattle grate and slammed on the brakes. We skipped over the grate and pitched it left (that's the straighter fork) with little problem. I don't know what the tourists on the bluff thought. I don't have any proof of this magnificent feat, but Peaches is game to go back and try it again with video and sound.

You are perhaps wondering if we actually got any pictures of the scenery; yes we did and you can use the links on the right to see some slide shows.