I had planned to take today off in preparation for a weekend gravel tour, but with the trip aborted due to my riding partner having unexpected work conflicts, I decided to ride some gravel before I took the knobby tires off the bike.
I selected a route I’d been thinking about for awhile, a short run from Stilwell to Louisburg in extreme eastern Kansas, right along the Missouri border.
Getting a late start, I drove to Stilwell, parked at a local school, ans set off eastward on 199th Street. When I hit State Line Road I hung a right and headed south.
It’s a bit of an odd thing to be riding on a road labeled “State Line Road” — one state on one side of the road, another state on the opposite side. Makes you realize how arbitrary and meaningless some border lines really are.
It also makes you wonder how the road is maintained. Is the state line right down the middle, with Missouri responsible for the eastern half and Kansas for the western half? What about bridges — which state pays for those?
Anyway, the trip south was reasonably scenic, passing through tree-shaded sections and open sections surrounded by pastureland, with a few creeks to cross and a few short hills to climb (and one really steep one). I rolled down to 247th Street and took a little detour into Missouri to visit the convenience store in Cleveland, then got back on State Line Road and kept in heading south, I wasn’t riding fast, just ambling along enjoying the mild weather and roads I’d never ridden (or driven).
Before I knew it, I was at 271st Street, where I had planned to turn back. But instead, I just kept on riding, hitting Cold Water Road, a short jog on K-68, then Mission Belleview Road.
I finally turned west at 303rd Street, and stopped to take a couple photos:
I stayed on 303rd across Metcalf, and found myself on a road I’d ridden before, Rogers Road, which winds along South Wea Creek for a mile or so. This area is heavily wooded, and the stream is nicely rocky, and I stopped to take a few more photos along the way:
Later, after I’d stopped for a quick break in Louisburg, I was headed back north on Rockville Road when I came across a nice little surprise laying in the gutter:
Some days it pays to ride a bike!