Where Rail Crosses Trail

When the weather forecast for the weekend was published few days ago, I knew it was time to get out of town for few hours. Nothing clears out the mind like two hundred miles in rural Kansas on a first sunny and warm Sunday of the year. I started to look for a place to visit on the best Kansas travel resource but nothing grabbed my eye, so I just looked at the map and noticed a place called Admire, KS. I knew I had to go there and admire it.

U.S. Route 56 leaves Olathe, passes through the armpits of Johnson County known as Gardner and Egderton and makes its way towards Oklahoma through the fields as far as the eye can see. Rolled down windows let the fresh air in and the smell of old hay, burning leaves and an occasional skunk filled up my lungs. I was on the way to Admire.
By the way, have you ever been to Scranton, KS?

Now you have.
Much more interesting is the town of Burlingame down the road.

Burlingame looks like a worn out Mayberry…

…where Aunt B’s is the name of a restaurant.

Aunt B’s niece is getting married next week, so you’ll have to eat elsewhere.

Flower arrangements by Missy’s Flower Shop.

Meat for the wedding is already stored in the Meat Locker.

The Wedding announcement will be published in the cleverly named Newspaper (founded in 1863).

On the guest list is the frequent customer and an old-timey lawyer…

…who enjoys spending his lunch hour from 12 to 1 at Aunt B’s.

Miss Jandi and her students will also be in attendance.

Cheer-leading poodles are the only advertisement for her business.

Church is conveniently located around the corner.

Burlingame will have to wait for another visit, when I may be able to solve the mystery of the piano keys above the tire shop windows.


I still had a long way to Admire.

People in these parts still keep cannons in their front yards, just in case.

Finally I was close to my goal. While taking this photo I drove into something that I can still smell on my car and can only describe as putrid.

Admire was right in front of me.

At least it was a god-fearing town.

High school looks little over-sized for the population of 117 (0.56% Native American, 0.56% from other races, and 3.39% from two or more races. 1.13% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.) That’s .65 of a Native American, must be handicapped or something.

Every tall structure begs you to admire it.

Last Chance Cafe is the best and the only pizza deal in town.

Another water tower was built mainly to display the town’s name.

I had a short drive to Emporia…

…where Jesus Christ wanted me to stop and accept him. Sadly there was no parking.

A friendly cock pointed the way home.

I felt tired but refreshed at the same time. With my head cleared up I settled down on the couch thinking about the roads, small towns, open spaces and partial Native Americans.

  • Oxana

    Sounds like you had a lot of fun 🙂 Town name Admire is definitely something to admire 🙂

  • I can verify, for the record, that yes MVs car stinks.

  • I travel for JOOLS

    Our vanishing past.

  • This makes me wish Cliff and I could go for a motorcycle ride on the back roads. Well of course we COULD go for a ride… but it wouldn’t be much fun, cold and wet as it is.

  • Vanishing indeed…it is both fascinating and depressing to visit small town America these days. Great photos, m.v.

    • To be honest I am surpised people still live at these places. Long time ago they had relevance i.e. Santa Fe trail, railroads, cattle, but since it’s gone I can never tell what these people do for living. However, places like Burlingame show some effort to keep the place up. On Sunday they advertised a BBQ for bikers and there were quite a few bikes parked on the street. I also saw an ad for a car show in April. It’s a nice weekend trip even with kids.

  • Alan

    Great post, Meesha. I especially enjoyed “Every tall structure begs you to admire it.”

    • Thanks, Alan. JCCC made me the writer I am today :-). My first year I refused to type and my Comp I teacher had to read my handwriting for the whole semester.

  • Joe

    Nice pics. I linked to this post with credit.

  • I love those random little towns in Kansas. But I prefer to be further from Emporia if possible. The stench is just beyond bad there! (I think it’s a chicken plant, or something? I can’t remember…)

    I went to Gas, KS once for a weekend. Lovely place. I’d love to move somewhere like that, if it weren’t for the distance it is from a major airport. (I’m weird in that regard…and in many others, I s’pose.)

  • Alan

    Really, Meesha? JCCC? I’ve taught there for years! Who was your comp teacher?

  • To be honest I don’t remember,it was 1993.Next semester I had a different instructor,she didn’t care to read my handwriting so I had to learn typing (on WordPerfect)

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