Exploring the backroads

Above: a Chase County road near Clements.

While the purpose of this site is largely to promote my Kansas photography, it’s also always been a joy of mine to share the discoveries I’ve made while exploring my home state’s backroads. It’s a sad reality that many people only experience Kansas by traveling I-70 between Kansas City and Denver. There are some beautiful stretches of road on I-70, but overall the route wasn’t selected for scenic reasons.

Starting in high school and continuing into my college years, I worked on a contract with the Kansas Department of Transportation and the Kansas State Historical Society. The project was to research and write National Register nominations for various classes of historic Kansas bridges: stone, iron, and a variety of early concrete designs. The bridges had to be photographed as well, and they were seldom on main roads. Sometimes the roads no longer even existed — just the bridges! So, long-story-short, I drove a lot of Kansas backroads and often discovered landscapes that were surprising and beautiful.

I’ll be sharing a lot more of these “hidden” spots and scenic backroads in future posts. For now, I’ll just urge you all to get off of the interstates from time to time and to see where a dirt road might lead.

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