My early life experiences of Kansas were generally limited to the area of Atchison County, Kansas. In 1941, I left my home state to attend college.
During our residence in Denver, Colorado, we returned to my Kansas home to visit occasionally. We then noted on the Kansas road map a site almost on the Kansas-Colorado state line a site designated as Mr. Sunflower, altitude 4,037 feet.
A mountain in Kansas? We had to see it! Accordingly, we left Interstate 70 at Oakley, traveling west to Weskan where we took a surfaced county road north. Calculating our distances on the map, we followed gravel roads west and north to the supposed area of the site. On two attempts we failed in our efforts to find Mt. Sunflower, although we did see the remains of a faded sign and later discovered that we were within a mile or so.
After we were in our pastorate in Nortonville, beginning 1981, my curiosity was whetted to see more of the sights of Kansas. On one occasion we had visited in Denver and on the return trip we decided that we HAD to find Mt. Sunflower. We turned south from I-70 at Kanorado, following the county road and carefully calculating the distances. At the second turn to the east, we followed a country road straight south until we came to a farm-ranch where we saw some men working on machinery. We stopped for directions.
I asked the owner if he had heard of Mt. Sunflower. He replied, “Yes, I have. I have lived here all my life. Come here and I will show you where it is.” He pointed to a high swell of the rolling ranchland. He said, “It is right there. It is on private land so you should not drive up to it.” We found the site and walked up to it, where we found a little fenced-off square with a sign and a “sunflower” welded from horseshoes. A sign named it and its altitude. It was just over the Colorado state line in Kansas. There was a nice view of ranchland in both directions.
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