January 5-6, 2007
I drove back to the southeast, through Manhattan to the highlight of my weekend - the waterfall just below Pillsbury Crossing at Deep River. This is a beautiful 40' wide 5' high waterfall that should get a lot more attention. Pillsbury Crossing is a low water river crossing, where vehicles drive a 100' stretch through a few inches of water and go the long way around in high water. The falls are a little awkward to get to this time of year, particularly from the north side where I had to climb down about a 30' rock face. The climb isn't bad if you are careful, just enough to add a little adventure to the visit.
This location is just a few miles north of I-70 and I want to return when things are green.
Leaving the Manhattan area, I drove south to Council Grove to revisit a restaurant which I last visited in 2006. Hays House was opened by Daniel Boone's Grandson in 1857. Its customers have included Jesse James and George Armstrong Custer.
The hostess told me to seat myself and a server took my drink order, but didn't bring a menu. He brought my drink, then left to roll silverware in napkins. I had never been there on a Sunday before and decided that they must only offer the buffet on Sunday (something I have found at some other small town Kansas Restaurants). I was disappointed and immediately resolved not to stop there again on a Sunday.
There was a small salad bar with some good homemade items, but just two meat items - skillet fried chicken and beef stroganoff. I didn't care for the stroganoff, and the chicken was only average (it may be better when it is fresh instead of sitting out a long time on a steam table). However I was impressed with the rolls (and I don't even usually eat rolls), and with the mashed potatoes with possibly the best chicken gravy that I have ever had.
Imagine my chagrin when I was eating the food and the next party that entered the restaurant was given menus.
The ride back to I-70 near Topeka was along back roads through communities like Alta Vista & Dover. Pretty, but with a beauty that is hard to capture by camera, except for some interesting old buildings and a single piece of outsider art.
The rest of the drive home was uneventful.
copyright 2008-2009 by Keith Stokes.