The “Grading Roads” series I’ve been writing for several weeks has run out of steam, it seems. I was working on an installment about 330th from K-15 west to the McPherson County line — the “Roxbury Road” — for this week’s issue, but by the time I contacted the person who nominated it for a closer look several weeks ago, the condition had significantly improved.
The road still has problems common to gravel roads: dust, bumpiness in places, and the potential for rocks to damage tires and windshields. The shoulders could use some work, too, but when I drove it a couple weeks ago, it was generally a well-compacted gravel road.
That leaves me to start work on my next ongoing project. I want to know what makes your little corner of the world special. Maybe it’s a perfect little out-of-the-way spot for a picnic, or a historic site, or a unique locally made product, or an interesting place to spend part of a day. It could be almost anything; these are just some ideas. The point is, it should be something that makes Marion County different. To nominate something special in Marion County, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call (620) 382-2165.
The first thing that came to mind for me, thinking about my hometown of Washington, near the Nebraska border, was Mormon Springs (I think that is its name, at least). Out in the country, there is a natural spring that fills a pretty deep pool at the bottom of a tall bank of sandstone. It has probably grown in my mind since I last saw it, but I’m sure the sandstone rose at least 10 feet above the water. I went a few times with the Boy Scouts and my high school cross-country team.
The adventurous would climb the sandstone and carve their name or a message into the wall, or they would cannonball from the top of the bank into the pool below — I don’t remember seeing anyone risking a head-first dive, and I never jumped off because I hate heights. It wasn’t a place people often went, because it was definitely well off the beaten path, but it was a fun secret-but-not-really getaway for the people who knew it was there.
I wonder, do kids still go out there, or are they having too much fun texting?
— Adam Stewart