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Leaving Kansas - August 2023

It has been a year since mom was diagnosed with metastatic brain cancer and I headed to Kansas. We had a graveside memorial on August 19th, a day before the 127th Burton Family Reunion, in Parkerville, Kansas, population 43.

It was a very nice remembrance of her by so many of her loved ones. She is now at peace in the countryside where she was born and raised. She often described herself as a country girl.

The reunion is held on the third Sunday of every year going back as far as I can remember. I was surprised by how many folks attended despite the intense heat of 110 on Saturday and 105 on Sunday.

Parkerville, Kansas is fairly close to Council Grove, Kansas. Several of my cousins stay at the Council Grove Lake Reservoir for the reunion which is where I also stay when attending the reunion. There is a lot of history there as it was the last stop for supplies before settlers headed West on the Santa Fe trail. The place where Council Grove now stands was mentioned by travelers as early as 1820, and in 1825, a treaty was negotiated with the Osage Indians for a right-of-way for the Santa Fe Trail, a portion of which would later become the main street of Council Grove. The treaty between U.S. commissioners and the Osage Indian chiefs took place in “The Grove,” thereby providing the name of the place. Long before a town ever developed, many who traveled along the Santa Fe Trail gathered their wagons together here, and moved westward in larger groups, as beyond the “Grove” the trail was often fraught with Indian attacks (Council Grove, Kansas – Supplying the Santa Fe Trail – Legends of America).

I had a couple of meals at the Hays House Restaurant on the main street in Council Grove. It was opened by Seth Hays, great-grandson of Daniel Boone and was a lucrative trading post for the lifelong bachelor which also served food. The restaurant is the oldest, continuously operating, restaurant west of the Mississippi.

I am heading back to the Pacific Northwest now. I quick stop on the way, Rosebud Creek, Montana, a tributary of the Yellowstone River. Interesting fact about the Yellowstone River, it's the longest undammed river in the lower 48 states, flowing 692 miles from Wyoming to North Dakota.

I am writing this while at a stop along the way, Custer, Montana. (9/4/23)

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