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Oh-Oh…Oh! Council Grove to Osage City, Ottawa, and Osawatomie

I bicycled almost the entire way from Council Grove to Osawatomie, Kansas, yesterday on the Flint Hills Trail, a dedicated recreation path. Almost—there was just one detour, a couple-three mile country-road bend around some trail reconstruction west of Ottawa. And thank goodness for that detour: It led me to Burtle the turtle.

“Do I look like I need saving?” Turtle on the road, Flint Hills Trail detour, west of Ottawa, Kansas, 2024.07.01.
“Do I look like I need saving?” Turtle on the road, Flint Hills Trail detour, west of Ottawa, Kansas, 2024.07.01.

Smaller than my palm, Burtle the turtle was scrunched up in his shell in the middle of the hot gravel road. I swerved, stopped, and transported him to the side of the road. I was going to take a picture of him in my hand, the turtles, hate cameras, and Burtle the turtle literally left from my hand into the shady grass and scampered toward the trees.

In other trail news…

It rained overnight, and it was still cloudy when I left The Cottage House at 6 a.m. Would I look out and avoid the rain?
Flint Hills trailhead, Council Grove.
Plenty of trees at first…
Obelisk about a mile from the trail


… But pretty soon, open range. Nothing to keep that easterly headwind or the rain away.
It did start sprinkling, then raining hard. I plowed forward, figuring if I did get stuck, I could count on New Holland to tow my bicycle out of the mud.
Only once during the rain did I have to cross a flooded road. The water here, still a ways west of Osage City, was about halfway to my knees.
It quit raining by the time I got to Osage City. My bike was a mess, but I was still smiling, because…
… I found Casey’s in Osage City! This is no paid endorsement, because you know I don’t do that stuff. I just really like Casey’s pizza and pie.


Lots of creeks, flooding, Big and Brown after the rain but this old rail bed is nicely banked up and goes over all those creeks.
My fingers were still pruny for an hour after the rain.
a few miles east of Osage city didn’t have good gravel cover, so they were sloppy, slippery…
… and sticky! When I got back to good gravel, the mud on my tires, picked up all those pebbles, and threw them into my sandals and gear. Yuck!
The only tunnel on the trail, under Highway 268. Oh, and Kansas marks its state highways with sunflowers. That’s pretty.
By noon, sun’s out…
… guns out!
I rode my bike to Ottawa on Canada Day.
Check out the pin on my pouch.
Always on my pack, on Canada Day and every day.
at some point, the good people of Ottawa decided the best place for a bicycle trail is right down the middle of the street. Okey-dokey.
Bicycles must jump over pedestrians.
Lots of trees along the trail from Ottawa to Osawatomie, especially along the surprisingly deep valleyed Marais des Cygnes River. (Alas, I saw no swans.)
No problem. I can hold it till Osawatomie.
Osawatomie, inching upward…
That’s my day! Council Grove to Osawatomie! And I’m pretty much dried out.
Camp sweet camp, in the John Brown Memorial Park. (Bicycle becomes drying rack.)

South today from Osawatomie. I don’t know where I’ll stop, but I will stop to help turtles.