LAST DAY OF WINTER

TL 3-19 LAST DAY OF WINTER

I’m so ready, aren’t you???  Lately, I’ve been awakened by birds and sunlight streaming into my room.  Once we get past the initial shock of Daylight Savings Time, that’s when the real magic begins.  We look forward to tee-shirt weather and longer evenings.  Some of us also muddle through allergies, but it’s still worth it.HE'S STILL CREATING

In Kansas we’ve learned to approach the first day of spring with a cautious optimism.  I have memories of April snow storms!  One year I was hosting a birthday tea on April 2nd – and had to call around at the last-minute because there was a winter storm raging outside!  But I don’t feel that doubt this year like I have in years past – maybe because Easter is so early.  I think we’re safe from winter’s sneaky game this year.

The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another.  The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month.  – Henry van Dyke

I took my first walk outdoors yesterday.  For starters, I survived – yay!  I wore sweats and thought that would be warm enough, but the breeze was still fairly chilly.  My ears felt a little sore when I got home, but I’m no worse for wear.  There’s something special about knowing the walks will be outside.  I don’t enjoy walking on a treadmill and find it very dull.IT'S A PERFECT DAY TO FEEL GREATOur local Lowe’s is getting all set up for spring and summer in their garden center.  Whether you plant vegetables or flowers, there’s an excitement about playing in the dirt!  Even after we’re adults, we make mud pies – oh, come on – admit it!  You still like to make mud pies!

It’s spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it, you want — oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!  – Mark Twain

Will you fly a kite this month?  It’s been years since I’ve done that!  I used to live across the street from a popular park where people would go to fly kites.  Those are good memories.  I used to take my Sunday School class to the park to fly kites and have a picnic in March.  I made them promise to show up for Sunday School – and most of them kept that promise.GOD HAS POURED OUT HIS LOVEWe plant the seed and God provides everything that little seed needs to grow into something wonderful.  It’s true for plants, flowers and people.  When we plant the seed of God’s Word, He makes it grow!  Just keep on plantin’…  that’s what we’re here for, right?  🙂

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DAY TRIPPIN’ AROUND KANSAS

DAY TRIPPIN' AROUND KANSAS

 

9-5 CORONADO HEIGHTS

 

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It’s a journey we and many other families have taken many times through the years. We went to Coronado Heights Park this week just to get out of the house for a while.

Of course this landmark just northwest of Lindsborg, Kansas was not always known as a park. It was the highest hill in the area (a prominent 300 ft. above the valley below) where local legend teaches that Francisco Vasquez de Coronado surveyed the rich valley before he abandoned his search for the legendary Land of Quivera and its seven cities of gold.

Chain mail was found by a professor at Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas in 1915. It was at an Indian village excavation site a few miles southwest of Coronado Heights. Another Bethany College professor promoted the name of Coronado Heights for the hill. In 1920, Swensson Drive was constructed on the hill with a footpath known as Olsson Trail.

In 1936, the Historical Society sold Coronado Heights to Saline County for $1.00 so the Depression-era Work Progress Administration could make further improvements to the park, including construction of the iconic castle, additional cooking and picnic areas, and restroom facilities. They also built a front gate made of the same soft Dakota Formation sandstone.

In 1987, Saline County sold Coronado Heights back to the Smoky Valley Historical Association for – you guessed it – $1.00. I think that’s a HOOT.

In 1988 a sculpture that says “Coronado Heights, A Place to Share” was put at the half-way point up the hill. It was obvious the Heights should be valued and accessible for everyone to enjoy.

Now it’s a park, owned by the Smoky Valley Historical Association. The view from the top is amazing and you can see for miles. There are wildflowers in bloom on the hill in the spring and summer months. A beautiful mix of yucca, butterfly milkweed and spiderwort along with various prairie grasses are astounding. Clumps of sandhill plum, sumac and gooseberry are found around the north and east sides of the hill. As you get closer to the entrance, you can see where people have carved their initials in the soft sandstone.

I was talking with a local shop owner in Lindsborg who told me the castle has been used in movies! He recalled a couple of years ago when large vehicles were parked all around Coronado Heights – up top! He said he was amazed they could maneuver the curves and avoid the potholes going up Swensson Drive. I must say, I agree. The road is very rough and there are some hairpin curves!

The Smoky Valley Historical Association is trying to raise funds to make some necessary repairs to the park, specifically, update the bathrooms and make some repairs in the picnic area. I asked if the road was on the list of things to repair. I was assured that it was the third item on their “to-do” list. If you would like to give, you can send it to:

SMOKY VALLEY HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION
P.O. BOX 255
LINDSBORG, KS 67456

Or, credit & debit card donations may be made by going to:
http://www.lindsborghistory.org
and click on the Coronado Heights donate button.

A gift to support Coronado Heights is an investment in the history of Kansas and the future of Kansas. I hope and pray that future generations of Kansans will get to enjoy the natural beauty of Kansas as they picnic with their families at Coronado Heights Park.
Kansas thanks you!

The Smoky Valley Historical Association is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation.

Directions: From Lindsborg (18 miles S. of Salina), follow K-4 to the west edge of town. Take Coronado Avenue 3 miles north to Winchester Road and go 1 mile west. Open 8 AM to 11 PM.

We here in Kansas say, “Go down Coronado till you pass the cemetery, then hang a right!” I hope if you’re ever in Kansas you’ll visit Coronado Heights Park.   🙂