Hatteberg's People - Virgil Meyer

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On Hatteberg’s People, rural Kansas is a big place with small pleasures. One of those pleasures is a place called Elm Springs. Never heard of it? Few have. It’s near the Chisholm Trail south of Carlton, Kansas and that’s where I found Virgil Meyer. He’s one of those older Kansans who has worked the hills south of Carlton and he shared this special place with me.

No matter what the man-made turmoil is in Washington, on the prairie and in the Kansas hills there is no urgency. Over the hills, you can see the elevator in Carlton, Kansas. Downtown, they don’t take themselves too seriously. Here, life has its own pace and folks who live here south of Abilene know that only the land is forever.

Virgil Meyer loves this land. For his 90 years these hills have been his life.

“I like to people like you. Years ago before they had all the parks and things people would come down here on Sunday.”

There are little places in Kansas that few know and this is one of them.

“Just a pretty place. I used to come down here and take a bath when I was a little kid in grade school.”

It is called Elm Springs and locals say it is along the Chisholm Trail where covered wagons might have stopped.

“A lot of harvest hands used to come down here and take a bath after thrashing. It was kind of cold.”

Nearly impossible to find, it is located in a remote prairie location adjacent to Virgil’s land.

“Yeah, I like to come out here.”

Virgil has been coming here since he was a kid and this part of Kansas has always been home.

“This is the only place I’ve ever been. I don’t know if there are better places or not.”

While travel hasn’t been part of his life…a tiny piece of paradise is….This little waterfall in the middle of the Kansas prairie.

“When it is hot outside, it’s always cool in here.”

A waterfall hidden except to those, like Virgil, who know the gifts of the Kansas Prairie.


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