Trail of Kansas Grain Elevators

Greensburg Kansas Grain Elevator

Greensburg Kansas Grain Elevator © 2011 Bo Mackison

In Kansas we dodged the interstate for a two lane road that cut 90 miles from our travels. Crossing Kansas on Highway 54 there are only small towns separated by a few miles. Usually the only structures of any height or size in these hamlets are the massive grain elevators. And since every gathering of houses had at least one, I decided to document my travels from Wichita to Liberal, Kansas with grain elevators.

Road Trip - Joy Kansas

Joy Kansas Grain Elevator © 2011 Bo Mackison

My camera did a better job of shooting distance vs. close up and straight out the window rather than at an angle. So there will be wonky roads, wonky silos, wonky signposts, and out of focus grasses in the foreground. Consider it part of the charm of a series of Kansas grain elevators taken with the iPhone and the Hipstamatic app.

Mullinville Kansas Grain Elevator

Mullinville Kansas Grain Elevator © 2011 Bo Mackison

I considered cropping this and straightening the verticals. Then decided against much post processing. Who has time to play with their photos on a computer when on a car trip? When we hit the motels at night we have tomorrow’s traveling on our minds. (Also who is the quickest to grab the best pillow.)

Bucklin Kansas Grain Elevator

Bucklin Kansas Grain Elevator © 2011 Bo Mackison

I’m not sure how I managed to photograph this grain elevator in Bucklin considering it was in the middle of the afternoon. Looks like an evening or night photo. But it’s got an interesting quality about it. Glad it’s not my job to climb those stairs circling the sides. Sherpa agrees.

Road Trip - Kansas Grain Elevators

Kingsdown Kansas Grain Elevators © 2011 Bo Mackison

As we headed further south, the grain elevators became larger and larger. Six stacks in Kingsdown. Kismet, Kansas also had a large elevator , but we fell into a fit of laughter as we drove through town and missed any photo of any part of Kismet. Next time…

Road Trip - Minneola Kansas

Minneola Kansas Grain Elevators © 2011 Bo Mackison

And at least ten cylinders in Minneola.

I am not an expert on grain elevators and my internet access is sketchy enough that I won’t be doing any research for a while. But there are a lot of harvested fields and a lot of filled grain silos.

Liberal Kansas

Liberal Kansas Grain Elevator © 2011 Bo Mackison

The last in a long line of grain elevators. Liberal was my favorite of the grain elevator towns, though it had nothing to do with the grain elevators.

Liberal’s main street is christened Pancake Blvd. How can you not love a town that forgoes Main Street for Pancake Blvd.

From Liberal, we zagged through the panhandle of Oklahoma and then the panhandle of Texas before driving fifty miles in New Mexico and settling in a cozy motel in Tucamacori.


Bo Mackison is a photographer, owner of Seeded Earth Studio LLC. She is on an extended explore with Sherpa and crossing New Mexico, soon to be in Arizona.

About Bo Mackison

I’m a photographer, book-artist, traveler, naturalist, and creator of the Contemplative Creatives Journey, An Online Workshop and Community and Desert Wisdom Cards and Workshops. Though often not well known, I find the desert a welcoming place – a healing space. Its mysteries and gifts transformed me several years ago. Since that first encounter, I return again and again to fill my well in what most people think of as a desolate region. I’d love to share my desert discoveries and wisdom with you. Please subscribe to receive my five part mini email course The Gifts of the Desert. It’s my gift to you.


  1. Love those grain elevators. They are probably filled with hops and other fine grains to make Beer. 🙂

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