When I mentioned to my dad that we were going to try to see part of the old Santa Fe Trail, being an old Kansas man himself, he said, "Are you going to see the sunflowers?"
Well, yes. We did see the sunflowers. They grow wild along the roads in Colorado. And whole the columbine is the state flower, I believe they are the flower dearest to Coloradians. The sunflower is the Kansas state flower and of course, the Old Santa Fe Trail crossed the center of Kansas, horizontally from east to west and then entered Colorado or what is now Oklahoma, and ended up in New Mexico.
This flower has to all Kansans a historic symbolism which speaks of frontier days, winding trails, pathless prairies, and is full of the life and glory of the past, the pride of the present, and richly emblematic of the majesty of a golden future.
They were brought to the region and the story goes that the scouts who were preparing teh way for the pioneers, and who went on ahead to blaze the trail as soon as the spring thaw made the route passable, took with them sunflower seeds and scattered them along the route. Then when the settlers followed later in the season in their wagons, they had the trail marked for them by the sunflower blossoms.
So we were quite taken with the sunflowers when we saw a few of them...or a lot of them.