• Last modified 653 days ago (Aug. 10, 2017)


JK Review: Sunset at the reservoir

Staff writers

After a thousand miles separated us over the summer — Kaitlyn in Wichita and Jason in Washington, District of Columbia, one of the first items on our to-do list was to watch a sunset in Marion County.

We chose Marion Reservoir for our first sunset together in two months. The trees, water, and open land provided a stark contrast to sky-blocking skyscrapers, mountainous monuments, and hordes of busybody people.

Our first and only mistake was forgetting a picnic basket. The sun gave us a shimmering show on the shore, but it would have been sweeter with fresh, homegrown tomatoes from a local farmers market complementing sandwiches and lemonade.

We laid our purple K-State blanket on the grass near Eastshore, just below the dam.

We were disappointed to see “no pets allowed” because Kaitlyn’s Chihuahua, Crumbles, would have enjoyed the wide-open spaces.

We were even more disappointed by the apparent lack of rule-following — or inability to read English — of previous beach guests. The sand looked like a litter box with weeks-old pet “presents.”

In avoiding these landmines we discovered an abundance of flat, smooth rocks perfect for skipping across the water. It took a little practice, but Jason taught Kaitlyn how to go from a plop to a three-skipped throw.

Silver ripples disrupted the shiny blue water streaked with red and orange from the sinking sun. The only color threatening this painting was green, from algae.

This water bacterium has invaded many bodies of water across the state, leaving them unsafe for drinking, swimming, and water sports.

The only sound interrupting nature was the occasional rusty pickup truck rumbling across the dam. Otherwise, we were the only two people in this small corner of the world.

As luck would have it, a crown-shaped cloud formation blocked much of the setting sun. But this had its benefits.

The clouds sheltered our eyes, allowing us to watch the masterpiece unfold. A golden lining emblazoned the outer edges of the dark-centered floating cotton balls.

The sunlight seeping through the clouds gave us filtered light that you only find in paintings. The crimson ball of fire peeked through an opening in the clouds as its decrescendo accelerated, its descent extinguished by the swallowing horizon.

We laid and chatted as evening bugs started their chorus — one that left us itching for more.

Staring up at the silver moon and star-filled sky, we were one sunset down in Marion County with many more to come.

Editor’s note: If you have ideas where new reporters Kaitlyn and Jason should visit, contact them at or

Last modified Aug. 10, 2017