After a week in Chicago to celebrate our granddaughter’s rolling 3rd Birthday celebrations we are back on the road. First stop, Graham Cave State Park in Missouri. We haven’t hiked in the woods during the fall season in quite awhile. It felt good.
The view from Graham Cave.
Archeologists have found artifacts from the early inhabitants of the area dating back 10,000 years. In 1961, as a result of these findings Graham Cave became the first archaeological site in the US to be designated a National Historic Landmark.
We met this guy on the trail.
We have traveled through Kansas many times on our way West but have never tried Kansas City Barbecue. That changed this trip.
After lunch we moved on to the Santa Fe Trail Recreation Area, an Army Corp of Engineers campground just outside Council Grove KS.
We shared our site with a stand of Osage Oranges. The locals call them “hedge balls” and claim when cut up and placed in the crawl spaces of old homes, they repeal crickets.
At one time a tallgrass prairie covered 140 million acres of North America. Today less then 4% of that total remains. Most of this is located in the Flint Hills of Kansas.
The dark spots in the distance are a small herd of bison grazing in the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve. The day we visited it was cold and misty.
The Preserve was created by Congress in 1996 when it set aside a 10,884 acre parcel for protection. These photos don’t do justice to this vast landscape.
The Preserve offers miles of hiking, interpretive programs and access to the historic ranch buildings built by Stephen F. and Louisa Jones in 1881.
Lots of impressive dry stacked walls around the ranch. All the structures are constructed with local limestone (no trees on the prairie).
No trip to Kansas would be complete without a little division.