Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota
While not all of the National Park Service sites in Kansas and Missouri are described here, four tremendous highlights of the NPS have formed a satisfying itinerary for us, and we are excited to share! Others to consider adding to the itinerary are Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield in Springfield, Missouri and George Washington Carver National Monument in Diamond, Missouri. We have listed these in the order we would tour them, starting east of Kansas City at the Harry Truman site, and then working our way west, through Kansas.
Spotlights, Parks & Points
With the World Series excitement, we wanted to share some fun photos from an exhibition baseball game at Fort Scott National Historic Site. The game was played during the Centennial week celebrations this summer and featured teams playing vintage baseball in the manner it would have been played when the fort was active. The Topeka Westerns took on the Wichita Bull Stockings using 1860s rules, uniforms, and equipment. All photos are by Bob Wright.
“Wind Cave National Park is known for spectacular cave formations and a (fantastic) lantern tour, but this is also just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. Wind Cave lies at the southern end of the Black Hills, just where the ponderosa pines, which give the hills their name, begin to give way to the prairie to the south. We decided to hike through the other half of the park, above ground, feeling there is no substitute for the sensory cornucopia of the back country. We took a 4.5-mile loop out to Lookout Point and were careful not to startle any bison along the way. The trail was full of bison tracks, wallow pits and droppings.”
Essays, Grant Sinclair
“Three years ago, my father and I set out on a grand road trip across the country; I was moving to a new home outside of Winter Park, Colorado. For years, we had chatted about a father and son road trip out west. I was thrilled and grateful that my best friend and adventure buddy would be joining me as I started this new chapter in my life. What better person to squeeze into a fully-packed station wagon and drive a thousand-plus miles west with?”
Essays, Robby DeGraff
Walking out on the grasslands, where trees are distant mounds down under the horizon, where creeks run, I see sky. On all sides, all around me: sky. Nothing but sky, only sky. The vast, immense blue of sky. The walk has taken me through some of those trees, which are now far behind. I have crossed the creeks, some tiny, some not, on rocks or logs that I could find. I prefer the rocks; there is less distance to fall. To get to this rolling prairie in eastern Kansas I have to walk some distance. The land is familiar, my family has been here five generations.
Spotlights, Duane L. Herrmann