Exiting Colorado and headed into Kansas. We stumbled upon a WW-2 Japanese internment camp then did some hiking on the Kansas prairie.
Japanese internment camp
I was simply looking for a spot to pull off the road to have lunch when I saw a sign for this camp. Thinking it was probably just a Boy Scout camp or something similar,I pulled in. Turns out it was a place of historical significance!
We explored the camp a bit after lunch. Most of the buildings are gone but the following signs tell the story.
Darkness fell as we crossed the Kansas state line. Near the small town of Coolidge we came upon this impressive memorial.
Lights of Dodge City
We camped for the night at a small rest area just outside of Dodge City. This town figures significantly in the folklore of the Old West!
Dodge visitor center
We hung around town for a short while in the morning since my GPS indicated that there were a few geocaches nearby. We hunted them down,one of them being right here at the visitor center. Nice paint job on the van!
Old western hotel
Although this is not the spot,it brought to mind a line from Billy Joel`s Ballad of Billy the Kid---"but he finally found a home underneath the boot hill grave that bears his name."
Kansas tallgrass prairie
Our main destination in Kansas was the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve. Vast stretches of prairie once covered the state and some of it has been preserved here. This is the site of the Lower Fox Creek school,a one room schoolhouse.
Cornerstone of the Fox Creek school
Blackboard and desks
the school was locked so a photo thru the glass window was the best that I could do.
rather narrow and cramped,I don`t envy the poor students who sat here!
Lower Fox Creek schoolhouse
it sits alone on the vast prairie!
very few trees on the prairie so trail junctions were marked with cinderblocks.
Lone tree on the prairie
the nearly empty sea of grass stretching to the horizon was awe inspiring! It reminded me of the movie "Dances with Wolves"
Tired hiker on the prairie!
the trails looped across the prairie for many miles. They simply mow a trail into the grass to create a route.
prairie flower closeup
at one point,the trail came to an electric fence(to contain the bison). I opened the gate and cautiously proceeded thru. I kept my distance as the bison was eying Wesley(who was on leash). He must be the bull of the herd. The herd was clustered together a short distance away.
finishing up the hike after dark,we somehow lost the trail and had to bushwack out to the highway and do a long road walk back to our car.