We arrived in Salina on Sunday afternoon with a chilly 50 degrees. On the way to Salina, we passed multiple wind farms, drove through The Flint Hills portion of Kansas which is quite different from eastern Kansas. Here there are rolling hills and outcroppings of rock. We drove past Fort Riley in Manhattan, KS, which is also the home to Kansas State University.
On Monday, May 2 we drove through several small towns dating back to the middle 1800s. Ellsworth still has quite a few brick streets. The welcome sign says it is a wickedly friendly town. In 1867, it was the main terminus of the Texas cattle trade and was the wildest known cattle town. We drove the Wetlands Scenic Byway. The sign at the scenic overlook reads in part: The wetlands offer acres of radiant water, vital to thousands of birds along the North America central flyway that rest here during migration. A Godwit, tracked by satellite flew 7,145 miles without landing. Birds often double their body weight while resting here, and sometimes gain so much weight that one more ounce would prevent them from taking off.
We drove a dirt road into the Cheyenne Bottoms where the water collects and the birds land and feed. The Bottoms feed over 330 bird species during the migrations. It has over 19,000 acres. We saw many shore type birds, ducks and some herons, but the major migrations took place earlier. There were still plenty of birds to see and take pictures of. We also drove through Quivira National Wildlife Refuge which is connected to the wetlands. The is actually a Salt Marsh, believe it or not, and it is in Kansas which is a long way from any ocean. Over half a million geese, thousands of sandhill cranes, ducks, shorebirds and other migrants use the habitat here to rest, regroup and refuel for the next leg of their migratory journey.
This is an awesome place and if you get the opportunity to visit, make sure you do. All of the pictures Lynd took today came from these two areas.
We drove through the small town of Sterling, KS which is home to Sterling College which was established in 1887. It was a small college, but very pretty. We also drove through Lyons, KS, another small town that still has many brick streets. It has a museum that houses exhibits on Coronado and The Santa Fe Trail, but it was closed today. Sorry we did not get to see that.
We continue in this area tomorrow, but in a different direction. We have some RV repairs to take care of tomorrow morning. Hope they go well and then we will be on the road again.
Hope each of you is well and having a good week