We've never really spent much time in Kansas before. We are amazed at the vastness of these high plains and the prairie.
We drove a loop of about 180 miles that included the Kansas Western Vista, A Historic Byway. We stopped at the Fort Wallace Cemetery. We found these gravestones most interesting. One was of a man who was shot by an assistant wagon master. The other the assistant wagon master who was subsequently hung.
The cemetery is across from the site of Fort Wallace. It was built during the Plains Indian Wars and in operation from 1865 to 1882. When it was no longer needed it closed. Settlers salvaged the lumber and stone from the buildings and there is no visible remnants left today.
A view of the site of the former Fort from the cemetery.
We then stopped at the Wallace Museum. This small museum is chock full of artifacts from this area, a lot gathered from the fort. Of special note is a display of 80 million year old fossils collected in local limestone. Tending to the museum was the gentleman who throughout his life has collected those fossils as an amateur archaeologist and paleontologist. The early discoveries contributed significantly to the fossil records and included previously unknown and extinct animals such as flying reptiles and toothed birds.
Another small museum is Keystone.
The couple who own this museum and gift shop gave us lots of suggestions on what to visit. They trade mostly in stones and gems.
Not far from the Keystone is Monument Rock. Wind and rain formed this display through millions of years. We would have loved to have spent some more time walking around but the winds were fierce.
Down the road is the site of the last encounter in Kansas between the US troops and the Cheyenne in 1878. The Battle Canyon:
William F Cody earned the title "Buffalo Bill" in a buffalo hunting contest in 1868 just west of Oakley, KS. A twice life-sized bronze sculpture commemorates the place when the legend started.
On our drive we spotted a coyote, two pheasants, lots of turkeys and 6 mule deer. Not a bad day on the Prairie in the Kansas High Plains area.
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