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Kansas Blog

Dennis Toll

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Making tracks

Up for a challenge? How about a 51-mile bike ride through Eastern Kansas? Or maybe you can turn that into a trek on foot.Even if you don't want to push your limits, however, you can still enjoy a stroll or short bike ride anywhere along the Prairie Spirit Trail.

Posted on November 8, 2011 10:05AM by Dennis Toll

Tucked Away in a Corner of Kansas

My wife, Amy, and I recently took a weekend to get away from it all. And we got as far away from home as we could get and still be in Kansas.

Sprawled across Kansas' southwest corner is the Cimarron National Grassland. Amy and I spent a day here discovering the high plains of Kansas, with its scenic overlooks, dusty trails, and hidden springs. We stood in three states at once, marveled at the Cimarron River Valley from atop the third highest point in the state, and traced wagon ruts left by travelers of the Santa Fe Trail in the late 1800's.

Posted on October 11, 2011 8:43AM by Dennis Toll

Discovering a Gem Nestled in the High Plains

A small canoe sits in the lake that is at the base of a rocky hillside It’s ironic. Kansas is known for its wide-open vistas, where sky meets horizon in every direction. You would think with nothing blocking the view, you could easily see everything there is to ...

Posted on August 26, 2011 4:14PM by Dennis Toll

Where it Really Started

Before the Civil War — before Gettysburg, before Shiloh, before Fredericksburg, even before Confederate cannonballs rained down on Fort Sumter — a battle was fought over the issue of slavery. And it happened in Kansas.

Posted on August 3, 2011 2:10PM by Dennis Toll

Wide open spaces

Yucca plant off Smoky Valley BywayAn endless horizon that stretches to infinity in every direction. Vast grasslands filled with wildflowers of every color. Historic traces of pioneers’ quest to tame the prairie. Rugged bluffs and stone outcrops that punctuate a rolling prairie. And a crystal blue sky that covers everything like a canopy.

Posted on June 1, 2011 1:18PM by Dennis Toll

Water, Wings, and Wonder

Every two years in Great Bend, migration meets attraction with fantastically fine-feathered results.We are talking about the Wings and Wetlands Birding Festival, which was held April 29-May 1 and featured guided birding tours of Cheyenne Bottoms and Quivira National Wildlife Refuge. The weekend brings to Kansas nearly 200 birdwatchers from across the country, all in passionate pursuit of rare and unusual bird sightings.

Posted on May 4, 2011 10:24AM by Dennis Toll

Floating on a Sea of Grass

Road through flint hillsA drive along the Flint Hills National Scenic Byway carries visitors back to a different time. Imagine being alone in the middle of a vast ocean. Only this is no ordinary sea. Instead of water, you see only fields of grass stretching to the horizon in all directions. Tall grass. With blades stretching over your head.

Posted on March 10, 2011 11:03PM by Dennis Toll

Byways of Stone

The story of the Flint Hills is largely a story about limestone. Now don't wince at the thought of learning about rocks; the story of the flinty-hard layers of stone in the Kansas Flint Hills is as fascinating as any adventure into the wild places of our state. So recently, when warm weather started to melt the piles of snow that had built up around our driveway, my wife and I decided to reacquaint ourselves with the story of rocks and remember again why we love the Flint Hills. For that, we took the drive along Kansas' Native Stone Scenic Byway, passing through Dover, Keene, Eskridge, and Alma along State Highways 4 and 99.

Posted on March 2, 2011 3:12PM by Dennis Toll


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