Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Flint Hills

I sought out the Flint Hills looking for diversity in an often maligned (but somewhat justified) geography. For more on this, see the short article by Fonstad, Pugatch, and Vogt (2003) in the Annals of Improbable Research, which confirms that Kansas is not only "flatter than a pancake," but "damned flat."

But some parts of Kansas are less flat than others.

The Flint Hills run through east central Kansas and are named for the scattered flint (chert) that is left behind as the shale and limestone landscape erodes. The rocky soil prevented easy plowing (except in the river bottoms) and was left for cattle ranching - which is why this is one of few places where remnant tall grass prairie can still be found (see next post).

I looped south towards Wichita and then worked my way back north on KS 177 through Strong City and Council Grove (which provided the unofficial high temperature of the18-day road trip).

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