Saturday, August 20, 2011

Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve near Cottonwood Falls Kansas

I spent part of the day at the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve near Cottonwood Falls, Kansas. I first visited here a couple of years ago and wrote about it. It really left an impression on me.

Today I didn't tour the house but went, instead, to the barn while the house tour was going on. Some of the barn is original from the 1800s - essentially all the white parts. The other parts have been added through the years. Nonetheless, it's quite amazing to see old growth wood being used in such beautiful ways. I took a lot of close ups of various bits of wood here and there. You just don't see this sort of thing very often anymore.

It's much like the Tallgrass Prairie - almost all gone. Only about 4% of what was once Tallgrass Prairie remains and the majority of it is in Kansas at this one spot. We are so fortunate Nancy Landon Kassebaum made it a priority to create this.

Parts of Kansas are still very rural. I think it may be difficult for people who live in cities to imagine. For example, Chase County, where this is located, has a population of less than 2,800. There is not a single stop light in the entire county. People lead very different kinds of lives, but they're all valuable in the mix.

A really wonderful afternoon adventure. I would like to go back when it's cooler and spend more time in the prairie itself.

I heartily recommend a visit. And stop by the Grand Central in nearby Cottonwood Falls for a meal. Call first as their hours are limited. You can also try the Emma Chase Cafe down the street. Always call to confirm hours.

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