Our 2012 Travels travel blog

The Flint Hills Scenic Byway





We are heading toward Iowa to see family and friends but we decided to get to Iowa traveling the Flint Hills Scenic Byway. The Flint Hills extend about 200 miles from near the Nebraska border on the north to Oklahoma on the south. I have to admit that I thought that the pastures would be full of tall grasses but I think we went through too early in the year.

The Flint Hills are named because of the nodules of flint (chert) that was laid down with the shales and limestones in the shallow seas that covered this part of North America over 275 million years ago. The chert is very hard and weather-resistant and so it slowed the erosion that took place in a lot of Kansas. It prevented the use of the area for agriculture and because of that this region remains the largest unplowed remnant of tall grass prairie in the world. So, of course, we are going to have to drive this segment of road again later in the season so we can watch the tall grasses blow and bend in the wind!

One of the hazards of taking pictures while we are rolling down the road is having an insect fly into you. Well, I've been hanging out the window taking pictures for six years now and it finally happened! I felt something hit my face but I couldn't find where it landed. Then I went to lean back and figured out pretty fast that it went down the back of my blouse but I still didn't find it. Then I leaned back in the seat and was stung and I knew definitely where it was. As I leaned back, I must have finished him off. Luckily, he must have been almost dead when he stung me because he didn't do too much damage and I just felt an initial small sting. Close call!

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