Beautiful Smokey Hills.
Before white men settled in Kansas, the Cheyenne, Souix, Kanza and many other native American Indians roamed this area, following the bison. The hills in the above picture are called Battle Hill Knobs, where sometimes the Indians fought each other.
If you are wanting to go to Maxwell Reserve, it is best to call ahead to make reservations. When we arrived, there was a group of international students from Emporia who had just returned from their tram tour. There were some Japanese students and it was fun to visit with them.
Since Al and I were the only ones going at our designated time, we got a ride with this cowboy, rather than on the tram.
During the summer, the elk stay away from people. In the wintertime, however, they will allow people to get closer.
The bison didn't care that we got pretty close. Cowboy Owen told us that when the European settlers came, they didn't know what these creatures were. They thought they looked somewhat similar to water buffalo, so they got called "buffalo". The Indians called them totanka.
We drove through the prairie and stopped at a watering hole where there were a lot of bison.
Owen said we needed to keep the doors to the vehicle open just in case we'd have to make a dash for it. Sometimes the bison will get irritated and charge.
When I climbed down the steps, Al gave me some flowers that he had picked. When we were newlyweds at KU and didn't have money, he often would pick wildflowers for me.
Sandplums. Our sister-in-law used to make sandplum jelly. She lives in California now; not sure if they grow those there or not.
Relaxing on a nice Kansas summer day.
Aug 27 and Sept 3:
Board trams in search of fall wild flowers.
you can ride the trail (bring your own horse)
Oct. 7 - 9:
Mountain Man Rendezvous Demonstrations of 1800's life style, primitive camps and traders.
Buffalo auction - so if you want to own your own buffalo.....
They will also serve buffalo burgers, chili and pie.