Loneliest Highway in America

Highway 50 is said to be the loneliest highway in America.  This is the part that runs thru Southwest Kansas.   It is part of the OLD US Highway system.  50 is a little over 3000 miles stretching from West Sacramento, CA to Ocean City, Maryland.  A little explanation is in order as “they” are really referring to the stretch of 50 that runs thru Nevada.  The pictures on Google Maps show it to be nearly abandoned.  This stretch in Kansas is not that desolate but it is not the Connecticut Turnpike either.

Pawnee Grasslands

Noted from the Forest Service web page:

While developed facilities are limited on the grassland, recreation opportunities are not. The Pawnee is an internationally known birding area. It supports many bird species, especially during migration. The Colorado State Bird, the lark bunting, is very common on the grassland in spring and summer. The grassland also has many unique high plains bird species such as the mountain plover, burrowing owl and many birds of prey. Hiking, camping, picnicking, horseback riding and stargazing are also popular activities. Pronghorn, mule deer, coyote, swift fox, snakes and prairie dogs are just a few of the species that make the prairie their home.

The windswept plains have witnessed the pageant of the frontier, the tragedy of the “Dust Bowl” and the wonders of modern agriculture. The rich history of the area is represented by old cemeteries and nearby museums. A person can explore the old homesteads and gain an appreciation of the area’s history. The network of numbered forest service and county roads will take you within easy walking distance of almost all parts of the grassland. A visit to the grassland is unique. Take a moment to experience the abundant wildlife, spring wildflowers and peaceful serenity of the prairie and let your imagination run wild.

Pawnee Buttes

We went for a few days up to the grasslands - we ended up camping in Wyoming and making day trips down to the grasslands.  Somehow we had the mistaken idea that there was some formal entrance to the area - there is not.  You can traverse the area in many different ways.  I  was surprised at the commercialization of the area west of the Buttes - huge wind farms and other activities.  We finally realized how to get to the buttes where there is no commercial activity that we could see.

In our meanderings we came across a Bison Farm - took a tour inside the cattle guards.  When we got there to their watering spot they were all goofing’ around spurred on by the adolescent Bison.  At this point we had crossed into Nebraska and found the highest point in Nebraska and this quaint prairie desk - I guess you could write your postcards on it.  

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