Arikaree Breaks in Kansas with Zeb the Duck

Here we are in Kansas.

Entering Kansas

Entering Kansas

This is the farmland we expect to see in Kansas, but today we are looking for something else.  We are looking for the Arikaree Breaks.   Driving on US Highway 36 into St. Francis, Kansas, we head north at the courthouse.   The humans are following the self driving tour of the area.   First stop is the G.A.R. Cemetery.

G A R Cemetery

G A R Cemetery

The east half was to be for Grand Army of the Republic veterans and their families.   These are veterans of the United States Civil War.

Civil War Veteran and his wife

Civil War Veteran and his wife

The west half was for citizens and their families.  No lots were to be sold; only a donation for the deed was taken.   The intention was to provide an honorable burial to destitute veterans of the Civil War.  This cemetery was established in 1889.   Our map led us over 4 creeks, most of which were dry.  Next stop was Horse Thief Cave.

Entrance to Horse Thief Cave

Entrance to Horse Thief Cave

Along the side of the road, near the entrance to Horse Thief Cave was this mailbox.

A mailbox for Horse Thief Cave?

A mailbox for Horse Thief Cave?

Why a mailbox?  Who receives mail here?  I, Zeb the Duck, have no idea.  This is the back of the cave.

Where is the rest of the cave?

Where is the rest of the cave?

Wait a minute.   What happened here?  Our map tells us most of the cave has caved in, leaving only the entrance.   When the cave was last used in 1878, there were 2 rooms back here.   The outlaws used the front room as their living quarters.   There was a large back chamber where the stolen horses were kept.  Looking behind the cave, this is certainly not the flat Kansas farmland we expected.

Not flat Kansas landscape here

Not flat Kansas landscape here

Driving further, we find the Lookout Point.

Arikaree Break

Arikaree Break

This is a canyon.   It is beautiful in its own way.  These Arikaree Breaks are 36 miles long and two to three miles wide.   They are really great to see.  Further along, we are reminded that this really is farm country.   The cows are grazing in the breaks.

Cows in the breaks

Cows in the breaks

They get in and out of the breaks on their own.   Information from the nearby city of St. Francis tells us about this area.  The Arikaree Breaks were formed by wind deposited sand, silt, and clay particles, called loess.  After deposition, the loess has undergone spectacular processes of head cutting, and sidewall cutting the advancing tributaries of the Arikaree River and the South Fork of the Republican River.   This all happened during the Holocene Age, a little less than 9,000 years ago.  The humans tell me we will drive through a private farm, with permission from the farmer, to see 3 corners.   I really don’t know what that means.   But, along the way, I see two new friends watching me.

We are being watched

We are being watched

I love to see deer.   We also saw a large flock of wild turkeys.  They humans tell me 3 corners is where 3 of our states all meet.   This is the sign explaining everything.

3 Corners. Meeting of Kansas, Nebraska, and Colorado.

3 Corners. Meeting of Kansas, Nebraska, and Colorado.

We are in Kansas, Nebraska is directly north and Colorado is on the east.  Here I am where these three states meet.

Marking the exact meeting of three states

Marking the exact meeting of three states

This is a great marker and I, Zeb the Duck, am glad to be here.   I wanted to sit on the fence post to gaze over these three states.

Observing 3 states. Getting flatter in all directions.

Observing 3 states. Getting flatter in all directions.

You can see that the land is getting flatter, the typical land of Western Kansas, Western Nebraska and Eastern Colorado.   We are heading back to Colorado now.

Heading back home

Heading back home

It is always good to go home.   On the drive back, we reflect on the Kansas landscape we saw.

We really did see this in NW Kansas. Badlands?

We really did see this in NW Kansas. Badlands?

This looks more like the Badlands of North and South Dakota, but it is the Arikaree Breaks in Northwest Kansas.   We hope you drive around your area and see some surprising features also.

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