William F. Cody earned the title “Buffalo Bill” is a contest with William Comstock in 1868. This event is celebrated in a massive sculpture in Oakley, Kansas, at the western end of 2nd Street. Another attraction near Oakley that’s worth seeing is Monument Rocks. These tall structures rises unexpectedly from the western Kansas plains about half an hour south of Oakley, and another dramatic landscape that will surprise visitors to this state known more for wheat, sunflowers, and flatness will soon open near the tiny town of Winona.
Monument Rocks, considered one of the 8 Wonders of Kansas, can be seen but not climbed on daily from dawn to dark. They are Kansas’ 1st National Natural Landmark. Some fifty feet tall, they were formed by deposits left by the Western Interior Seaway during the Cretaceous Period that meant the end of the Mesozoic Era and dinosaurs about 79 million years ago. They remain quite a contrast to the prairie all around them and are best seen at sunrise or sunset.
The Nature Conservancy has announced a new State Park for this state to be called Little Jerusalem Badlands. This several hundred acres of Niobrara chalk appear to be rising from the prairie. Because public access is being developed, they can only be viewed from the road for now. Look for an announcement of the opening of this new state park soon. These formations are so impressive that they made the cover of this year’s Kansas Official Travel Guide. This publication is available at Travel Information Centers all over the state. Ruth and I picked ours up at the TIC near Goodland just east of the Colorado state line.