Monday, April 20, 2009

Seeing Red

There are eleven physiographic regions in Kansas and it's easy for one or another to get ignored. One that should never be ignored is the Red Hills or Gypsum Hills of Barber, Comanche, and Clark counties.

In about a month the wildflowers will start to pop against the red hills and greening grass and the scenery will be exceptional. To get a good view of the area, one can drive U.S. 160 between Medicine Lodge and Coldwater, the official Gypsum Hills Kansas Scenic Byway, or enjoy the backroads Gyp Hill scenic drive in Barber County. You'll find the entrance to the scenic drive 3 miles west of Medicine Lodge on U.S. 160. Watch for a small sign and then turn south on Gypsum Hill Road for about 7 miles -- keep following the signs. Start with a full tank of gas!

The main thing is just to go to these counties that border Oklahoma and drive around. If you're not familiar with this part of the state you'll be in for an eye-opening experience. There are lots of small towns to explore, local places to eat, wild women to meet -- like Carry Nation.

If you happen to own the Kansas Guidebook for Explorers just start with the Barber County section and go from there.

Or, come to the May 2-3 Kansas Sampler Festival at Concordia's city park and find the Medicine Lodge/Barber County booth to get all sorts of inside scoop on how to see the area. In fact, 136 other cities will be at the festival to tell their story, too. Read all about it at or call 785.243.4303.

To "Get Kansas" you need to know all eleven physiographic regions!

KE #2 Marci Penner

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