After what sounds like a great scouting trip, Craig Ackerman and Jeff Calhoun have put together a great weekend (June 3-5) of adventures at the CNG. Here is the agenda for this weekends field trip. Mostly this is information on how to meet up with the group. Specific plans (when we’ll move from one site to the next, what sites we’ll see next, etc.), will be largely based on time and interest when we’re on the move. The information below does tell you how to meet us Friday night, Saturday morning, and Saturday at lunch. And if all else fails, feel free to give Craig Ackerman a call at 620-272-1944.
Also included are some suggested items to bring and things to keep in mind. Hope you can make it!
** Map links are in parenthesis!
There is a restaurant just off the main highway into Elkhart, KS. If you pull into the El Rancho Motel parking lot, you’ll see it to your right (goo.gl/7wGUIq). We’ll start dinner around 6 for those who can make it. After dinner on Friday, we’ll head to the water treatment area for Elkhart to see some cool birds enjoying the water (goo.gl/mP42zO). After that we’ll head to our campground which is pretty close to the Cottonwood Picnic Area at the Cimarron National Grassland (CNG) (goo.gl/xA2m2s). The camping area we’re hoping to use is on a dirt path called turkey trail (decent tree coverage for the area (goo.gl/0IVslj). After you pass the Cottonwood Picnic Area, take 798-B until you see the KABT banner. Friday night would be great time to drive around CNG and see what nocturnal animals we can find. There are bathrooms within a 1/2 mile of the campsite, but none at the actual site, so plan accordingly.
For those who come down on Saturday, here are the best ways to find us.
After everyone is up and around on Saturday we’ll probably head up to Point of Rocks first (goo.gl/XZ6MfJ). Third highest point in Kansas. Can actually see the site as you drive into CNG. Depending on the time, we might head in one of two directions, but we figured the best place for lunch (noonish to 1) would be at a picnic area known as middle spring (goo.gl/vWKIcj). After lunch, there are multiple spots we can visit, and we’ll probably play things by ear in terms of how we are doing on time, the interest of the group, etc. Saturday night would be another opportunity to find nocturnals, or just relax.
Pack up and head home! 🙂
Suggestions for the trip:
Water!! It will be pretty warm and they do not have drinking water on the grasslands.
Food! Other than Friday evening, food is on you (breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks on Saturday). The area we are planning for lunch does have campground grills if you would like to try your luck at grilling there. 🙂
Binoculars!! (According to Jeff Calhoun (someone who would know), this is a great area for spotting birds). 🙂
Insect repellent (really wasn’t too bad though)
Boots (cacti in some of the area’s we’ll be walking)
Snake hook (came across a good size rattlesnake last weekend (peaceful though))
Nets (we’ll stop by some stock tanks full of water and larva (frog, salamander, etc.))
Sea of Grass brochure from the US Forest Service on CNG. Has some nice info on the area and a pretty decent map! http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5261822.pdf
Eastern Kansas Folks driving in on Friday:
If you have the time, either take a little detour or just look at your window when you drive by the Cheyenne Bottoms. Looking pretty good from all the rain we’ve gotten lately!
If I’m forgetting something, please let me know and I’ll add it to the document!