Stylized Sunflower

Highway K-177

Stylized Sunflower
        North on scenic K-177 is Manhattan, home of Kansas State University, established as Bluemont College in 1858. Above Manhattan is the huge Tuttle Creek dam and reservoir, described in the 1950's by embattled valley residents as "Big Dam Foolishness."
        South on K-177 is Council Grove reservoir, and the historic city astride the old Santa Fe trail. This was the nation's first major highway linking the East and the West. The Kaw Indian mission and other buildings, dating from the trail's heyday, 1821 - 1870, are still to be seen in Council Grove.
        Bluestem pastures -- known locally as the Flint Hills -- abound here. They extend in a 60-mile-wide strip south to Oklahoma. These succulent pastures are dominated by Big and Little Bluestem, with assorted other grasses, nurtured over a limestone base. Upon them a million cattle are grazed annually.
        Kansas is on the central bird flyway, and 400 species have been seen in the state. Of these, about 200 nest here. Many are beautiful, scores are songsters, and nearly all are beneficial. The state bird of Kansas is the Western Meadowlark. Both the Eastern and Western Meadowlark frequent this area. Although the two look alike they can be identified by their calls -- that of the Western is more melodious.
Erected by Kansas Historical Society & State Highway Commission

Marker text sent by Robert Walter, Pittsburg, KS

Geary County  
I 70, between mileposts 309 and 310
Eastbound rest area
Geary County

February 15, 2003 / Bob Walter / Wichita, Kansas /

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