by Casual Tourist
June 27, 2001
Sharpes Creek Road brought it's own beauty, though not the vistas we had just viewed. The road winds around through a few wooded glens and passes over the Kansas Turnpike. It was such a drastic contrast in mindset sitting on the rustic overpass above the turnpike. Here we were feeling miles away from civilization and yet civilization sped just below us. As we drove off this overpass we found a snake basking on the roadway in the late afternoon sun. Just past this was a small wooded area. Always on the lookout for movement in the surrounding area, I motioned my husband to stop the car. There were two deer calmly grazing off to our left. They allowed us to watch them for a good ten minutes before they moved on. This was all within 1/4 mile of the Kansas Turnpike, but it seemed eons removed from that world.
Proceeding on down Sharpes Creek Road my husband spotted a turtle by the side of the road. We felt it was in danger of meeting an untimely death, so we stopped and picked it up. As we drove to a nearby pond I held this saucer-sized turtle in my hands. This was no timid turtle. It was none too happy to be captured and struggled in my hand to free itself. I was surprised at the power in it's small legs. What a good feeling to let the little guy go and watch him swim away.
Soon we were at Cottonwood Falls and at the end of our wonderful afternoon on the largest remaining tract of prairie grassland left on this planet. We were glad we'd traveled that road seldom taken by others.
From journal An Afternoon on Grass