by Casual Tourist
July 25, 2001
The day we stopped at the Bottoms was gray and drizzly but this in no way hampered our experience of the Bottoms. If you're lucky you can find one of the printed Driving Tour brochures that are provided by the Kansas Audubon Council at the unmanned entrance to the reserve.
At the southeast edge of the basin is an observation tower for getting an overview of the 20,000 acre wildlife area. We saw many birds during our tour of the area, but none of the mammals, such as muskrats and beavers, that live here.
Parts of the Bottoms around Pool 1 are set aside strictly for the wildlife and no disturbance by humans is allowed. Some hunting is allowed in certain portions of the refuge, but strict laws are applied to maintain the abundance of wildlife.
The one bird that I viewed that I had never seen before was the Yellow-headed blackbird. This is a remarkably striking bird and was found throughout the refuge. We also observed heron, pelicans, ducks and red-wing blackbirds.
Our visit to Cheyenne Bottoms was after the spring migration so we did not experience it at it's best. However we were very pleased with the site. I do wish that there were notices posted regarding the presence of rattlesnakes in the area though. We did trek down a couple of the dikes, not knowing that these snakes are common in the bottoms. I only learned about them after our trip was over.
For more information on Cheyenne Bottoms check out www.cheyennebottoms.net
From journal Six Days On and Off the Santa Fe / Cimarron Trail