Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Oklahoma & Kansas

Eric and I were up again at 4:30 am and out the door by 5 for the 2+ hour drive to Black Mesa (OK).  There was very little traffic on the route we chose and for the most part I could drive 70 MPH.  The only tricky part was watching for wildlife that might jump onto the road.  We saw quite a few deer and at one point passed a mother and baby bear who took off in opposite directions as we passed.  By 7:30 we were on the trail heading for the summit. 

This 9m round trip had “only” 600’ of climb and descent but both of us had pretty sore quads from the downhill on Mt Elbert.  We took it pretty easy (most of the climb is in a ½ mile section) and reached the summit monolith in 42 minutes.  We spent less than 10 minutes taking pictures and getting a quick drink and then headed down.  Our descent wasn’t much faster (quads) but we managed it in 39 minutes for a total round trip of 1:31:54.  It was getting pretty warm the last couple of miles and with predicted high temperatures over 100 we were glad to have this done by 9am. 

Next we drove about 10 minutes to visit the tri-state point where CO, NM, and OK meet.
Action Dave in three states

After that we headed off to Texas County OK which was the only county high point we visited that was not a State High Point.  After a quick 15 minute hike we headed off to another tri-state marker this one was where CO, KS, and OK met.  There was a cool windmill at the site along with the benchmark and 3 witness markers.

Our final trek was to the Mount Sunflower (4,039’), the highest point in KS.  We parked below the summit (about 20’ below) and went for a run partly because we needed some more mileage and partly because there was already a group at the summit.  We ran about 4 miles including the “ascent” to the top of Kansas.  It was 98 degrees and sunny, but the southerly wind helped it feel not quite as bad as it could have.  We took some pictures and then headed to Goodland KS for the night. 

420 miles of driving and I was pretty beat!

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