Wonderland in the Flint Hills
- Part 1
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The ingredients for a Winter Wonderland is lots of ice and snow. On January 25, 2004, Topeka and most of
Northeast Kansas experienced a twenty-four hour period of rain, freezing drizzle and then freezing rain. That
combined with temperatures that consistently dropped the following days preserved the freezing ice on trees and bushes.
Then on February 2, 2004, Central and Northeast Kansas got a blanket of snow that ranged anywhere from seven and
one half inches to a whopping fourteen inches. February 3, 2004 was clear blue skies, lots of sunshine and a perfect
day to traverse a portion of the Kansas Flint Hills in Wabaunsee County, beginning some twenty-five miles West of Topeka.
It's been awhile since this particular area displayed a significant snow fall, especially in Winter. On December
4, 1999 there was a heavy snow and we were able to photograph much of this same area during the afternoon
of December 5th.
Twenty-eight degrees and still below freezing, these windmills were not moving. On our way to this location
we went into a slide with our Jeep and narrowly escaped running straight into a rocky culvert, but fortunately got
it back on the roadway (four-wheel drive will do miracles sometimes) and averted that mishap.
U.S. Weather Bureau's Doppler radar off in the distance and at the crest of one of the hills
southwest from our location that we would soon arrive. From that location we started
off on another route that would show the depth of this snow further into the hills.
All photos © 2004 by don Palmer