Junction City Wrapup and Hike at Konza Prairie

This has turned out to be a pretty busy week. After our arrival here at Camp Horizons in Junction City…we’ve been getting up every day at 0530 so we’ll have coffee, breakfast and be ready for workers by 0700…I gotta admit we’re getting tired of getting up that early. In between workers coming in we hung out in the lounge, made two trips over to Manhattan to get BAT’s air springs installed, went to Fort Riley to the Commissary and Package Stores, and today had a nice hike.

We got all our work done (except for a minor hole in our inside ceiling but Neil’s gonna head over in the morning and grab Chris to get it fixed before we pull out.

  • Leaky window fixed
  • Gray tank indicator replaced
  • Pendant lights over island replaced and a brace for travel built
  • Cell phone booster antenna relocated
  • Multiplex light switches upgraded to the model you can actually read
  • Thermostat replaced
  • Air springs installed on BAT. This was actually accomplished by a truck place named Film at Eleven over in Manhattan about 20 miles or so away
  • Fixed a couple of minor valence and trim mounting issues
  • MorRYDE axles greased and brake pads inspected

Quite a lot of work but it seemed like we had a lot of time standing around waiting. That’s the way it is I guess.

Anyway; with all our work done and Connie finished working for the week we headed out about 1200 or so after lunch to visit the Nature Conservancy preserve named Konza Prairie; this is about 10 miles away towards Manhattan. We had a nice 3.6 mile hike around the prairie and woods and actually saw a fairly decent amount of wildlife…the hike was a lot better than we thought it would be.

First up was a rickety bridge over this creek

KonzaPrairieCreek

and right after we got over that we spotted an Eastern Phoebe, some wildflowers, and a Summer Tanager (originally identified as a Cardinal but sharp eyed reader Jim Mullins correctly called the actual species and a quick check with Peterson verified the corrected ID…thanks Jim.)

KonzaPrairieEasternPhoebe

KonzaPrairieWildflowers

KonzaPrairieCardinal

along with some nice views of the prairie after climbing up a couple hundred feet onto a ridge.

KonzaPrairieKansasPrairie

After coming down from the ridge we wandered through an old homestead from back in the day; here are shots of the remnants of the barn and the plow they planted their crops with.

KonzaPrairieHomesteadBarn

KonzaPrairieOldPlow

Heading back towards the car we spotted a beautiful Red Headed Woodpecker; brilliant white underbelly, black back and bright red head. Gorgeous. Neil took 2 shots so you can see both the front and back.

KonzaPrairieRedHeadedWoodpecker

KonzaPrairieRedHeadedWoodpecker2

We heard but did not see a turkey several times…we peered carefully down into the bottoms by the pond where the call was coming from but just could not find it. We also know there are deer (probably Mule Deer) in the area since we spotted their hoof prints

KonzaPrairieDeerHoofprint

as well as at least a couple of bobcats as we spotted at least 3 separate sets of their tracks. Based on the info we found on the web; this is most likely a hind footprint of a female since the larger heel pad is smaller than it would be on a male. The heel pad is the one in the 2 o’clock position. We had no idea what this was until we got boom and googled it.

KonzaPrairieBobcatTrack

After that we headed home via Walmart where we picked up a couple of things we needed; some new camp chairs and a pizza for tomorrow night’s dinner after our travel day. We are planning on getting out of here by about 0800 or so (or as soon as Chris finishes the ceiling repair, I think he’s just going to install an additional smoke detector over it since that won’t look out of place and anything else would. We’ve got about 280 miles to go tomorrow but all but about a mile of it is on I-70. We’ve already fueled up and don’t have much camp breakdown; unhook power and water, hitch up BAT, drive around behind the building to dump tanks and hit the road. It should be a pretty easy transit…the speed limit is 75 out here in the west but we usually stick to about 58 or 59 to improve BAT’s fuel mileage and put less strain on everything up and down the hills. We changed our travel order and Neil goes in front on freeways to prevent cars from running up onto her bumper. We’ve had many cars in previous travels (with Neil/BAT in the rear) that blew by BAT and pulled back into the right lane not realizing that Connie was a hundred yards or so ahead also going slow…with the result that they car runs up on Connie’s bumper before realizing she’s slower and slamming on the brakes. We found out that with her in the back on freeways it causes her much less stress since they see her going slower and then just pass both of us. The only drawback is that Neil has a harder time seeing her to keep track of her but we’re going to get us some CB radios once we get into Colorado Springs…that will give us a much longer talking range than the walkie talkies do. We have a pair picked out on Amazon and will order them as soon as we arrive on Sunday. We’re also meeting our friends Howard and LInda Payne when we get there to get the house weighed and make sure we are within our limits.

Cyas.

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About Gunther

The full time RV travels and experiences of Gunther the Bear and Kara the Dog…along with their human staff neil and Connie.
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5 Responses to Junction City Wrapup and Hike at Konza Prairie

  1. ronlaubenthal says:

    hey bro… one of my bright ideas… could you feasibly mount a rear-view computer camera in/on the rig and wirelessly connect it to yer iphone??? some of the newer vehicles have ’em, wonder if there is anything like that available that would help??? mite come in handy watchin’ the rig while yall are out and about in the car… yall be careful, ride easy.
    ron

    • Neil Laubenthal says:

      Nice surveillance camera; but unfortunately it would use too much bandwidth to really provide us a continuous watch back on the house. On the bright side though; RV parks are actually pretty safe, we’ve never felt uncomfortable at oneRVers are friendly folk and we usually stay sort of out away from the city anyway. We have cameras on the sides and back of the rig to use while driving though.

  2. ronlaubenthal says:

    wuz feelin’ hepful, found this on amazon – check yer email…

  3. Jim Mullins says:

    The red bird might be a Summer Tanager, not a cardinal.

    • Gunther says:

      You’re right; definitely a Summer Tanager and not a Cardinal…I was thinking red = Cardinal and didn’t notice the lack of the crest. I’ll edit the post.

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