Wednesday, March 26, 2014


Second Addition, Revised and Updated
Rex C. Buchanan and James R. McCauley; February 2010
The University of Kansas Press: ISBN-13 9780700617005; ~$14.95 

Rex Buchanan and Jim McCauley are master story tellers when it comes to describing the geology of Kansas in terms that most any traveler can understand!  Roadside Kansas 2010 is the second edition (first published in 1987) of the popular book that “…attempts to explain what’s along the state’s highways—the geology, natural resources, and landscape of Kansas.”  I have read most of the state “Roadside Geology of…….. “series and Buchanan/McCauley’s book is by far the best of the lot.  One of the major differences in the books is that Roadside Kansas offers specific mileages, as in road logs, in describing the geology: “The hills here are capped by the Ireland Sandstone Member, a thick Pennsylvanian sandstone that was deposited in an ancient river valley that extended as far north as Douglas County” (p. 71).  Virtually every major east-west and north-south highway in the state is covered, over 2600 miles.  There are over 100 photographs, line drawings and maps so the book is well-illustrated.  I also appreciated the many historical aspects presented, such as: “238.7 Barber/Harper county line.  Thomas W. Barber was a native of Ohio who was killed in 1855 while defending Lawrence during a raid by proslavery forces” (p. 55).  This is a wonderful book for any rockhound or interested traveler needing information about the varied geology and land forms of Kansas.  The geology of Kansas “… reveals a world that is difficult to imagine, a prehistoric world shaped by powerful, relentless forces”.

Pick up the book at your nearest book dealer, most likely an internet dealer since I could not find my copy on shelves in Colorado Springs.

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