Sketch map of the Great Plains Physiographic Province (U. S. portion) showing subdivisions. Map from Trimble, 1980.
Paleogeographic map of the late Cretaceous showing locations of the Western Interior Seaway and the future GPPP. Map from Trimble, 1980.
The Fort Hays Escarpment, western Kansas, where the traveler “drops off” the High Plains east to the Plains Border Section.
In contrast to the short grasses found at the eastern boundary of the High Plains in Kansas, the northern boundary, Pine Ridge Escarpment, is forested. Photo Public Domain.
The southern boundary of the High Plains is located at the Caprock Escarpment in Texas where the flat Llano Estacado (Staked Plains) transitions to the dissected Edwards Plateau. Photo Public Domain.
High Plains Escarpment near Genoa, CO. The High Plains (right, east), with outcrops of the Ogallala Fm., and the lowlands of the dissected Colorado Piedmont (in distance).
Pawnee Buttes in northeastern Colorado are erosional remnants of the High Plains preserved on the Colorado Piedmont. Photo taken in 1900 by U. S. Geological Survey.
Once you arrive, you realize …the people in the Tower are crude fakes - lumps of red sheets wearing sunglasses.
The Wonder Tower, built in 1926 at the highest point between New York and Denver, was once a major stop.”
The Tower near Genoa, Colorado.
Unfortunately, the construction of those vast ribbons of concrete, the Interstate highways, has obliterated most “mom and pop” tourist attractions and I believe the nation is poorer for the loss. The last time I journeyed by the Tower it appeared closed, not unlike the rattlesnake cages along Route 66 in Arizona.
Another item lacking along the Interstate highways are those single picnic tables situated under a giant cottonwood tree with a well-used trash barrel (an “oil” barrel with the top chiseled off). It was at these pleasant rests that we stopped to enjoy our baloney sandwiches on cheap white bread with mustard, a bag of greasy potato chips, a jar of homemade dill pickles, cupcakes for dessert, and the “pop.” What more could a kid from the flatlands ask for?