22 hours ago
Thursday, December 31, 2015
Tall Grass Prairie National Preserve
We didn't think we would get to Tall Grass Prairie in time, but as it turns out, the VC was open until 4:30, so we had a whole 15 minutes! The grounds are open all the time. The ranger in the VC told us we had 10 minutes, but the clock right behind him said 15. This was my first indication that he was interested in not getting caught late at work. We left him well before 4:30 and began walking. We saw that ranger riding a golf cart up toward the ranch house. We decided to take a nature trail, but this other ranger, a REALLY FRIENDLY RANGER, ran down the hill toward us calling out, "Folks, if you'd like to see the ranch house, you're welcome to! I've got to catch the horse and muck out his stall. You've come all this way and I'll be here for at least another half hour!"
Which employee would you rather have? I tried to beg off by saying, "We don't want to keep anyone late." But she insisted so we gave in. That first ranger had lowered the flag and was obviously chagrined at his coworker's hospitality, so although we went in ("We've got it all decorated for Christmas!" she said...) we are the type of people to make it quick and easy for them. He wasn't thrilled to see us, but tolerated the whole idea. As a bit of an ice breaker (yes, we'd already spoken) I humbly asked, "Is it okay to take pictures in here?" His reply dug his hole a little further, "Yeah, but there's nothing to really photograph." I don't know, a little negative attitude? After that we walked around (ball of barbed wire) and saw the actual prairie. They have prairie that's never been touched by man! No buildings, no farming, etc. Just natural the way God made it. The horse's name is Badger.