31-Aug-2013 -- After a night camping at the beautiful Meade State Park, in Kansas, I set out from the park around 6:30am, driving into a beautiful sunrise. At US Highway 283, I turned south and entered the town of Englewood, Kansas. From the grain elevator, I drove west out of town on the route to the confluence as specified on my phone. However, after a few miles, I realized I could not travel south from this road. I doubled back into town and found a road to the southwest. After 10 minutes of driving down it, this road placed me at a ranch entrance less than a mile from the goal. Alas, the ranch had clearly marked "No Trespassing Signs" at its entrance. I drove back to town for the third time and then left town again, driving this time south along US 283 to the Kansas-Oklahoma State Line. At the state line, I pulled over, took a self portrait and a picture of the "Welcome to Oklahoma" sign as I pondered my options. I had driven a long way to this spot and hated to give up now. I decided to try for the point from this point, which was the east side. It would be a fairly long hike from here, but the point was calling me.
I gathered supplies and set out. The GPS gave a reading of about 1.5 miles to the confluence point. Anyone who says this is a flat part of the country has not hiked the Red Hills. They are indeed hilly. They were also full of high brush, knee high in places, and full of insects. The insects included some huge and loud locusts. I just hoped that my thrashing through the thorns and shrubs would warn any snakes that I was in the vicinity. Thorns and cactus was present as well. After a few hundred meters of huffing and puffing up and down the slopes, I was already quite tired. The temperature was already over 80 F. I rose and fell through ridges and down into valleys, tracking westward all the while, trying not to twist an ankle. It was slow going. The diversity of plant species was high, along with a curious cotton-like nest from a local locust or spider that were on the ground. After about 30 minutes, the hills began giving way to flatter ground, but not before I tacked to the north, hoping to avoid the hilliest of hills. I dropped down onto the grassy plain and from there it was fairly easy walking, but still, care was needed to avoid some cactus and holes left by burrowing animals. After about 15 minutes on the plain, I reached the point.
It was mid-morning in late summer. Under clear skies and moderate breezes, I had reached my goal. It had been much more difficult than I had anticipated and with the day ahead of me, I wondered how many more points I could visit. Even if this would be the last point of the day, I could consider it a fine day. I had been to 37 North in California, Missouri, Arizona, Colorado, and over in Tunisia. The meridian of 100 west is always a significant line of longitude to be standing on. It was considered the dividing line in the 1800s between the wetter east and the "Great American Desert" to the west. I had visited 100 west several times before, from South Dakota on the north, through Nebraska, Kansas, and down to Texas on the south end. It was also wonderful to be very close to the Oklahoma-Kansas border here on 37 North 100 West. I saw no people or animals on this trek, and no birds. After 15 minutes of filming, I aimed back to the east.
I was not looking forward to the up-and-down trek, so I aimed north for the fence along the Oklahoma-Kansas border. Just north of it, after about 20 minutes, I found a cattle trail. The trail was still a chore to hike on, but the lack of high-stepping through brush made the hike back much easier. It saved me about 25 minutes of hiking. I could see Englewood's grain elevator far off to the north, on my left, as I walked along. I returned to US Highway 283 about 200 meters north of my vehicle, then walked south to it, arriving with a total hike time of around 2 hours and 20 minutes. I was a bit covered with seeds and dust, but I was glad I was here. I then set my sights on 37 North 99 West.