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Prairie Dog State Park is located 6 kilometres west of Norton, Kansas. The 450 hectare park is on the north shore of Keith Sebelius Lake (actually an artificial reservoir), and is named after the creek that fills it. The dam creating Keith Sebelius Reservoir was completed in 1965 and the lake filled up the following year. The park had no prairie dog population when it was established, but they were introduced in the 1980s and there are now about 300.
There's quite a bit for visitors to do at the park, including one of the last remaining adobe houses on the prairies, an 1880's one room school house, the prairie dog town, and many recreational facilities. However, most important for us was the excellent campground, because Prairie Dog State Park was just a one night stop over for us as we travelled south and west from Canada to Colorado towing our RV. It was the second stop on our two month trip in the fall of 2016.
I was looking forward to getting some sunset images while camped, but the absolutely clear skies shut me out, so instead we had a very quiet night around the campfire in the virtually empty campground (we were treated to a clear sky filled with stars as a consolation prize). When we travel through the US, we always look forward to hearing the coyotes at these rather isolated camping spots, and Prairie Dog State Park did not disappoint, and we fell asleep listening to them.
While we were leaving very early the next morning (at sunrise) we passed by this scene near the exit to the park. Finally some clouds near the horizon! I snapped off a few images of the rising sun and the first light on empty prairie on my iPhone, as all my bigger gear was packed for travelling. It certainly made up for the lack of a sunset the evening before.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor