KU News Release


May 13, 2011
Contact: Mike Krings, University Relations, 785-864-8860

Natural beauty of Kansas focus of day five of 2011 Wheat State Whirlwind Tour

More Information

LAWRENCE — Scenic lakes, the rolling Flint Hills and the natural beauty of Kansas will be the focus of the fifth and final day of the 2011 University of Kansas Wheat State Whirlwind Tour on Friday, May 27.

The tour will take more than 40 KU faculty and staff, many new to the state, on a five-day, nearly 1,500-mile tour to learn more about Kansas’ history, landscape, culture, economy and geography. Sponsored by Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little, the tour is now in its 13th year.

Day five of the tour will start at the Flint Oak Resort in Elk County. The bus will then roll on to Toronto Lake in Woodson County. The group will visit Cross Timbers State Park where oak trees that have been growing since the 1700s can be seen.

After the visit to Toronto Lake, the group will travel to the Flint Hills ranch of Scott and Carol Ritchie in Lyon County. Both alumni of KU, the Ritchies will host the group for lunch at their home, about 20 miles south of Cottonwood Falls. Scott Ritchie will lead tour participants on a nature hike through his property to observe natural life in the area and discuss his more than 20 years of ranching.

From the Ritchie ranch, the group will have a brief stop in Cottonwood Falls before returning to Lawrence, concluding the five-day journey with stops in more than 20 Kansas communities.

Tour participants will share their insights on the trip on Twitter. Visit twitter.com/kuwheatstate May 23-27 for daily updates, impressions from participants and more. To view daily itineraries, maps of this year’s route and photos of previous tours, visit www.wheatstate.ku.edu.

Itinerary for Friday, May 27

8:45 a.m. – Depart for Lake Toronto
9:15 a.m. – Tour Cross Timbers State Park
10:30 a.m. – Tour Number 8 Schoolhouse, Madison
11:30 a.m. – Arrive at Ritchie Ranch
2 p.m. – Depart Ritchie Ranch for Lawrence
2:30 p.m. – Drive by Cottonwood Falls Courthouse
5 p.m. – Arrive in Lawrence


The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

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