It wasn't very noticeable while living in Hutchinson, but that part of the plains is fairly temperate. Liberal is situated on the High Plains, so it's drier, flatter, and there's even fewer trees. The crops are different: less unirrigated corn or wheat, less irrigated corn, more irrigated wheat, and more cotton. We also have more gamebirds! With the less plentiful water, there are fewer trees (which also means stronger winds) but that encourages pheasant and prairie chickens.

The Cimarron National Grassland preserves a large section of the High Plains about an hour away from where we're currently living. It actually got started because of the Dust Bowl, and is situated squarely in the area marked as "worst affected" on maps. To help prevent a recurrence of the dust storms, the Bureau of Land Management bought the area and let it return to a native state instead of lie bare.

The grassland is named for the Cimarron River, which is actually 2-4ft underground in the region. A branch of the Santa Fe Trail passed through the land. Ruts are supposed to be visible in multiple locations but we only thought we found them in one place.