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Summer reading inspired by the High Plains


From northwestern Kansas to the Texas Panhandle, the High Plains inspire the imagination of two authors.

THE OGALLALA ROAD: A Memoir of Love and Reckoning

This novel by northwestern Kansas native Julene Bair, explores water preservation, family tradition, single parenthood, new beginnings, and an identity tied to the land. 

“Nostalgia for the family farm in arid western Kansas vies with a deep consternation about the draining of the Ogallala Aquifer by crop irrigation in Bair’s ardent, deliberative narrative. . . . Her thoughtful work underscores the dilemma now facing farmers on the High Plains.”—Publishers Weekly


Larry McMurty’s latest work tells the story of the end of the frontier through the eyes of Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday according to Amazon.

 The story begins in the frontier town of Long Grass, Texas where Wyatt Earp’s wife Jessie runs the Last Kind Words Saloon and the pair of men while away their time drinking and playing cards.  The buffalo herds are gone, the Comanche defeated, and the prairie is being parceled by ranchers.

The pair travel the plains from Denver to Mobetie, Texas, and then finally to Tombstone, Arizona.

The book is full of historical figures like Charles Goodnight, Buffalo Bill Cody, Kiowa warriors Satank and Satanta, Nellie Courtright, and, of course, Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday.