Thursday, July 6, 2017

Rural America or Traveling the Santa Fe Trail

Ok, so what did we do ? We were doing so well, floating along. With all intents and purposes staying in Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona. With a little bit of Utah.

Now you may also be wondering just what the heck are you guys doing?

Weather was looking ok, nothing DaGirls could not handle. So, there we were just west of Kansas. So, why not cross into Ks., and then back out. We could dip in, head east a little bit and then head back. So what happen ? Well the weather for one, temperature, jumping into the high 90's. Then the wind, decide to play along with the temperature. Speeds reached in the mid 20's to 30's mph for over a week.

So, after a short 150 miles into Kansas, when the weather and wind hit, we decided to see if maybe, we could locate a place to stay awhile.

Using a few of our Web Sites for camp sites:

using these to sites we located a county fair ground inside of Garden City. With 50 amps, water near by and a common dump, all for $20 a night.

When we arrived, we just happen to run into the last week of Beef Empire Days. 

Well it seems, Garden city has a month long celebration, and at the end, they have a parade down main street, and we just happen to be parked across from the staging area. So, what did we do ? Gathered our chairs, and Dakota and Tilly and headed out to the main drag and watch the parade go by.

While here we visited the Zoo, the local museum (all for free), and saw some of the local sights.

Lee Richardson Zoo

Just across the street, where we were staying was the Arkansas river, which we traveled next to in Colorado. What an amazing river in Colorado, flowing wild, fast down the mountains. 

I was amazed as to how much water there was. That is, until we were in Kansas, I remarked, where did the water go. The river was empty. NaDa, zip, no water, what a waste, just which state took it all. That's another question and answer for a different time.

Little did we realize our little foray would lead us to many small towns. Some of which dated back to the mid to late 1800's.

Well it seem that the Hwy we were traveling on, Hwy 56, was better know as part of the Santa Fe Trail. Yep you read it correctly, Santa Fe Trail, where the big names, John Wayne, Ward Bond and many others herded cattle from Texas to New Mexico and beyond.

So, we continued to look around to see where we could find a unique place to see and lay low during this weather. What we found was a small Kansas city called Ellinwood. Where we found 2 camping areas, one with 50 amps (4 sites with 2 permeant), the other with 30 amps with 6 sites. Water at both places, but no dump, which we did not need.

What makes this a very unique city / place ? Ellinwood, was settled by Mennonites from the western side Germany. See, they came because of the promised of good land, and good weather and all the other crap. Well that was a big joke, as they soon settled they learned what a load of crap they had been sold. You see it gets really cold and really hot, in Kansas. So, what they did was build just like in Germany. Sidewalks under sidewalks, what you say? Well under each store they would build basements with doors leading to a hall way that went from 1 business to the other. This was done on both sides of main street. There were also connecting tunnels / hallways to each side of the street, with an interconnecting one to the train station. So, whether it was hot or cold, they were very comfortable. Later shops were opened underground, where no respectable lady would be allowed to enter. You see Ellinwood, was on the Santa Fe Trail. Underground is where the cow pokes went to get clean up or cleaned out, whichever came first.

We decided since we were in the middle of Kansas between 2 major highways, 1 North and the other South, it would be a shame not to visit other small cities in Kansas.

I do believe this is the very first time (Except for Canada & Alaska), that we have spent so much time traveling only 50 to 75 miles a trip. Staying so long in an area. Alaska and Canada  really do not count as they are way larger than Kansas. So, here we are stopping every now and then, a city park here, county fairground park there, and even a few Corp of Engineers campgrounds.

So, what are we going to call this small trip ?

Rural America – Seeing what America is really all about. 

Here are just a few photos of Rural America as we traveled down Highway 56.

Where we traveled thru cities called: Garden City, Great Bend, Ellinwood, Council Grove, Osage, Hillsboro, Melvern, and Fort Scott.

Along the way, we visited sites titled: Eisenhower Presidential Library, Fort Larned, Fort Scott.

Watched 2 parades: Garden City and Council Grove. 

Stayed in 3 Corp of Engineers Camp Grounds.

Now for a Complete map of our travels, (Dump, Gas, Overnight stops, Sites), you can press the link:

2017 Summer Travels with DaGirls   

Additional Photos 

Ellinwood, Ks

Rural America 

Council Grove

Dakota & Tilly DaGirls Rv
Safe Travels and Journeys

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