Monday, June 30, 2008

Vacation...Day 3...

Well, this is our last and final day on our trip. We left Garden City,Ks. and headed south to Dodge City where we made a quick stop. I snapped the local newspaper proving that times never change. Thought it very fitting for Dodge City!
You will see the giant grain storage bins and just outside of town was a feedlot. Enough said about that!

Here we also seen the Old Soldier's Home and Custer's house.

We stopped along the road at a sign showing where the Santa Fe Trail tracks were. That had to take a special kind of person to endure the hardships of crossing the country in a covered wagon with everything you owned! Wonder if the kids ever said "are we there yet?" Tool Belt Jim is standing in the actual tracks caused by the wagon trains.

I love this road art! Wouldn't it be interesting to meet the man that creates all this and learn the story behind it? Guess we'll save that for a later day!

We stopped in Greensburg, Ks. to check out the World's Largest Hand Dug Well. We have seen it many times, but since the tornado took out a big portion of the town, things didn't look the same. The well is still there with a enclosure around it. I was glad to see two large Red Cross tents in the town. Everywhere you look, people are rebuilding the town and I am sure their lives. It again reminds me of the importance of being prepared and supporting your local Red Cross by becoming a volunteer or by giving monetary donations! It will be money well spent.

We headed further south almost to the Oklahoma line and traveled through what I thought was the best part of the whole trip. We got off the highway and took a dirt road through "Open Range" territory. It was still a county road, but went through the "cow pastures!" It was great! We seen mule deer and here the landscape was ravines and gullies and cedar trees. No more flat land. Sometimes , you don't know what you are missing when you stay on the highways! I snapped Jim's favorite plant (sage) and Indians must have been around because we seen the smoke signals. (laugh, laugh) There is a picture of me with the winding road behind me going for miles. Very peaceful!

In one of the small towns we found a couple of old gas pumps rusting down. Some collector would love to find these.
And the final picture was of an oil well pumping away! We certainly need to find more oil right here in the good ole USA! So pump away!!

It's so good to be back home!!!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Vacation...Day 2.....

Well, we headed out about 9:00 this morning going west from Hastings, Nebraska. Our main goal was to tour the Pioneer Village in Minden, Ne. If you ever get a chance to tour the Pioneer Village I'd do it. It's brochure advertises is as "Showing Man's Progress Since 1830" and says "For thousands of years man lived quite simply. Then like a sleeping giant, our world was awakened. In a mere hundred and twenty years of eternal time, man progressed from open hearths, grease lamps and ox carts to television, super-sonic speed and atomic power. We have endeavored to show you the actual development of this astounding progress as it was unfolded by our forefathers and by ourselves..." It really is awesome to see how life has changed in such a short time!

Along the way we stopped and got a quick picture of me beside the Oregon Trail marker. Jim likes to check out all the historic markers as we travel so we will know what has happened in the areas we are traveling through.

We traveled through mainly eastern ks. northern ks. and northwestern ks. and you mostly see miles and miles of wheat fields, feed lots and a few oil wells. But where are all the fields of sunflowers? I never saw one sunflower so far on this trip and I know this is the "sunflower state." We passed lots and lots of large trucks carrying combines and tractors and R.V.'s Harvestors on the road so America can eat!

We toured a fossil museum in Oakley,Ks. Thought my grandkids would enjoy these pictures so bear with me. Also, check out the buffalo. Wouldn't want to meet one of those after dark.

The most amazing thing we saw in this flat land of wheat was the Monument Rocks located I swear, right smack in the middle of some farmer's field. And they are huge! Only God could do that, but I understand it is something about this land being under water at one time etc. etc. These are located south of Scott City, Ks. and you'll never find them unless you follow the signs. They're about 6 miles off the highway on a dirt road, so know what you're looking for.

And once again, we're roughing it at the AmericInn in Garden City, Ks. Tomorrow, we'll head towards Dodge City. You can say "where in the world is "nana" today?" We'll be home soon!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Vacation---Day 1

We started off in the little red truck early this morning, carrying our own diesel with us so we wouldn't have to stop. I will try to remember all the exciting stops we made as we drove across Kansas heading towards Nebraska. First, we stopped at the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve west of Strong City and wandered around looking at the beautiful house and barns. Then I snapped a picture of a ball of wire that seems to pop up in Kansas frequently. You will see Jim looking in the door of a huge outhouse at the prairie reserve. That didn't look like the outhouses we had when we were growing up! Then we stopped in Cottonwood Falls and saw the Custer Elm tree. After moving on we stopped for a short break at the Eisenhower Home and Museum in Abilene. After getting our legs limbered up again we headed on down the road. We made a short stop in Beloit and Glen Elder as Jim's great-great-grandparents were buried there. Oh yes, we can't forget the world's largest ball of twine in Cawker City. No way could we travel this far and not stop at the geographical center of the 48 states and get Jim's picture taken. Notice the flag was standing straight out as the wind picked up pretty good by the time we reached there. Believe me when I say it is in the middle of nowhere. Finally, after 10 hours of meandering we finally saw the Nebraska sign and pulled into civilization again (read Wal-Marts) in Hastings. Going to get some sleep and head back out tomorrow to see what Nebraska has to offer. Sorry the pictures did not come out in the right order but I will try to correct them when I get home. You all may not care about my detailing this trip out like this but my small grandson wants to know everything I did so this is for you Mark!