Interesting day, I really needed last night at the Holiday Inn in Wichita after a few days on the Current river.  A sinus-attack had unexpectedly ‘popped up’ and hit me hard – zapped my energy.  Made a quick stop in the ER of Springfield, Mo. for some med’s – then barely remember the drive to the hotel…..   Anyway, the solid night of sleep helped to get my ‘feet back on the ground’ for an awesome trail-ride today – tonight I’m at the Cow Palace in Lamar, Colorado – fitting ending after seeing the prairies of the Santa Fe trail across West Kansas.  There are several places that they have preserved the historic Santa Fe for all to sense.

Out of Wichita and across the Santa Fe Trail with the ‘shortest route’ plugged into the Garmin, this has been an amusing piece of equipment, more later (its muted).

Junk stores, antique store’s, ‘My people.’

Long rolling hills that you could imagine cattle drives going across, of course the farming industry and silo’s that figure into the support of the meat industry.

And then Greensburg, Ks who’s only fame was having the largest hand dug well (which supported the railroad and city in its early years), just under it’s current tower. Well, fame until 2007 then a twister came through and leveled the city – the town was/has rebuilt – they’re still working on it, you might notice the light pole by the well.

Mullinsville (actually Mullinville)

Then to Mullinville where MT had quite a racket going on in his field, so much so that I just had to turn back and ‘go-figure’ with him.

I found him hard at work in his shop grindin, weldin, and swearing at the simplest of things, it was good swearing.  I introduced myself by saying that “I want some of whatever you been smokin,” of course that brought a nice smile.

We talked a bit and he told me how he got started, then he wanted to scribble on the ‘Chuck-wagon,’ I thought that was neat –

So I gave him a sign that I had tucked in (in case somebody ran off with the turtle sign), it was a fun conversation and in it all seems that the city has finally ‘takin a shine to his work, in which I fully support –  I mean what better could you do with old farm equipment (which there is an abundance of here) besides melt it down, I say go MT, set yourself free. Check out this link on him. He even pulled out an old camera out of his overalls and took my picture by the chuck-wagon, whether he’s ever had anything good to smoke or not he was a real character to talk with and a nice guy, thanks M.T. Liggett, made my day.

– And if I needed any help to remember the name just ran parallel with a buddy at the FD, Scott Mullins (ville) sorry Scott, he might be some of ‘your people’.  🙂

Just down the road Steve and Penny were taking another long bike ride (this one to Florida), more kindred spirits on the bac roads – check on them at Crazyguyonabike.

Of course there has to be Dodge City, I wondered if Ms Kitty ever got that body part unstuck from the saloon door.

Dodge City of course was branded into to me as a kid as one of two shows that my Dad always watched, Gunsmoke and Bonanza.  Dodge City was known as the cattle shipping point for points up North (Marshall Dillon kept the drovers in check around town and Ms Kitty), it continues to support the same  industry but now processes the cattle (ships them out in cooled boxes instead of loading them on a train.  Point is the distinct aroma is present in Dodge City, just a part of it.

Marshall Dillon would be proud to know that they now serve Chinese and Mexican food on main street, not sure what Wishbone would say about it, nor what type work ‘Mushy’ would be doing now.

Of course boot Hill was always where you could end up, it didn’t seem like much to me so I just followed the tradition of doing the things that were free and moving on, so I headed out of town.  A couple of blocks later I thought what the heck, my Dad was proud of the part he play as an early Florida ‘cracker’ – and as part of many of my home town (Ft. Myers) rodeo’s (because of an early bull-dogging injury, he later only participated as the clown)

Dad on left @ 50’s

so lets make one more lap though town, for WT Haynie – I’m sure he would have loved to have smelled the stockyards of Dodge City for himself.

In running the back streets for the final lap through town I came across a seemingly unnoticed old church, the statue caught my attention so I stopped to investigate, why not? – (‘leave early, enjoy the ride’) it was the original Boot Hill site! No tourists here, no one.  One inscription read;

“This site became known as Boot Hill due to the custom of burying gunfighters with their boots on or behind their head.  It is estimated that 32 men and one woman was buried on this site.  The names of many of these are unknown as they died without friends or money.  Their deaths occurred between 1872 and 1876, in 1878 the graves were moved to the newly established Prairie Grove Cemetery.” (exert 137)

It was neat to find something so overlooked that no one comes around, so much so that I took a moment to ease any glaucoma, tuned into 93.9 ‘The Buzzard’ and moved on out of town, the last lap for Dad was a good one.

I DID NOT stop at Wyatt Earps Liquor Store or Doc Holiday’s Package store,

nor, (traveling ‘lone-wolf’ as I am)  did I ‘bust-a-move’ or let out a howl at El-Coyote’s disco,

But I did find Ms Kitty as a poster at the General Store promoting the annual testicle festival…(no kidding).

You’d be proud Dad.

Time to “Get outta Dodge” and I did, right past the Thunderbird Motel and down the Sante Fe Trail.

Had to take a little walk but it was worth it, the prairie just rolls across west Kansas, easy to imagine those cattle drives and settlers that passed this way.

It was a short walk but worth it, part of the Santa Fe trail, 1822 – 1872.

Two lane roads where 65 is the norm, I was having trouble with the Life at 60 – cattle trucks, big ones.

Moving those cows.

This is where the Garmin got interesting, right through the old parts of Garden City, Ks, ‘shortest route.’

Kids running cross-country,

– and right past the High School where the Varsity team practiced as the JV team played across the field – made me remember Thursday nights. Interesting route, even though I think the Garmin technician lost a page when entering this one – it worked out.

But it was all ok because I was able to enjoy the ‘down home’ feel of these parts where the folks graciously honor and remember those that have served our country – they even wave at 65 mph (I think they were waving).

And those steel woodpeckers are everywhere.

It was an interesting day across West Kansas leaving the Cow Palace in Lamar to feel quite appropriate – this was a hasty post, may be a couple of days before another, think I’ll wander on down to the Branding Iron Saloon and show off my chaco’s……