Day 19, 168 Miles
"You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today."
First, an invitation:
If you ride a bike and would like to ride along with us on a section of the tour, be sure to contact me and we'll see if we can make it happen. Also, if you have a club (any kind, not just a bike club) and would like us to stop in when we're in the area, we'd love to, and I would be willing to speak to them.
Dodge City exceeded my expectations. The museum tour lasted much longer than anticipated, as Quilter Gril and I read most of the plaques, fascinated. One year DC had 30 shootings resulting in deaths. In a poulation of 500. That would be like Las Vegas having 90,000 in a year. Take your city's population and multiply it by .06 for your total.
What a wild place! Lawless and reckless, with famous names like Bat Masterson, Doc Holliday and Wyatt Erp. Trivia: Did you know Wyatt and Billie from the movie Easy Rider were named after Wyatt Erp and Billie the Kid?
Boot Hill Cemetery looms above the faux board- walked town. It got the name Boot Hill from burying men with their boots on. Also, they buried them on the hill so the graves wouldn't fill with water when it rained, and one man noted, "We put them on the hill, pointing up because they needed all the help to get there they could."
The town teemed with saloons, prostitutes and gunfights.Of course, Quilter Girl found another obssessive/ compulsive, Betty from the General Store. She's a born and raised Kansan (Kansasite?) and has deep roots, not to mention being a quilter. Her boys farm a section and a half. How much is that? A section is over 600 acres, so they're tilling almost a thousand.
More trivia. We've seen ( and smelled) pelenty of stockyards. Stockyards don't own the cattle. Ranchers bring them in at 400 pounds, and the stockyards fatten them to a thousand. The yards get paid by the pound. Then off go the cows to do their duty as roast beef.
We headed North and East to Fort Larned. The miltary estalished the fort to defend against Indians in order to keep the Santa Fe trail open and running. The trail ran from Independence, Missouri to Santa Fe, Mexico (now New Mexico). The fort proved to be another interesting stop, as each building housed every fuction of a small city; hospital, cookhouse, storehouses, armory, quarters and offices. The soft limestone rocks bear carvings of names and dates form the inception of the fort to the '60s, when people were told to knock it off, they were defacing an historic site.
The weather crept up to the low nineties, and the wind pushed us toward the center line, seemingly all day. Once agian we elected to motel it, both because of wind and the only campground in Great Bend was a mobile home park, and a dive. Travelodge, with operating A/C and ice machine, works just fine tonight.
Tomorrow... I can't tell you. I am SOOOO excited! This could be the highlight of the entire trip! I have been looking forward to this stop for two years. Stay tuned.