Search

Category

Kansas

2019-06-06 thru 2019-06-11 – Traveling West – Liberal, KS and then Home…

This morning we pulled out of the RV park in Liberal, KS, and pointed the Villa southwest.  In about three minutes we were in the far western part of the Oklahoma panhandle; about 90 minutes later we were in the far western part of the Texas panhandle; by noon we were in New Mexico…

These parts of Oklahoma and Texas look remarkably like Kansas…

img_9233img_9240img_3333

At one rest stop there were these nice little picnic shelters… Mid Century Modern!… Nice, but a little beat up…

img_3332img_3331

All day yesterday and all day today, until we entered New Mexico, we followed the railroad tracks.  About every ten miles we came to a small town dominated by these giant grain elevators or silos…

img_9239

The further we drove west the smaller and more distressed the towns were… Not being farming folk, we could not tell exactly what these facilities do, but we assume it is related to grain storage, food processing, feed production, or something like that…

By mid day we were at our campground in Tucumcari, NM.

img_3336

And, for the record, New Mexico does not look anything like Texas, Oklahoma, or Kansas:

img_3335

Happy Hours and a light supper ensued in the Villa; tomorrow we head towards Gallup, NM.

Friday morning dawned nice and cool, but the heat will be arriving soon.  We pointed the Villa west, towards Albuquerque and beyond…

The drive was uneventful, as expected…

New Mexico looks like this…

img_3339img_3340img_9245

At one rest stop we found this Scenic Historic Marker:

img_9246img_3342

We weren’t sure what it meant… east and west looked pretty much the same to us.  Yes, western New Mexico does has more hills.  We rose to almost 7,000′ elevation before dropping down to 5280′ elevation in Albuquerque…

img_9248img_9251

Then we went uphill again to 7,275′ elevation at the Continental Divide…

img_9252img_9255

We eventually arrived in Gallup, NM, at about 6,500′ elevation…

img_3343img_3345img_3346

The sky was beautiful, the sun was hot, but the winds made the 89 degree temperature bearable.  By early evening we were able to turn off the AC, and by sunrise tomorrow it is supposed to be 48 degrees…

Happy Hours and a light supper ensued in the Villa; tomorrow we head towards Kingman, AZ.

Saturday morning dawned nice and cool, but the heat will be arriving soon.  We pointed the Villa west, towards Winslow, Flagstaff, Williams, and Kingman…

The drive was uneventful, as expected…

Arizona looks like this…

img_9259img_9256img_9258img_9265img_9266img_9267

We drove for about six hours, taking time for rest stops, fuel, and lunch… We finally pulled into Kingman, AZ by mid-afternoon…

img_9269

Interesting note is that we stayed here almost exactly two years ago as our first stop after leaving Irvine on our 4 1/2 month trip, the day after Lynda retired…

Happy Hours and a light supper ensued in the Villa; tomorrow we head towards Palm Desert, CA.

Sunday morning dawned nice and cool, but the heat will be arriving soon.  We pointed the Villa west, towards the California border…

The drive was uneventful, as expected…

We crossed over the Colorado River…

img_9275

And we entered California!

img_9282

We were met by some attentive uniformed people who asked us where we’d been, and if we were bringing in any firewood…

img_9286

The California Desert looks like this…

img_9284img_9287img_9289

For those of you who insist on calling places like eastern Oregon a “desert”, please stop!  Rivers, grass with cattle grazing, and green leafy trees do not make a desert!  See photo above for what a desert looks like!

We moved on to Palm Desert, where they have succeeded in making the desert green:

img_9295img_9296

We spent the afternoon and evening with like-minded friends, sharing happy hours and dinner.  Early Monday morning we drove the final hour…

img_3356

We arrived home in Redlands; an enjoyable time was had by all…

Tally:

Miles driven: 8,379

Days traveling and camping on our own:  40 days

Days on the Cajun Country Caravan:  16 days

Days on the Springtime in Kentucky Caravan:  22 days

Total days living in the Villa: 78 days

Total number of Airstreams seen along the road:  211

Number of nights in the Villa over the past 24 months:  375 days  (51%)

And one last photo of our girls…

img_0729

2019-06-05 – Traveling West – Wichita and Liberal, KS

This morning we pulled out of the RV park and pulled the Villa into central Wichita.  We are heading to another Frank Lloyd Wright house – the Allen house…

You remember the neighborhood of nice houses I posted yesterday as we walked near the French bistro where we had dinner.  The Allen house is in the same neighborhood, a few blocks over…

img_3289img_3290

We pulled up in front of the house and parked along the curb…

img_3293img_3292img_3294

The Allen House is a Prairie Style home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1915-1916 for former Kansas Governor Henry Justin Allen and his wife, Elsie.  Construction was complete in 1918.

It was one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s last Prairie Houses.  The design influence of the prairie and Japanese architecture (FLlW was working on the Imperial Palace Hotel in Japan at the time) is apparent on both the exterior and interior.

Also included in the forward-thinking house were such modern conveniences as a central vacuuming unit, an alarm system and gas fireplace logs.  Another innovation was the first firewall in a residential home.  The bricks are considered “Chicago Common Bricks”; the bricks actually are comprised of five different colors.

(An interesting side note here is that in 1916 Wright started designing the Hollyhock House in Hollywood, where I am a docent.   It was mostly completed in 1921.  Hollyhock House is definitely NOT a Prairie style house; Hollyhock House is definitely FLlW’s first non-Prairie style house…)

Anyway, the house is about 4,000 sq. ft., and it cost $30,000 to build, including Wright-designed furniture and full landscaping.  This seems like a very low price for such a fine house.

(Unfortunately, interior photos were not allowed…)

The porte cochere.  Where is the front door?  It’s around the corner to the right…

img_3301

That man is at the front door…

img_3302-1

The door itself is VERY crooked.  There is about a three inch settlement of the foundation near here…

img_3330

These repetitive windows are in the Living Room…

img_3300

These spherical planters are made from concrete using crushed oyster shells in lieu of gravel and sand… They are over 100 years old and there are no cracks…

img_9201img_3297

This is the rear of the house.  This parking lot was originally a kitchen garden and a cutting garden of red roses…

img_3303

This projection is oddly not symmetrical – it really bothers me…

img_3304

The classic feature of all Prairie houses is their horizontality.  This is reinforced by mortar joints, a plynth row of limestone, and a water-table of limestone…

img_3306img_3307img_3308img_3309

The square motif is repeated in light fixtures throughout the house…

img_3310

The kitchen windows feature “pie-cooling” iron grates…

img_3313

The ice goes here for the large kitchen ice box…

img_3314

Beautiful planters…

img_3315

Many of the house’s eaves contain these hidden rain gutters…

img_3318

The built-in downspouts for the hidden gutters;  also note the security alarm…

img_3316

The terrace and courtyard was used for entertaining as often as two-three times per week…

img_9206img_3321img_9214

The tea house beyond…

img_3327img_3326

We had a great tour.  I only caught the docent in one error – she was talking about how Wright had invented the casement window for the Hollyhock House, and then used it again here.  Really?  The casement window was “invented” thousands of years ago… Wright used them almost exclusively in his houses; in fact, what he did say was, “If they had not already been invented I would have invented them…”.  Also, the Hollyhock House was designed and built AFTER the Allen house…

So we drove off, pulling the Villa; Allen house was our last “tourist” stop.  From now on we are streaking straight home…

We left Wichita on Hwy 54, heading southwest, towards New Mexico…

Kansas looks like this:

img_9223

And this:

img_9224

Hwy 54 parallels the railroad tracks, build in the late 19th century as the prairie lands were homesteaded…

img_9228

They grow dandelions big around here…

img_9229 We stopped in Liberal, KS, at about 5:00 pm, at a very basic campground.  We were tired.  Happy Hours and a light supper ensued, an enjoyable time was had by all…

2019-06-04 – Traveling West – Oklahoma City, OK to Wichita, KS

We had an easy drive and an easy day in general.  We were awakened in the early AMs with thunderstorms and rain pounding on the aluminum roof… By the time we pulled out of the RV Park the rain had stopped, but everything was very wet.

Oklahoma is green and gold.  So is Kansas.  I’m not sure where these photos were taken – North Oklahoma and southern Kansas look pretty much alike…

img_9180img_9182img_9183img_9184

All the rivers are muddy…

img_9187

We drove north, stopped for truck fuel, then stopped again for human fuel (groceries).  We arrived at Air Capital RV Park in south Wichita at about 12:30…

img_3266

We did errands, caught up on emails and other details, made reservations for the remainder of our trip, and generally relaxed…

We were able to find a fine French bistro in Wichita… We hailed an Uber, arrived early, and walked this fine old neighborhood in Wichita…

img_3267img_3268img_3269img_3270img_3272img_3273img_3275

At the appointed hour we arrived back at the restaurant – Georges French Bistro…

img_3276img_3277

It was delightful.  We sat on the sidewalk, and we enjoyed cocktails and wine along with 5 shared appetizer courses…

img_3278img_3284

We Ubered back to the Villa;  an enjoyable time was had by all…

2017-06-15 Kansas, Missouri, and Laura Ingalls Wilder

We left Bartlesville after breakfast atop the Price Tower.  We were only a short distance from the border…

 

A short time later we were at the location of The Little House on the Prairie (No, not the stupid TV show…).  The exact site was only discovered a few years ago, and it is on privately owned farmland, but the owner has erected this small wayside memorial. It includes a reproduction of the log cabin, and some other typical pioneer buildings. The only “real” item is the hand-dug well that Laura’s Pa dug with Mr. Edwards…

2017-06-15 Little House on the Prairie 7

 

The other structures are fun, but not original…

 

And the view of the wild prairie Laura must have had from the cabin:

2017-06-15 Little House on the Prairie 4

 

From here we proceeded east across Kansas…

 

Our destination:  Mansfield, MO, where Laura and Almanzo Wilder lived for 60 years.  This is where all the Little House books were written. It now has a beautiful museum full of memorabilia, including the Ingalls family Bible, which recorded all the deaths, births, and weddings. Also, Pa’s fiddle is here…

There are 2 houses on the property; the original 1- room farmhouse, built by Almanzo from 1896 to 1913, plus a “modern” cottage (The Rock House), ordered from the Sears, Roebuck catalog, bought by Rose, their daughter, and built in the 1930s.

2017-06-15 Rocky Ridge Farm 2

2017-06-15 Rocky Ridge Farm 3

 

There is a nice RV park across the street from the museum, and it is about 1 mile into the town of Mansfield.  Lynda found a nice place to “read”…

2017-06-15 LIW RV Park 2

 

Tomorrow our odyssey continues as we head to St. Louis to see another architectural icon…

 

 

 

 

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑