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2021-07-31 – The Oregon Trail caravan … Day 3 – Hiawatha, MO and Grand Island, NE

We hitched up our wagons and the wagon train started west today, following the Oregon Trail… Or at least so it seems…

The Oregon Trail was a 2,170-mile east-west, large-wheeled wagon route and emigrant trail that connected the Missouri River to valleys in Oregon. The eastern part of the Oregon Trail spanned part of what is now the state of Kansas and nearly all of what are now the states of Nebraska and Wyoming. The western half of the trail spanned most of the current states of Idaho and Oregon.

The Oregon Trail was laid by fur traders and trappers from about 1811 to 1840 and was only passable on foot or by horseback. By 1836, when the first migrant wagon train was organized in Independence, Missouri, a wagon trail had been cleared to Fort Hall, Idaho. Wagon trails were cleared increasingly farther west, and eventually reached all the way to the Willamette Valley in Oregon. Annual improvements were made in the form of bridges, cutoffs, ferries, and roads, which made the trip faster and safer. From various starting points in Iowa, Missouri, or Nebraska Territory, the routes converged along the lower Platte River Valley near Fort Kearny, Nebraska Territory, and led to rich farmlands west of the Rocky Mountains.

From the early to mid-1830s (and particularly through the years 1846–1869) the Oregon Trail and its many offshoots were used by about 400,000 settlers, farmers, miners, ranchers, and business owners and their families. The eastern half of the trail was also used by travelers on the California Trail (from 1843), Mormon Trail (from 1847), and Bozeman Trail (from 1863), before turning off to their separate destinations. Use of the trail declined as the First Transcontinental Railroad was completed in 1869, making the trip west substantially faster, cheaper, and safer. Today, modern highways, such as Interstate 80 and Interstate 84, follow parts of the same course westward and pass through towns originally established to serve those using the Oregon Trail.

Early emigrants

On May 1, 1839, a group of eighteen men from Peoria, Illinois, set out with the intention of colonizing the Oregon country on behalf of the United States of America. The men of the Peoria Party were among the first pioneers to traverse most of the Oregon Trail. They carried a large flag emblazoned with their motto “Oregon Or The Grave“. Nine of these members eventually did reach Oregon.

In September 1840, Robert Newell, Joseph L. Meek, and their families reached Fort Walla Walla with three wagons that they had driven from Fort Hall. Their wagons were the first to reach the Columbia River over land, and they opened the final leg of Oregon Trail to wagon traffic.

In 1841, the Bartleson-Bidwell Party was the first emigrant group credited with using the Oregon Trail to emigrate west. The group set out for California, but about half the party left the original group at Soda Springs, Idaho, and proceeded to the Willamette Valley in Oregon, leaving their wagons at Fort Hall.

On May 16, 1842, the second organized wagon train set out from Elm Grove, Missouri, with more than 100 pioneers. The party was led by Elijah White. The group broke up after passing Fort Hall with most of the single men hurrying ahead and the families following later.

Great Migration of 1843

In what was dubbed “The Great Migration of 1843” or the “Wagon Train of 1843”, an estimated 700 to 1,000 emigrants left for Oregon.  They were led initially by John Gantt, a former U.S. Army Captain and fur trader who was contracted to guide the train to Fort Hall for $1 per person. The winter before, Marcus Whitman had made a brutal mid-winter trip from Oregon to St. Louis to appeal a decision by his mission backers to abandon several of the Oregon missions. He joined the wagon train at the Platte River for the return trip. When the pioneers were told at Fort Hall by agents from the Hudson’s Bay Company that they should abandon their wagons there and use pack animals the rest of the way, Whitman disagreed and volunteered to lead the wagons to Oregon. He believed the wagon trains were large enough that they could build whatever road improvements they needed to make the trip with their wagons. The biggest obstacle they faced was in the Blue Mountains of Oregon where they had to cut and clear a trail through heavy timber. The wagons were stopped at The Dalles, Oregon, by the lack of a road around Mount Hood. The wagons had to be disassembled and floated down the treacherous Columbia River and the animals herded over the rough Lolo trail to get by Mt. Hood. Nearly all of the settlers in the 1843 wagon trains arrived in the Willamette Valley by early October. A passable wagon trail now existed from the Missouri River to The Dalles.

So our wagon train set out for Oregon…

We headed back towards St. Joseph, and crossed over the wide Missouri into Kansas again…

About an hour later we arrived in Hiawatha and found the Brown County Agricultural Museum and Windmill Lane…

It is an interesting place. Many old barns have been moved onto the property, and thousands of ancient home appliances and farm tools and implements, from Tractors and Combines to open end wrenches, are on display.

As we all pulled in together. Parking was a little tight…

Very tight…

In fact, it was so tight that we pulled up close to one another. In the photo below you can see the Villa parked next to a telephone pole. But there will be plenty of room to pull around the pole once the other Airstreams left.

There are probably 50 windmills of all shapes and types. Most often windmills operated pumps bring water up from wells. Some of the windmills charged batteries providing power and lights, and some even generated electricity through a wind-powered generator…

The various bards are full of ancient appliances, tractors, plows, cars, and other miscellaneous things…

As some of the first Airstreams started to pull out it was time to leave. I checked out the space around the telephone pole, backed up a bit to get a little more clearance, and I started to pull forward.

There was plenty of room as my tires went by the pole. However, there was a large low spot adjacent to the pole. Thus, as I pulled forward, the Villa tilted towards the pole to the point that it was within 1/16 of an inch of touching the pole. There we stopped.

Much head-scratching later, we (about 20 Airstream experts) decided that the only way to get past the pole was to jack up the Airstream far enough to get long 2×6 boards under the wheels to un-tilt the Airstream. We found boards, blocks, and three small hydraulic jacks. After much huffing, puffing, and groaning we had the wheels off the ground and the boards and blocks fitted beneath the wheels…

I pulled forward and we were clear, to much applause. All that was left to do was to collect the boards, blocks, and jacks and return them to their rightful places…

And we were on the road again…

We turned north and finally reached Nebraska! We had not been in the Villa in Nebraska before. This is state #41!

Nebraska is, of course, full of corn fields…

About the only difference we could see between Kansas and Nebraska is that Nebraska has more irrigated fields…

We stopped at a Rest Area, where we were joined by another Airstream…

We arrived at our parking spot for two nights – this is Fonner Park, the home of the Nebraska State Fair, located in Grand Island… Lots of room, not too warm, and barely humid…

We celebrated the liberation of the Villa from the pole with Happy Hours; I shared many bottles of my wine with my new friends.

An enjoyable time was had by all…

2021-07-28 – Heading to Missouri for the Oregon Trail caravan… Day 6 – Wichita, KS to Maysville, MO

We left the RV park in Wichita mid morning… Did I mention it was hot and humid?

But Kansas is beautiful everywhere we look…

Finally we crossed the wide Missouri…

Missouri is not all that different than Kansas…

At the appointed hour we arrived at our rendezvous point for the caravan: The Pont Express RV Park, outside Maysville, MO. We are about 30 miles east of St. Joseph, which is on the border with Kansas, on the Missouri River. While most of the wagon trains left from Independence, MO, many did leave from St. Joseph. However, the Pony Express was headquartered in St. Joseph, and all the west-bound riders left from St. Joseph. A we soon discovered, the Pony Express and the Oregon trail follow pretty much the same route from Missouri across Kansas and Nebraska…

This is a very nice park, with fishing lakes, farm animals, and lots of open space…

The only downside is that they parked all of us at the bottom of the hill, where it is hotter, more humid, and there is no satellite TV service!

We met the caravan leaders and received our caravan books; we have 21 Airstreams, including the two leaders. As usual, there are many from Texas, Florida, and South Caroline, only one from Israel, and even two from Missouri!

Since it was still too hot and humid to sit outside we turned in early… The adventure begins tomorrow! And an enjoyable time was had by all…

2021-07-27 – Heading to Missouri for the Oregon Trail caravan… Day 5 – Liberal, KS to Wichita, KS

We left Liberal, KS, at about 9:30 am. We will be in Kansas all day today!

Kansas looks a lot like Oklahoma. At least the part of Oklahoma we saw yesterday…

They do have windmills here. We saw many more under construction…

Here is a windmill blade being transported on a truck. They are over 110 feet long!

Our first stop of the day is Dodge City! and the Boot Hill Museum… We parked the Villa to check out the town.

Dodge City was named after nearby Fort Dodge. The city is famous in American culture for its history as a wild frontier town of the Old West. Its population was 27,340 in 2011.

The US Army built several forts in this area, starting in 1847 (When this area was still Mexico) and ending in1865, when Fort Dodge was built to provide protection for travelers on the Santa Fe Trail. Fort Dodge remained in operation until 1882.

The town of Dodge City can trace its origins to 1871, when rancher Henry J. Sitler built a sod house west of Fort Dodge to oversee his cattle operations in the region, conveniently located near the Santa Fe Trail and Arkansas River, and Sitler’s house quickly became a stopping point for travelers. Others saw the commercial potential of the region with the Santa Fe Railroad rapidly approaching from the east. In 1872, Dodge City was staked out on the 100th meridian and the legal western boundary of the Fort Dodge reservation. The town site was platted and George M. Hoover opened the commercial establishment – a bar.

The railroad arrived in September to find a town ready and waiting for business. The early settlers in Dodge City traded in buffalo bones and hides and provided a civilian community for Fort Dodge. However, with the arrival of the railroad, Dodge City soon became involved in the cattle trade. Deputies Bat Masterson Wyatt Earp both served in Dodge City.

In 1866, the first Texas cattle started arriving in Baxter Springs in southeastern Kansas by way of the Shawnee Trail. However, Texas Longhorn cattle carried a tick that spread Texas cattle fever among other breeds of cattle. Alarmed Kansas farmers persuaded the Kansas State Legislature to establish a quarantine line in central Kansas. The quarantine prohibited Texas Longhorns from the heavily settled, eastern portion of the state.

With the cattle trade forced west, Texas Longhorns began moving north along the Chisholm Trail. In 1867, the main cowtown was Abilene, Kansas. Profits were high, and other towns quickly joined in the cattle boom. However, in 1876, the Kansas State Legislature responded to pressure from farmers settling in central Kansas and once again shifted the quarantine line westward, which essentially eliminated Abilene and the other cowtowns from the cattle trade. With no place else to go, Dodge City suddenly became the “queen of the cow towns.”

A new route known as the Great Western Cattle Trail or Western Trail branched off from the Chisholm Trail to lead cattle into Dodge City. Dodge City became a boomtown, with thousands of cattle passing annually through its stockyards. The peak years of the cattle trade in Dodge City were from 1883 to 1884, and during that time the town grew tremendously.

Dodge City became famous because no town could match its reputation as a true frontier settlement of the Old West. Dodge City had more famous (and infamous) gunfighters working at one time or another than any other town in the West, many of whom participated in the Dodge City War of 1883. It boasted also the usual array of saloons, gambling halls, and brothels, including the famous Long Branch Saloon and China Doll brothel. For a time in 1884, Dodge City even had a bullfighting ring where Mexican bullfighters would put on a show with specially chosen Longhorn bulls.

As more agricultural settlers moved into western Kansas, pressure increased on the Kansas State Legislature to do something about splenic fever, known today as anthrax. Consequently, in 1885, the quarantine line was extended across the state and the Western Trail was all but shut down. By 1886, the cowboys, saloon keepers, gamblers, and brothel owners moved west to greener pastures, and Dodge City became a sleepy little town much like other communities in western Kansas.

Today the Boot Hill Museum showcases ancient artifacts, stages gunfights daily, and offers other tourist attractions…

Apparently there is a festival coming up. We’re not sure what it is, and we’re not sticking around to find out…

But we do like old towns. We explored the town of Dodge City… There are historic, old west restaurants right next to the museum..

But seriously folks, there is a nice section of the old town that has been restored…

I like to see details of how new construction technology is uses to preserve old buildings…

Across the street from the town is the Santa Fe Depot…

So we enjoyed some history in Dodge City, then we were back on the road, heading to Wichita… Kansas is quite lovely from one end to the other…

We arrived in Wichita to the Air Capital RV Park. Nice clean sites. Again, good power is a must. It is 97 degrees, and 86% humidity. It is not suitable for man or beast…

At 6:00 pm we called Uber, and we were driven into “downtown” Wichita, to George’s Bistro. We had some time before our reservation, so we walked for about 20 minutes. (Note to self: avoid walking in this kind of weather!)

But we did find the Allen house, completed in 1918, and designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. We were here in 2019 and had the full tour… See photos in the Blog archives: Search “Allen House”.

Back at George’s Bistro we went in to cool off. We sat at the bar and ordered Old Fashioneds, made with Boot Hill Distillery’s Bourbon. Drink Local!

We had a lovely dinner of French Onion Soup, Steak Tartare, Pomme Frites, and Crepes with smoked salmon, cream cheese, capers, and Arugala. I had brought with us a 2005 Cht Clerc Milon, a tasty Bordeaux…

Dear long-time reader: If you think you’ve seen this photo before, you’re almost right…

This was taken at the same restaurant in June, 2019…

We Ubered back to the Villa. An enjoyable time was had by all…

2021-07-26 – Heading to Missouri for the Oregon Trail caravan… Day 4 – Tucumcari, NM to Liberal, KS

The RV park in Tucumcari (a KOA) is mostly for overnight stays – it’s not exactly a vacation resort. By the time we poked our heads out of the Villa at about 9:00 am all the other RVs were gone… It’s a strange feeling, and an odd sight to see…

So we headed out at about 9:15 and we pointed the truck roughly Northeast. Today we will drive though portions of four states!

We soon left New Mexico and entered the Texas Panhandle. Lynda almost shot a photo of the Welcome to Texas sign…

Around 10:30 am we arrived the cute little town of Dalhart, TX, population 8,400. We have driven through many small towns on our various trips, and most of them are decrepit and derelict. Not Dalhart! It is a thriving town with many nice residential neighborhoods

It also has train tracks right through the center of town…

So we stopped and waited. And waited… Finally we pulled off the road and parked. There was a very nice Family Dollar store here, so we went in a bought a few trinket’s

Finally the train moved on. (It had been moving slowly, back and forth – adding or subtracting cars somewhere along the line…)

We continued on, and soon entered the panhandle of Oklahoma. We spent about 100 miles in Texas and about 50 miles in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma looks a lot like Texas around here…

And it looks a lot like this, too…

Yhe GPS on the dash was pretty accurate…

We see signs of civilization now and then…

We see these everywhere… Anyone know what the small yellow pipes are doing connecting with the yellow tower in the background?

We finally arrived in Kansas – our fourth State of the day… We turned off onto the old highway…

We found our RV park for the night…

This is on the outskirts of Liberal, Kansas, in the far southwest corner of the State. The park is Very primitive, but they have good 50 amp power hookups. We were set for the night. Did we mention it is HOT here? We quickly turned on both ACs and enjoyable time was had by all…

2021-07-23 – Leaving Home, heading to Missouri for the Oregon Trail caravan… Day 1 – Redlands, CA to Camp Verde, AZ

We’re off again! This time we are going to retrace the path of the Oregon Trail, from Missouri to Oregon. To do this we must, again, drive through the California desert, drive through the Arizona desert, through the New Mexico desert, and on through a corner of the Texas desert, through a corner of the Oklahoma desert, then on into Kansas, and finally into Missouri. We will be retracing some of the same roads and places that we have been through before…

But first, here is an update of our grandchildren…

Roisin got to ride the big school bus to go off to beach and surf camp…

Ian visited The La Brea Tar Pits and stuck his finger into the tar…

George got a little dirty when he had a minor fall during a family hike…

Evelyn has found her calling as “Super Woman”…

They have enjoyed their summer, doing the many things that have been off limits over the past 15 months…

But back to out trip…

We had an uneventful day driving across California and Arizona…

Not the first time we have been in Arizona, but it is always fun to take a photo of the sign…

Arizona looks like this along this route…

We had a little rain, but nothing that delayed our trip. We headed north at Phoenix, and continuing to Camp Verde, located about one hour south of Sedona. Camp Verde is a sleepy little town that has the best restaurant in this part of Arizona. People drive the hour from Sedona because it is better than anything there…

Camp Verde looks like this… We are at about 3,200′ elevation…

We found the RV park. We are in, connected, and paid for…

So, after checking in to the RV park, we freshened up and headed to Moscato Italian Restaurant. We had a fabulous meal, with courses that were way too large – we brought home over half the food. (We drank all the wine…)

Next to our table was a group of six men, about our age, who were celebrating a birthday. They were having a great time, and on occasion we could hear someone mention their Airstream. Several times. We were not sure which man it was, so as we were leaving we stopped at their table and asked, “Which one owns an Airstream?” It turns out that four of them own Airstreams! They were all from Sedona, and, like I said, they drive the hour to Camp Verde to eat at Moscato. We had a fine discussion about Airstreams, diesel trucks, and the finer things of life, and we then left them to continue their celebrations.

We returned to The Villa. An enjoyable time was had by all…

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…

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

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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…

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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.

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

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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…

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At one rest stop we found this Scenic Historic Marker:

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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…

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

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

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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…

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

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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…

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And we entered California!

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

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The California Desert looks like this…

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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:

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

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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…

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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…

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

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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…

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That man is at the front door…

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

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These repetitive windows are in the Living Room…

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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…

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

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

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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…

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

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

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The ice goes here for the large kitchen ice box…

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Beautiful planters…

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

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

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

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The tea house beyond…

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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:

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And this:

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

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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…

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All the rivers are muddy…

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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…

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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…

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

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

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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…

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The other structures are fun, but not original…

 

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

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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.

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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”…

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

 

 

 

 

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