Thursday, July 31, 2014

July 31, Fun in the Midwest

This morning when we got up to leave the fairgrounds, there were only a couple Cowboy trucks left. Those are the really nice livestock carriers. Anyway, they were pretty much gone. Last night, after I finished the blog, I kept hearing one lone horse that seemed a bit upset. He was sending out a constant barrage of whinnies and neighs. Maybe he was hungry, or lonely. Not sure which. After I went to bed, there was the sound of a horse running up to the area we were at. I figured someone else was riding around. Well, after a few minutes, several sets of headlights pulled up, and I heard them talking. Apparently the little horse had gotten loose and ran down towards the river. Some fellow came over and snagged it with a halter, and off they all went. Quite a little commotion. I wondered if it was the same one that kept up the noise.

On his way out of Hill City, Jeff managed to get some pics of the town. It was a cute town. Larger, as it was a county seat. And as I was leaving, I found a lady selling fresh grown tomatoes on the corner! Of course I bought some. We had them for dinner. They had amazing flavor!

Jeff wears a size 11 1/2!
The rodeo and fair must be a really big deal here! 

We didn't have time for the Oil Museum. Looked
interesting, though.

This building is made with the same local stone
that was quarried for the ranch we saw yesterday.

Front of the building.

They had a time capsule! And it wasn't anywhere
special, just stuck in the ground on the sidewalk!
Once we left Hill City, there wasn't much along the route into the next town, which is Stockton. It seems we are pretty much going county seat to county seat. We did go through a little community called Nicodemus. The sign explains it in detail, but apparently during the time period after the Civil War, there were a number of African American communities started up in the Midwest.


The scenery has been changing daily here. I was worried that it would be just flat farmland all the way across Kansas!

There is still corn...

There is shade on the road ahead!

Stairway to Heaven?

Love the limestone formations popping up!
  Although Jeff didn't really find much on the side of the road today, I actually did! Nothing quite as cool as he usually finds, but stuff nonetheless!

Another battery contraption on the fence! Must be
a cheap and easy way to electrify the fence.

Must have been some wind storm to blow this 10' aluminum
tank onto the side of the road!

I found a little toad, although he was not quite as small as Jeff's.
This one was about the size of a quarter.
Although we didn't see very many sunflowers today, I did find a lone soldier that was watching over us.

Jeff did have his daily confrontation with a dog. This one was no threat to him, though. I have heard some, but not really seen any.

I wanted to include here the comments that Jeff had on our Facebook page regarding Colorado. He usually tries to make some comments about each state as we finish it. He was a little late in getting this one done! But it is interesting to hear a bit about what Jeff thinks, instead of just me!

"I have not done my review of running through Colorado. I hate using the phone
Colorado really had two sides...maybe three. We came into the state on rolling hills. We all know the mountains. Ugly as sin plain
Mosquitoes don't have a 10,000 foot ceiling. 
Found like no money on the side of the road
Normal driving habits
Kind garbage men , they stopped to give me water
The state needs a state smell...burning brakes
The state claims the highest everything, except for peaks
It has a lot of people going from nowhere to nowhere on roads with no shoulders
Takes the award for change , from. 3.2 beer to recreational pot
Has the most dead trees on the west
Has no road kill east of the continental divide
Did I mention how ugly dry farming is during a dry year?
Oh, and they have both biting flies and Mosquitoes in the plain
Oh, way fewer coal trains and shorter coal trains than I remember
Did mention that one day I wasn't bit by anything... But just one"

So we motored into Stockton about 6:30 this evening. I had already found out that they had a city park with hook-ups! I drove through and checked it out. It is a very nice park! The one thing we were determined to find was a laundry, though. According to google, there was not one in town. So I called one of the local motels to ask if they had any machines. She told me there was a laundry right next door to her. And sure enough, there was! With nice new big machines. So we got the laundry done. Then we went back to the park, which was just as we entered town. There is a disk golf course, a huge lit tennis court, and a ball field, and about 6 RV site. We are the only ones here. It was really nice sitting outside, as there was a slight breeze, and no bugs were bothering us. We actually ate our dinner at the picnic table. Dinner was T-bone steaks that I bought at a grocer just before leaving Hill City. They were $7.99 a pound! That is half what that steak would cost us at home. Then after we ate, Zilly and Zada got to gnaw on the bones for just a bit. Pinkie can't stomach steak now. She tosses it after about 15 minutes.

Another thing about this area. People stop to ask if you need help a lot. And many of them are already aware of what we are doing, at least when they see Jeff running. I'm still getting my 4-5 miles in each day, too. I figure that otherwise, I am sitting on my butt all day with no exercise. And, I usually go when Jeff is having lunch or needs a mid day break. That way we are still moving forward! People are really willing to help if they think we are broken down!

Did I mention that it is usually feast or famine on the Mailbox of the Day? Well, today Jeff struck gold juste as he was leaving the county fairgrounds!

Kinda looks like Woody, but I think it pre-
dates him!

Tractors are a popular motif.

As are water pumps!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

July 30, Going to the County Fair...Almost

This morning it was cool and rainy. It was quite a nice change! I think Jeff was worried he would melt, and didn't get as early a start as he normally does. I had a hard time getting up, as the weather system also brought me a headache. Not a bad one, I was able to stave off the migraine, with Aleve and later my wogging on the road. And later in the afternoon the clouds lifted and the sun came out. It got warmer, but certainly not hot as it was last week!

Anyway, we headed out toward the next few towns. I didn't really have that much to do, as there was no place to dump. So I just swept the coach out, took my shower, and went on down the road. The first dot on the map was Studley. Somehow, I totally missed this one! Thank goodness Jeff was on foot, and stumbled across it!


There were a couple of other little towns that we passed without ever really going into. Some were a tad off the road, and others were just dots on a map.

This could be a lovely farmhouse if it were fixed up!
Not sure what this building is, but it is clearly made from the local stone.

The towns off the road were sure to let us know they were there.

We are beginning to get back into some very scenic areas. There are now trees and rolling hills! So Kansas isn't all flat and full of corn! I was really impressed with Jeff's getting photos of the interesting rock formations, when they did pop up!


See? The trees are back.

I thought this lone tree was a cool pic.

Rolling hills, trees, and a blue sky!


Jeff didn't find too much on the side of the road today. However, he did find a couple of interesting things.

He couldn't figure out what the battery was hooked
to, and why?
Nothing bit him today but some stickers. They left his clothing
alone, but went for blood!
There is a lot of pride in America in the country.

He also passed by a little museum. Really, it is truly amazing the things that you miss while driving! Crossing the country on foot is a much better way to really see it! Lots of folks today stopped to see if we were ok. I guess folks in the country are much more helpful than city folks?

One of the places that we passed by was this historical ranch, the Cottonwood Ranch. Although the house itself was closed on Wednesday, we still had the opportunity to walk through the grounds. It was actually pretty cool. The house itself was built by a liquor salesman from England. He ended up founding a dynasty of sheep ranching here. The stones were all quarried locally, and the house was added onto a number of times. I still have a lot of respect for the moxie the settlers must have had. And the number of changes that have happened in the past 150 years makes me really curious what life will be like in this country in another 150 years.

The original Pratt from England.
The sons, also from England.

You can see the original house in the center. I thought
the yellow and pink chaulky stones were pretty!

Apparently wife of a son was from England, and much preferred it to pioneer life on the prairie!

Sheep ranching. Just like their home!
We also passed this awesome little sign. However, there was no sign of a lake. The locals tell the tale that since there has been a transition to irrigation farming in order to grow the corn for ethanol, the creeks and lakes are all going away, and they are afraid that the water table is dying as well.

Our push was to reach Hill City by stopping time. As I pulled into town and waited for Jeff, I saw several horses in a pond just off the little park I was sitting in. The pic isn't that great, but I thought it was cool.

I also kept seeing these wild gourds on the side of the road here. I finally went up to check one out. Looks just like a watermelon. I think the leaves are wrong, but I didn't know there was such a thing as a wild watermelon!

Once I got into Hill City, I began looking for a dump and place to stay. Google indicated that there was even an RV park here! Well, apparently it is no longer operating. So, plan B. There was a free dump site at the city compound right on the highway. So, first I took care of that. Then I went up to the little city park at the edge of town. Jeff didn't like it, as it was too close to the highway. So, I consulted google again. The county fairgrounds had a few RV hookups, and they were $10! That was a bargain. So, off we went to the county fairgrounds. But wait! The fair and rodeo just happen to be in progress! There were no slots open. However, we decided to go ahead and stay here for the night. This was the last night of the fair, and besides, we didn't think anyone would mind us parking there since they had hookups. Which we didn't get, but a spot to park is just as good. It was really cool! There were horses everywhere! And they were neighing at each other, and people were riding their beautiful mounts all around us! Of course, Zilly and Zada had never been around horses before. They went nuts barking at them for a while. And the first time I took them out to potty, Zada tried to eat the horse crap. That was just before they were attacked by a frisky little Doxie.... you would think that little dog was trying to kill them instead of play with them! She was quite excited to have found 2 playmates. They were terrified and tied their leashes all around me, and Zilly kept trying to jump into my arms. Poor little things need more socialization I guess.


I guess it is a good thing that I am not so crazy about horses that I would actually get one. Jeff does not understand what having horses is all about. Oh, well. It was cool being around them for the evening!

The flies were gone all morning, and the flowers are back on the side of the road! By afternoon, though, the flies were back to bothering us. Maybe they stay in when it is raining. But, we got some good flower shots. There was also a ton of yucca in one area. Ugly brown flowery looking things, but yucca all the same.


And as usual, when it rains mailboxes, it pours them! We got a couple of really interesting Mailbox of the Day shots to leave you with!

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