We've had a full couple of days. We left Dodge City after going through the Boot Hill Museum, learning about Wyatt Earp & Bat Masterson's impact on the town. Marshall Dillon was not a real character in history at all, purely fictional. Coming across the Great Plains of Kansas, we saw cotton fields; Greensburg, a town rebuilding following a devastating tornado; a dead armadillo, and spent the night in Wichita at Wal-Mart.
We passed by hundreds of hedge apple trees.
Folklore says that putting those in a corner of your basement, helps get rid of spiders...so, I thought maybe, they'd help the Asian beetle problem, that has been renewed, while in Kansas. We gathered up half a dozen, and placed them on the dash of the RV. So far, no positive response.
We arrived in Independence, Kansas, where our co-volunteers from White Pines, are staying for four months, while Phil is work-camping at Amazon.com. We're all staying at Elk City State Park. Independence was having their annual fall festival, called Neewollah, which is Halloween, backwards. The town of 10,000, swelled in size, and the streets were jammed with carnival rides, overpriced food wagons and crafts, live animals and stage entertainment. We walked around on a sunny Saturday afternoon, and enjoyed the crowd. Later, we drove over to Coffeyville, about 25 miles away, to go to the Country Time Music Theatre.
A local musical family, owns, and stars in, the bi-weekly show, $7 a head, in a Quonset hut.
Sunday we drove to the Ingall's Little House on the Prairie site, nearby the state park, and saw what life was like for Laura and her family, during their stay in Kansas from 1869-70.
We didn't realize, from the popular TV program, that they traveled, and lived in so many different areas.
From there, things went downhill, culturally...and we drove 35 miles or so to cross the state line into Oklahoma, and went to a casino for the first time in our 57 years!
We lost $27 playing the slots, hacked in the smoke filled rooms, and now that we've gone...we're done with it. Once, for us, is enough!
We had high hopes to do housekeeping today...y'know like laundry and Wal-marting. No...a thick spider web was in the hot water heater compartment, so when we fired it up, it flared; which discombobulated the thermo-coupler thingie. No hot water. The internet told us that Joplin, Missouri, had the part, and was about 90 miles away, one way. On our way we passed through Baxter Springs, host of the 13.2 mile Kansas stretch of Rt.66. We found, and drove across, Rainbow Bridge, an arch bridge built in 1923, which had constant use until 1960. We like anything to do with Rt. 66. (hey, we're boomers!)
Thankfully hot showers were available tonight. The best luck of the day was finding gas for 1.99 at a Petro in Joplin, Missouri. We felt as if the words recession, bailout, and price gouging, had never been said when we saw that sign!