Saturday, 9 August 2008

Day Fifteen - Saturday, 5 July - Part II

Bill’s Road Book

Day 13, 5 July: 200 Miles, 5 hours, Note 5

Hwy 75 N: 8 miles to Deer Creek, turn left on Hwy 11, 10 miles to Medford, Cross Hwy 81
Hwy 11: 15 miles turn right on Hwy 11A; 5 miles to Wakita
Hwy 11A: 5 miles to Jct HwY 132, turn right; 5 miles to Manchester, Kansas Border, 10 miles to Anthony
Hway 132: 6 miles to Hwy 160, turn left, 30 miles to Medicine Lodge
Hwy 179: 40 miles to Coldwater, turn right onto Hwy 183, 22 miles to Greenberg, turn left onto Hwy 54/400, 8 miles to Mullinville, See Map
Hwy 160: 12 miles, turn right; 23 miles to Dodge City. Turn right, enter on E Trail St (US 400)
Hwy 183: turn left down N. 2nd Street
Hwy 400: then left onto Cherry Street (Water Sports RV Park)

Note 5 Dodge City: This might not be a good day to visit Dodge City. We may get there after everything shuts on Saturday night apart from the saloon/music hall and then it could all be closed on Sunday morning. It’s a holiday weekend and so some stuff may be open. At the moment my preference is to leave after lunch get to Pueblo but we gain an hour today with the change back to Mountain Time at Syracuse so we might be able to stay a bit longer.

So, back on the road again. This was the real start of my first RV Experience. Unfortunately, we were headed through Kansas. I have to say up front that I’ve never been a fan of Kansas. Whatever one can say about how flat or boring Oklahoma might be, it goes 100 times over for Kansas. Mind, if I were flying to a major city there I might see it in a completely different light. As it is, every trip I’ve made to Kansas has been by car and I can tell you it’s flat and boring and largely empty.

First we had to get out of Oklahoma and Simon was taken with this sign, given that he lives in Manchester England.

Then we were in Kansas. Fortunately we didn’t have too far to go to get to Dodge City, where we were to stay the night, but I think anywhere is a long way off if you’re driving through Kansas.

That said, there were a few bits to look at here and there - interesting roadside artwork. Whilst the RV only slowed a little to observe, The Tourists were able to stop and really take it all in. I don't recall where these flowers appeared, but they came some way before the next place, which defied the imagination. Yet again, Simon has taken some amazing pictures.

If you want to read more about the artist and his work, here are some links. They say he’s not the most popular guy in his small town. Given the strength of his opinions and the risque nature of some of his work, I'm not surprised. They also say he's not mad; meaning, he's not angry (sounds like denial to me). I might argue that he is mad, whether he's angry or not. Then again, either way, I think he puts Mullinville Kansas on the map.

We pulled into Dodge City and found the RV park. It has been noted that RV parks don’t tend to be in the nicer areas of town. This was no exception. Our next-pitch neighbours were an interesting group of 2 men and a woman drinking beer at the picnic table outside a small caravan at the picnic table in the afternoon heat. They were all spare and brown and looked like they spent a lot of time in the sun and the heat. When one of their 2 small dogs burst into a yapping fit they were quick to shush him and assure us he was friendly – which he was. The woman was somewhere in her 40s or 50s with long, straight, multi-coloured hair, parted in the middle. She walked slowly, as though worn down by the heat and work. When I asked directions to the showers, she was very pleasant and spent some time explaining the facilities to me. I gathered they stay there for long periods of time and my even live at the site.

We had a view of the small lake, but swimming was discouraged. I say discouraged as we watched a couple wading in spite of the “No Swimming” sign. We were all out there trying to placate Bill as he was piqued that we were all sitting inside the RV chatting and eating. I was enjoying being in the RV as a novel experience but we abandoned that and sat outside for a while instead.

Again, the youngsters chose to stay in a motel rather than in the RV. They had also opted to go to some sort of shoot-em-up and saloon event that we passed on for some reason, probably because we were hungry and tired. I think Bill would like to have gone to that as well, but it was all rather vague at the time and I chalked it up to the downside of travelling with such a large group. It was nearly impossible to get everyone to agree to do a the same thing at the same time.

We acquired some more neighbours later in the evening, two men in their 30’s on motorbikes. They had tents and many comfortable conveniences, like mattresses, Bill noted. They also had fireworks which they set off just after we went to bed. No one got up and complained, mind. One wouldn't if one sported a Union Jack flag on the back of one's RV, would one? Anyhow, it didn’t go on for too long.

That was my first night in the double bed at the back of the RV. Jane had warned me that it was bouncy and it had made her ill. Whenever anyone else moved in the RV, that back part did bounce! Though I wouldn’t say I was ill, for the rest of the trip I did have the same feeling as I do when we take the ferry across to Amsterdam, a sense of being in motion and slightly off balance, even when sitting still.

1 comment:

Rick & Joanne Stone said...

The inhouse motion when parked is why our bigger rigs have leveling jacks. There will always be a little "movement" but the jacks not only level the coach but they pretty much stableize it also.
Did you not stay in the "Gunsmoke RV Park" on the far east end of Dodge City? It had it's own inclosed swimming pool along with the gravesite of Chester Goode.