The Wild West

It’s official– we’re smack dab in the middle of the country!

fullsizerender-5

Today we hit the notorious Dodge City,  the original cowtown of the wild west.  After checking into Gunsmoke RV Park, we moseyed on down to the Boot Hill Museum, a 1950’s recreation of the original Dodge City.  It turned out to be quite an enjoyable afternoon, despite the touristy appeal, with lots of artifacts on display, and a very nice exhibit about the Plains Indians.

img_2726

You have noticed that everything an Indian does is in a circle, and that is because the Power of the World always works in circles, and everything tries to be round… The sky is round and I have heard that the earth is round like a ball, and so are all the stars. The wind, in its greatest power, whirls. Birds make their nests in circles, for theirs is the same religion as our. Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing, and always come back again to where they were. The life of a man is a circle from childhood to childhood, and so it is in everything where power moves.  – Black Elk, Oglala Sioux Holy Man

Wreath crafted in the late 1800’s, made entirely of human hair.

The Prairie

Liberal, MO – who knew?  And home to Prairie State Park, just down the road from Harry S. Truman’s birthplace.    We made our way along the 4 mile gravel road that leads to the park and found a delightful little campground (4 campsites) nestled in the wood, surrounded by prairie.  Since we had arrived early in the day, we spent the afternoon hiking the vibrant, living prairie trails, home to everything from bunnies to bison (and yes, we stayed the recommended 100 yards away since there was no fence separating us!)

fullsizerender-4

This morning we dropped Ollie at El Dorado State Park in Kansas, and spent the afternoon driving the Flint Hills Scenic Byway and exploring the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve.

Whenever you stop on the prairie to lunch or camp, and gaze around, there is a picture such as poet and painter never succeeded in transferring to book or canvas… D. W. Wilder, editor of the Hiawatha World, 18884.

The vistas are  vast, the wildflowers abundant and varied, and the wind is always blowing.   Today, only 4% remains of the original 170 million acres of the tall grass prairie that once covered this land.