This first part of our vacation travelogue covers the day we left up through our arrival in Lamar, Colorado.
AN IRONIC TWIST
In one of those ironic twists of scheduling at which we can only laugh, we scheduled our first night on the road to be spent in Tulsa, at the home of our daughter and her family. We figured, hey, that’s a good place to stay, and we can get in a quick visit with her and her husband and our three grandkids there.
However, our daughter and her family had scheduled THEIR vacation for the exact same time, and they were planning on visiting us in Mississippi that night!
What a hoot!
As it turned out, they spent that night with other family in Arkansas, and the following night at our house. We still weren’t there.
In any case, our families in our travels were two ships passing without seeing each other.
It is just over 9 hours driving time to Tulsa, but for us, we like to stop quite a bit and walk for exercise, so it usually takes us at least an hour more enroute to get there.
No matter. We weren’t in any hurry, especially since there was no one in Tulsa to greet us.
As it turned out, we had a washing machine to take to them, because we wound up with one we were going to sell, but it had a larger capacity than our daughter’s machine, and she said she would sure like to have it, so we took our old one to her. It was rather interesting to keep an eye on the car at all the stops we made, just to make sure no one got the bright idea to make off with the machine by “liberating” it from our trailer hitch tray, but all went well and we got the machine to Tulsa without incident.
Once we got there, it was another interesting adventure to unload the machine with no one there to help. I managed to “walk” the machine off the tray and down the ramp, one inch at a time, and we left it in their garage.
Anyway, we spent the night there and the next day we headed north-northwest, arriving in Dodge City, Kansas late in the afternoon.
Dodge City, as you may know, is one of the icons of the history of the American West, being one of the early railroad towns where the post-Civil-War cattle drives would go to have the cattle shipped to the markets back east.
We were able to visit the block-long Old Dodge City museum area, which is mostly a number of storefronts that replicated a street in the old historic town; most of these storefronts were museum displays, but some of them were stores with such things as tee shirts and ice cream at tourist-trap prices.
One of the things I found most interesting was that even the early Dodge City had a town band, and I took a couple photos of the displays commemorating this band:
Some of the text in the above image tells how Chalkley Beeson founded the Dodge City Brass Band in the 1870s. In the 1880s they became known as the Stockmen’s Band and began wearing chaps, boots, spurs, and cowboy hats, with each member carrying a six-shooter, paying tribute to the early wild days. Later on, being known as the “Cowboy Band,” they performed for audiences in Kansas City, St. Louis, Chicago, and other eastern cities. They were even invited to and played at the inauguration of President Benjamin Harrison.
Beeson even waved a six-shooter in front of the band. When a reporter asked him why he did that, he said, “It’s my baton.” The reporter asked if it was loaded. Beeson said, “Yes. It’s to shoot the first man who plays a false note.”
Here are some of the instruments from that period:
Here is a sculpture representing the daily perils the cowboys encountered while driving a herd on the trail:
We stayed overnight in a so-so hotel, and the next day we headed out for Lamar, Colorado.