Saturday, June 21, 2014

Traveling to Colorado

After flying back to Texas and spending some quality time with the Beard family (and extended family), we were ready to load back up into Howie.  It was starting to warm up in Texas, and we had plans to be somewhere a bit cooler for the summer.

We had a nice tailwind for the drive north through Oklahoma and into Kansas.  Welcome to the plains!

Brief stop in Dodge City because it sounded familiar - Old West frontier town, Wyatt Earp, gunfighters, and the setting for Gunsmoke.  Yep, that's the one.  Its motto is "Get the Heck Into Dodge".  Cool.

Another brief stop, this time in Oakley to check out the Fick Fossil and History Museum.  One curiosity was the outdoor stair-stepper machine:

The variety of fossils and Old West artifacts was quite interesting.  Also got an idea what Buffalo Bill looked like - he must have turned some heads:

Then finally to Goodland KS for the night.  The highlight was this 80-foot high easel holding a replica of a van Gogh sunflower painting.  They really should advertise this better, I would not have found it except it was a stopover point for us.  It's worth checking out if you are ever driving through Goodland!

Some sense of scale - I'm the one in the background (smaller blue shirt):

This is one of the world's largest easels, and the painting is pretty large too.  Very cool.

The main purpose for the stopover in Goodland was to take a side trip (without the trailer, since it requires dusty dirt road travel) to the high point of Kansas.  We never would have picked out this spot among the prairie hills as a high point, but happily there is a wonderful monument at the site.

Sunflower made from railroad spikes:

A mailbox full of fun things:

Someone was here only a few days ago and left this:

This is the most photogenic high point we have seen - love it!  So fitting for the state of Kansas too.  I couldn't help but take a bunch of pictures.

Not much around for at least a couple miles.  And boy, was it windy.  Never really realized how loud the wind can be, and you just can't capture that in pictures.  Imagine the winters?

The high point is not easy to spot until you get close:

Several more high point photos are posted here:

We are now half done with our 50-state high point quest!  Sweet!

Next stop = Colorado!  John, we are not in Kansas anymore (sorry, I couldn't resist):

Out for a run on our first day in the mountains, admiring the view and the aspens:

A different sort of high point, an actual peak this time.  Mount Pisgah isn't anywhere close to the top of Colorado (just over 10,000 feet up), but it was a fun little climb to an interesting summit:

Loving the Colorado views and cool air (well, I'm loving the cool air, John is trying to contain his disappointment over leaving the summer heat so soon after returning to it, sorry honey):

A leather-bound summit register, very nice:

It's a good start to our summer adventures!

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