Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Yellowstone Road Trip - Day 07

“Invitations to travel are like dancing lessons from God.”  ~Kurt Vonnegut

The two old buzzards and their Fannie slept in for a while before going downstairs for Sunshine Breakfast at La Quinta. John gave up making a waffle since bacon and scrambled eggs were a part of the fare. Linda brought her Raw Bits Twang Twang and added a Dole fruit cup to them. She looked on the package to see if the fruits were from Kansas. It said California. Then she noticed that California was just where you write for nutrition information. The origin of the fruits (peaches, pears, pineapple) was actually Thailand. Go figure . . .

We were on the road to Meade, Kansas by 10:10 for a short day trip to see the Dalton Gang's hideout and secret escape route. We took Hwy 283 south, then turned right (SW) onto Hwy 54 to get to Meade. We found the hideout with no problem, pulled up and waited for the rain to subside. It was coming down a little harder so we drove into town, got coffee (John) and iced tea (Linda) at the Smoke Boss BBQ & Espresso place (another go figure). Since it was still raining and John rationalized that they could both sit in Wilma's luxurious leather seats, or he could do that and let Linda shop. So, Linda spent about 20 minutes in an antique store called Oldtimers Antiques. She found a bargain treasure for her garden – a metal star for $2.00.

The locals were happy to see the rain but would have liked for it to be coming down harder. We felt their pain but just wanted it to slow down for long enough for us to go see the Dalton Gang's old stomping grounds. We got our wish very soon and had a great visit to the museum and secret tunnel. In one of the rooms there was a photo of the couple who lived in the house after the Daltons. No one (except the Dalton gang) had known about the tunnel until the new residents discovered it.

The attendant at the museum was very friendly, dressed in Westerny clothes and spoke with a cowboy accent, as in “Howdy Folks” etc. Turns out he farms wheat. We left with a badge, a newspaper repro from October 7, 1892. The Dalton gang had been wiped out two days earlier so the Coffeville Journal had lots of news to report about the excitement. Two of the three Dalton brothers were shot and killed as well as two other gang members, the third brother was captured. Four brave Coffeeville citizens lost their lives.

The following is a short video we shot at the Dalton Gang Hideout:

The bank cashier who fetched the money at gunpoint was Bert Ayers (Linda's maiden name is Ayers). The surviving Dalton brother, Emmett, was sentenced to life and got out after 15 years for good behavior. He went to California and was a real estate man at the time of his death in 1937.

The buzzards headed back towards Dodge going north on Highway 23. It was there that they finally got to see some specimen-sized sunflowers instead of the small ones that grow wild along some of the roadways. This field had obviously been planted since the large sunflowers were in straight rows. They were getting so heavy that their heads were beginning to drop.

John also found a group of very old farm buildings and a healthy sorgum crop to photo on that same stretch of road. As we came into Gray County we spotted their Senior Center and a target marketing advertisement on the bench outside. (see photo gallery). We also took a photo of a "NO J TURN" sign. Had to look that one up on Google.

We also got some shots of a couple of feed lots. The cows seemed to be mostly black (with a few brown and white ones) and not as crowded together as some places we have seen in California and Texas. There also was no noticeable "fragrance" in the air.

During our travels today, John came up with a motto: "Kansas, where you need a flyswatter for your car." What a great promotional giveaway for some political candidate. Our car had an abundance of flies in it when we left and it seemed that just when we got rid of them, more appeared – along with mosquitos.

We turned right (east) at Cimarron and were soon "back in Dodge" via Highway 50. John parked and went into the first bank we could find (Bank of America). No, he was not inspired by the Dalton Gang. He bought a roll of quarters so we could do laundry at the motel.

Dinner tonight was at El Charro Restaurant. John had a ground beef chili rellano, a beef enchilada and a guacamole tostado. Linda had a Southwest chicken salad. Both had a Dos Equiis with lime.

Well, there are 48 photos in today's gallery. It's a real mixed bag of subjects. You can visit today's photo gallery by clicking here. There will be a video of our visit to the Dalton Gang Hideaway added to this post fairly soon. We'll let you know when we've added it.

And so another day of travel comes to a happy close.

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