We have been surprised along this journey once again. I see a pattern emerging. A wonderful pattern! A world full of surprises awaits.
We haven’t been travelling many interstates and have been sticking to the smaller roads and highways instead. Although it tacks on more time and sometimes more mileage, not going the most direct and fastest route is more our speed. It’s nice when we don’t see as many vehicles on the road and the views seem more plentiful. The roads wind and curve and hug the landscape and everything just seems more peaceful. Driving through some of the small towns has been an added bonus. We see more trees and animals and unique homes and farms and rolling hills compared to billboards and semis and cars whizzing by.
Kansas. You tricked us! We thought you were going to be flat with the ground stretching beyond where our eyes could see. We expected a quiet, boring drive. Instead we found Kansas was full of soft rolling hills, green green grass, trees, flowers. It was so vibrant and beautiful. On our way to visit friends we stopped at Camp Pawnee Campground. It was located along the Pawnee River. Aside from a couple tent campers, we had the place to ourselves. There was a huge playground, giant shade trees where we were able to set up the slackline, a paved bike path and tons of room to roam. It was only $12 a night.
While we were in this area we paid a visit to Fort Larned National Historic Site. It is an army post from the 1860s and was wonderfully preserved. We were able to go inside almost every building and see the furnishings. The best part was that our dog was able to go inside all of the buildings with us, including the visitor center where we watched a short film about the fort. A ranger met us at the fort garden and picked some fresh veggies for us to take home. The girls really enjoyed that! The exterior of some of the buildings has been carved into the sandstone blocks with what seems hundreds of names, initials and dates many of them listed from the late 1800s and early 1900s. This practice is no longer allowed. The window panes are, according to Jeff, original hand blown glass. You can tell by the ripple affect. He geeked out over this.
The town of Paxico was our next stop. My friend, from back in massage school days, and her family live there. In an RV, nonetheless. I hadn’t seen her since before either of us were married or had kids. It was great catching up with her cute little family and spending time. We did the obligatory massage trade (yay!). We visited the Wizard of Oz Museum in Wamego, KS. It was a collection of everything Oz-books, clothing, posters, replicas, dolls. You name it, it was there! There was even a house perched atop the wicked witch’s legs. The lighting inside didn’t mesh too well with my phone camera so I didn’t get too many photos but we collected a lot of memories.
The tiny town of Paxico is set along train tracks and although we didn’t get a chance to visit all of the antique shops while they were open, we walked the town for the 5 minutes it takes to get around and marveled at cool stuff that was sitting outside the shops. While they were closed. In broad daylight. Trustfully sitting there. It was refreshing. And not something we were used to in larger cities. Our campground, Mill Creek Campground, was nestled between the railroad tracks and a creek. We spent some time down there looking for skipping rocks.
Next up is Iowa!