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Sunshine at Last…Sort of

September 17, 2011

Melissa has been vindicated!!!!! Does anyone remember when we went to Sturgis 2 years ago? Crossing the Mississippi on an Interstate we encountered a large flashing sign that said “Exit now-
Road closed ahead”. We however, kept going. We kept going until we got squeezed off the road into a hot little town filled with bumper to bumper traffic. I said to Melissa, (she says I screamed it), “Why didn’t you exit when the sign said to exit?!” She said, “Oh, you can never believe those signs!”. We have never quite agreed about that. However——-

This morningMelissa asked the desk clerk how to get to Rt. 10. “It’s closed,” she replied.
Melissa said, “What do you mean it’s closed?”. The desk clerk looked to the right and then to the left, and in a whisper said, “Welllll, don’t tell anyone I told you, but go back into town, turn left at the 1st traffic light, and then you’ll come to Rt. 10. There’ll be a big barrier across the road with a big sign on it that says ‘Road Closed’. IGNORE THE SIGN. Drive around the barrier. At the 2nd barrier turn left on County Road 200-you’ll be home free!”

Did you get that? IGNORE THE SIGN!!!!! who would have ever thunk it? We had the most glorious ride. Forget Hwy 50- forget even 193- the Loneliest road in America is the 2 lane country highway with a closed sign across it– there’s no traffic on that road for sure!!!

Most of what Dorothy just said is true but….

The lady at the front desk was very sweet to help me even though I could barely understand her through the lisp caused by her missing front tooth. She said take Rt 10 east to mile marker 43… You’ll come to county road 2, take a left….blah, blah, blah

What a break…we ignored the ” road closed” signs and set out on Rt 10. It was nice to see the sun. As we rode out through the desolate expanse of eastern Colorado’s cattle range I began to see the occasion county road marker for other roads…..unpaved roads. It never occurred to me to ask Ms Snaggletooth if the cutoff road was paved. 17 miles up Rt 10, I stop in the middle of the road to express my growing concern to Dorothy….she just makes a smirk and says…”I’m sure it will be well packed. We won’t have any trouble”. She’s always the shot in the arm you need…..

This is were we had the discussion.

You can imagine my relief when I saw paved road!

We ended up only 20 miles out of our way and back on track. We spent the day smashing small yellow butterflies/moths, unintentionally. Dorothy said it looked like we had been in a paintball fight.



We headed for Dodge City via Rt 50 through Colorado and Kansas. Along this section, it roughly follows the old Santa Fe trail.


I swerved around a snake in the road….I think Dorothy squashed it. The weather held out until we were 60 miles from Dodge….then it looked as if we’d have a tornado. We made it to town without any precip and as it turns out, it was just fog. Fog… Kansas…..Really?

We got to town and immediately began to hunt down the remnants of old Dodge…..there aren’t any.

Dodge City sits on the 100th meridian, some geographic imaginary line that separates the eastern US from the west. Essentially, Dodge was the gateway to the wild west. Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson kept the law from 1876 to the 1880s and did such a good job, Dodge became a respectable town…so Wyatt and Bat moved on. The town was founded as the place where Texas cattle was driven north to the rail lines….this is what brought in the rowdy cowboys and thus the lawless reputation. This is what Wyatt, Bat and others put a stop to…the town collapsed when Texas cattle was banned from town because of disease.

For miles on the way to town…there are stockyard after stockyard full of cows. It’s actually very sad looking… stinks to high heaven around here and there are flies everywhere. Dorothy was very sad by the whole sight. At dinner tonight, I said, “I guess you’re gonna skip steak for supper”. She said, “Oh no, these guys are already dead, we can’t do anything to save them!”

The original Front street burnt down in 18blah, blah, blah ( as all western towns do from time to time) but was rebuilt. Many of these structures remained in tact until the 1970s when urban renewal began and all the history was bulldozed.

So what you’ve got left is a small section of the old boot hill and some original buildings that were moved to the current location of the boot hill museum. It’s a complex that combines an accurate reconstruction of front street with the relocated structures. They have some artifacts from that wild west time period but there are no remnants of Wyatt, Bat, Ed or Doc Holliday.

Wyatt Earp

Trying out James Arness’s handprint.



Reconstructed Front St

Boot Hill remnants……most of the bodies have been move 2 times to different cemeteries due to urban renewal.


Dorothy gets can can lessons from Penny while Richard plays the dance hall piano


Church original to period.

Hardesty house completed in1879

The truth of the matter is that Dodge City is a bust. It took us about 45 minutes to see all that is had to offer and PS…..urban renewal is a failure…..the downtown businesses that replaced all the historic sites are dying….


Tomorrow we try for Missouri, 80% chance of rain the whole way…

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Stephanie permalink
    September 18, 2011 10:22 am

    Dorothy, Keep up trekkin! Stay well!!


  2. Joey permalink
    September 18, 2011 6:43 pm

    You guys are crazy, looks like you’re having a blast. How funny is Meme commenting on this??

  3. kenny permalink
    September 18, 2011 7:04 pm

    sunshine sunshine sunshine sun sun sun sun sun sun sun sun sun sun sun sun sun sun sunny sunny sunny sunny sunny sunny sunny sunshine sunshine sunshine sunshine sunny sunny sunny sunny sunny sunny sunny sunny sun sun sun sun sun sun sun sun sun sun sun Thats about the best I can do for you guys, Hope it helps!!!!! :}

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