United States
Wilson Czech Opera House and Museum

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    • Day 8

      Day 8 - Two Types of Evil in Kansas

      April 29, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ☁️ 10 °C

      Apparently the thunderstorm was horrendous at 2.30 this morning. Jackie thought the roof of our RV was going to cave in. Leisurely start today, for what is planned to be another long driving day & hopefully get to Dodge City.

      First stop was Stull Cemetery, known as the Devil’s Playground & supposedly the Gateway to Hell. Apparently it is the most evil place on earth & has a hidden staircase to the bowels of hell. Allegedly the Pope won’t fly over it.

      We were looking forward to it, but in reality it turned out to me a very ordinary looking cemetery, surrounded by a metal fence & several ‘No Trespassers’ signs. Reviews revealed that the local Police & residents of Stull were quick to clampdown on trespassers. No doubt they have lots of ghoul hunters looking for souvenirs. Jackie & I just took a photo & moved on.

      Next was the Evel Knievel Museum in Topeka. I had already researched it & knew it was closed on Mondays, but it was still worth a visit for a photo. I felt a connection, 2 Daredevil kindred spirits!

      Whilst in Topeka we also visited the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site. This was the location that ended segregation in American Public Schools. 13 ‘coloured’ families sued the Board of Education for discrimination because of segregation & won. The building is a museum & kept as it was back then. When you enter you are immediately taken back at the 2 signs hanging from the ceiling, one says ‘WHITE’, the other says ‘COLORED’.

      We then got on to Interstate 70 & after putting in another $120 of fuel, we raced westwards for the next 120 miles. To be honest, there wasn’t a lot to look at. Two thirds of Kansas is in The Great Central Plain of the United States. It is mainly agricultural with fields of wheat & corn as far as the eye can see.

      As we approached the town of Salina we headed north on Highway 81, then took Highway 18 through to the town of Lincoln. Here we were searching out the Travelling Salesman Monument. We hunted high & low for it in the town without success. So we had lunch & Googled it. The Monument was in the town cemetery, where else would it be? We found the small suitcase grave dedicated to J.S. Jacobs. Unfortunately his epitaph reads, “Here where he stoped last”.

      We then carried on Highway 18 to the little town of Lucas, full of eccentric artists. I was looking for 2 places in particular : 1. The Garden of Eden & 2. World’s Largest Things. We pulled up outside side the Garden of Eden, which is the home of strange folk & political art created by the owner Civil War Veteran S. P. Dinsmoor who started it in 1902 at the age of 64. We saw the owner providing a guided tour, so decided to discreetly photo the outside. We found the World’s Largest Things, but it was closed.

      Next we headed south to Wilson, where Jackie got out & posed beside the World’s Largest Czech Egg for a photo. We continued south for Cheyenne Bottoms which is a wetland in the Great Central Plains, which is a critical stopping off point for millions of migrating birds. Unfortunately we missed the turning so instead we circumnavigated it. We arrived at Great Bend & rejoined Highway 56 to Pawnee Rock.

      Pawnee Rock is considered one of the most important & beautiful landmarks on the Santa Fe Trail. Unfortunately I turned off Highway 56 prematurely, so had to turn round & rejoin the 56. As I turning right, we went down a dip in the road & we then deafened by the sound of smashing crockery.

      We pulled over to survey the damage & needless to say both blamed each other. After sorting out the mess, we continued to the Pawnee Rock Memorial in stony silence. I got out for a quick photo & on we went.

      At Kinsley, we picked up Highway 50 & followed it into Dodge city & to our Dodge City KOA. At check in we were informed of the available facilities, which included a storm shelter. Oh yes, we are smack bang in the middle of tornado alley. We are also right next to a zoo. Jackie made hotdogs served up on what’s left of the plates we have!

      It is worthy of mention, that after Kinsley, we were faced with literally 100 & 100’s of wind turbines. They are a vital source of energy for the region.

      It was another long driving day, but we have decided to do it one final time. After which we will be at the foot of the Rockies for some much needed scenery.

      FITBIT = 7,259 steps / 3.37 miles.

      Song of the Day - Knievel by New Model Army.

      Bonus Songs of the Day :-

      Cemetery Gates by Pantera
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    Wilson Czech Opera House and Museum

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