Carolina: Cruising Past 70: OLA: Riding Through the Cold in Cowboy Country!

Monday, April 22, 2013

OLA: Riding Through the Cold in Cowboy Country!

Buffalo Bill's in his birthplace, Oakley, Kansas
@ Olive Garden in Joplin, Missouri with Rosemary and Jack!
April 15 is a much nicer day for us than for the millions of taxpayers in the Philippines or the US.  It is, after all, the birthday of Bill’s only sister, Rosemary.  And, if you knew her, you would want her in your life, too! So it was such a pleasure to take her and husband Jack to Olive Garden in Joplin, Missouri. All of us had not been to the popular Italian restaurant for a couple of years.  And the following night we even had (we got home too late on her day) celebrated it again with left over champagne from Becky's wedding!

a red cardinal and two yellow finches in the Docks' garden!
Alley on her throne @ the Docks!
So much of nature is viewable from the sunroom of their lovely home. A red bud tree was aflame nearby. Bill was able to take a priceless shot of a red cardinal and two yellow finches below their bird feeder. And a new cat, Alley, owner of the cozy throne/chair in the room, eyed me with suspicion as I took it from her during TV nights. A bright scene of alfalfa among the greens struck me on the road to Joplin. And, just in front of Olive Garden, there was a Bradford pear tree abuzz with white flowers!

at the western entrance to Dodge City, Kansas
Longhorn Steer in downtown Dodge City, Kansas
But a couple of days later, after the necessary repairs on ‘turn, we were on the road again back first to Denver at Suzanne’s home and then hopefully to Hurricane, Utah where the RV is stored. And the weather turned nasty. Thus we  skipped the Nebraska run altogether and chose a more southern, though longer route.

We stopped for the night at Dodge City. It was 41 degrees Fahrenheit with 28 mph winds, thus feeling like 29! But, we managed to take shots of the  Longhorn steer and Wyatt Earp statues in downtown Dodge City.  And the Cattle Feed Lot Overlook, at the city's western entrance, reminds all that the city is the Cowboy Capital of the World. Just before this sign are the Santa Fe Rail Tracks, where the wagon wheel ruts of the westward era remain protected for future generations.

Santa Fe Rail Tracks in Dodge City, Kansas
cattle feed lot
After the quick photo-ops, we snuggled under the warmth of our covers in our motel for the night. We woke up the next morning with the TV spectacle of the ongoing hunt of the remaining Boston Marathon bomber, the older one having been killed the previous night. So we proceeded to Denver where  Suzanne, Bill's daughter, lives. On the way, we saw many cattle feed lots, a definite sign  that we were in beef country.

the Big Well in Greensburg, Kansas
a mirroring of white splashes
We were fascinated with the Big Well in Greensburg, Kansas. It is the largest hand-dug well in the world,195 feet deep and 30 feet wide. The splashes of white cumulus clouds against the bright blue sky are mirrored as patches of spring snow against the brown fields. In Oakley, where  Buffalo Bill lived, we stopped briefly at the Buffalo Bill Cultural Center. We found out that his grave is in Golden, Colorado where the Buffalo Bill Museum stands.

World's Wonder View Tower
We had driven across the road many times going to and from Suzanne’s and Rosemary’s homes but this time, about 50 miles into Colorado from the Kansas state line, we spotted the World’s Wonder View Tower. It is a tourist trap with 50,000 different bottles atop which one can see six states. After arriving in Denver but before going to Suzanne’s, we had to stop at Best Buy to get an external mouse because my laptop’s internal one died the night before. We also got to sample Arby’s new dollar menu.

Bill and Devin @ the Coca-Cola Freestyle kiosk in theAMC theatre
As soon as we got to Suzanne’s, we went to the tennis open where Devin was participating. Although he did not win the match, it was such a tight one that I held my breath during each battle of long rallies. The next day, the whole troop minus Suzanne went to see Jurassic Park 3D at the AMC Promenade. I was amazed at the Coca-Cola Freestyle kiosks where you can concoct 100+ drinks of your choice. Bill and I chose a mix of Barq’s original and vanilla plus Mr. Pibb’s classic and vanilla to complement a large bag of popcorn! These are exactly the same kiosks they had at the World of Coke in Atlanta, Georgia!

Guitar Hero with Cute Cassie!
Back home at the Harper’s, after a miserable performance on Guitar Hero for me, Devin emerged an undisputable rock star, challenged only by Suzanne. On Sunday, Bill made French toast for everyone. Later, after rocking with Suzanne and Cassie (please see her cute blog on: in Dance Central 3, we went to Yak and Yeti, an Indian/Tibetan buffet, and then to mass. But we stayed another day not only to wait for our package, courtesy of Deejay, of our mail and things we left behind in Seattle. Our car battery had also gone kapoot.  Good Sam, our road assistance program, sent a tow truck right away. And now for the wait...before we can go back to our RV in Utah! IN the meantime, it is snowing the middle of spring!

@ Yak and Yeti with Devin and Cassie