Monday, April 12, 2010

Santa Rosa, Tucumcari, Liberal & Dodge City, Ks.

Mon & Tue - April 5th & 6th

This is an 1882 church at Puerto Luna, just south of Santa Rosa. It is supposed to be the oldest community in New Mexico. Legend says Billy the Kid had many friends here and visited frequently.

This is Blue Hole in Santa Rosa just off the main route, where the original Route 66 went before 1937. They do year-round scuba diving here. It is 81 feet deep and 61 degrees year round with an outflow of 3,000 gallons per minute.

The kids were having a blast diving in while we were there.

This is the longest mural with a scene of Route 66. It is one of 24 murals in Tucumcari. They have a dinosaur museum here that is supposed to be very good, but it was closed the day we were here.

We're off to see the wizard in Liberal, Kansas. On a side note the high school is the redskins and the middle school is the warriors. Also, we have noticed several schools, police stations and courthouses along the way with the Ten Commandments prominently displayed.

Here is Dorothy after the tornado with the witch's slippers sticking out underneath the house.

We're not in Kansas anymore Toto.

Miss Elizabeth (I think she was Auntie Ems aunt) took us on a tour thru the Land of Oz to the Emerald City. I skipped down the yellow brick road and sang the song and was told that almost everyone does. They can't help themselves.

They originally didn't think people would be able to farm past the 100th meridian because it was too dry. I bet they would be surprised to see all the dams on the Colorado River and all the channels diverting water for irrigation.

Wyatt Earp arrived in Dodge City in 1876 to establish law and order, one of several towns he is credited with taming. Bat Masterson was another famous lawman here. Dodge was known as The Buffalo Capital of the World for five years until the mass slaughter destroyed the huge herds and left the prairie littered with decaying carcasses. It was also known as Cowboy Capital, Queen of the Cowtowns and Wickedest Little City in America.

850,000 buffalo hides were shipped from Dodge City 1872 to 1874. Farmers gathered the bones and sold them for 6 to 8 dollars a ton. They were used in the manufacture of china and in fertilizer.

This church had it's altar painted on the wall rather than wooden carvings or statuary.

This is their Carnegie Library. I thought the architecture was interesting, very different than most of them that we have seen. There are 16 miles of brick streets in Dodge City and they are in excellent shape.

This is Boot Hill Museum where the very first Boot Hill was located. 32 cowboys were buried here with their boots on and later moved to a new cemetery.

Longhorn cattle took the place of the buffalo and seven million were marketed from Dodge City in the 1870s and 1880s.

Statue to honor the Cowboys.

The original downtown is gone, but they have built a replica of it where you can go to the saloon and order a sarsaparilla and watch a shoot out in the street.

Dodge City was founded in 1872 five miles from Fort Dodge because the commander at the fort would not allow alcohol within five miles. They settled their differences in shoot outs and lawlessness reigned for a while.

Fort Dodge is now Kansas Soldiers Home. A civilian who kept a store at a military fort was called a "sutler". He paid a fee for a monopoly to conduct all the buying and selling there to the soldiers and to travelers following the Santa Fe Trail. Two soldiers were awarded the Medal of Honor for actions at Fort Dodge. One of them, Corporal Kyle, was later killed in a gunfight at Hays City saloon by Hays City Marshal, Wild Bill Hickok.

This is Liberty Garden in the Dodge City Park. It is a memorial to the 911 tragedies. It includes pieces of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and has replicas of the Twin Towers.

We went thru four states in one day as we traveled across New Mexico, thru the corners of Texas and Oklahoma, and on to Kansas. As we traveled thru Dalhart, Texas we noticed that many of the business names started with XIT. We wondered what it meant, so John looked it up. It means Ten in Texas which is the name of the largest fenced ranch in the world. I guess they owned a lot of the businesses in town as well.
Next on our route is Abilene, where John says he has been waiting his whole life to go, because to quote the song, "Abilene, Abilene, prettiest town I've ever seen. Women there don't treat you mean in Abilene, my Abilene."
We're traveling north and getting anxious to be home again for a while. Wish we could just click our heels. There's no place like home. There's no place like home. There's no place like home. Oh yeah, I forgot for a minute. We are at home all the time, wherever we are.

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