August 2011
 2011 September  2011
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View entire year's route With Google Earth 65K
View year's Camps With Google Earth 19K
Thursday, September 1
Prairie Band Casino and Resort   Mayetta, KS Locate this campground with Google Earth $15.75 per night
We are still in the same campground but it is now a new month so needed to start a new page. It was extremely hot today, (104 degrees F at the peak) .   We are relaxing before moving on to Kansas City tomorrow. Frank spent time straightening out wires making the trailer look better. He also installed a thermostat on the wall which will operate the bedroom AC once the wiring is completed to the AC unit. Tom did laundry. We had dinner at the Casino.
Friday, September 2 Todays route using Google Earth 115 miles
Peculiar Park Place RV Park   Peculiar, MO Locate this campground with Google Earth $29.00 per night
It is still hot, but the temperature is beginning to cool down. Only got up to 97 today. We are about 10 miles from the rodeo grounds of this weekend. We picked up Frank's medications which had been delivered to the campground office a few days ago. One of the meds was missing and another was the wrong kind with artificial coloring. And that was 3 weeks after they had been ordered. We have had nothing but trouble trying to deal with Kaiser medication deliveries.

Saturday, September 3
Rodeo day today. Good event and the temperature has come down to the upper 80's, but the humidity is high so it was a tough day for both contestants and spectators. A cold front came through late afternoon, which was expected. We had some heavy downpours and a few lightning strikes.

Sunday, September 4
At last a break in the hot weather. Mid 70's and very comfortable. The news reported the temperature in Phoenix on Friday was 125. Rodeo photos should be available in a couple of days in the gallery section.

Monday, September 5 Todays route using Google Earth 116 miles
Prairie Band Casino and Resort   Mayetta, KS Locate this campground with Google Earth $15.75 per night
Today we left Peculiar, MO and headed back to the Indian Casino 20 miles north of Topeka, KS. We plan on staying here again two nights before moving on Wednesday to our RV repair facility near Abilene, KS. The repair should be relatively minor. Frank worked on the computer while Tom drove into Topeka, KS to do some shopping and to pick up some meds. For dinner we tried the Casino's buffet but found the lines too long so we went back to the trailer. We guessed the lines were longer than expected because it was Labor Day and on Monday the buffet's specialty is Prime Rib and Shrimp.

Tuesday, September 6
Today is a pleasant sunny day with temps in the mid 70s. Frank cleaned the basement of the trailer, as Tom washed laundry from the rodeo, and washed the truck for all the dust we acquired from the duty, dirt roads near the rodeo arena. Tonight we will again try the Casino Buffet. Tonight's specialty is steak.

Wednesday, September 7 Todays route using Google Earth 95 miles
Four Seasons RV Acres   Abilene, KS Locate this campground with Google Earth $25.20 per night
It's been difficult to keep up with these logs. It actually takes about 30 minutes to an hour to prepare a single day's entry. My time and interest is being occupied with a new site I have been working on dealing with the history of gay rodeos. The site can be visited at For the time being, we will enter the base information of our daily travels with photos of places we visit over the next few weeks but will leave the complicated Google Earth and daily route items to be filled in later. Today we pulled the trailer back to Abilene to an RV repair shop next to the campground. The trailer has several plastic bands which hold flexible wires that feed the slideouts. Both of them broke last week and needed to be replaced. That was taken care of and we will stay in this campground for a couple of days while we visit nearby places.

Thursday, September 8
Today we took a drive to Rock City Kansas W near Minneapolis. This is an area with very unusual round rocks called concretions. The site is owned by a small non-profit company which maintains the site very nicely. We found the site very interesting and very pleasant.  

Friday, September 9 Todays route using Google Earth 92 miles
Triple J Campground   Russell, KS Locate this campground with Google Earth $19.90 per night
Today we moved west again about 100 miles to the town of Russell, Kansas. This is a very small town of 4,500, yet two modern, very famous Senators come from this town. Sen Bob Dole, a Republican Presidential candidate, and Sen Arlen Specter. That to us is amazing. Tonight we will dine at the best restaurant in town, then tomorrow hit two nearby tourist places. Stay tuned to our thoughts tomorrow about these places. We are fortunate to have a very nice home, but it is also nice to be back in the trailer on tour. At times, we think we have the best of both worlds. This is where Frank and his Father camped in the middle 1960's.

Saturday, September 10
We began our day with a 45 mile drive west to Ellis, Kansas Locate with Google Earth and a visit to the boyhood home of Walter P. Chrysler, the man who built the Chrysler corporation.   Next we headed east to Hays, then south 30 miles to La Crosse, Kansas Locate with Google Earth and a visit to the Kansas Barbed Wire Museum. A very interesting place if you have love museums. Well displayed collections and an informative facility on the history of barbed wire.   Next door to the Barbed Wire museum is the Rush County Historical Museum including an original stone house which contains exhibits about the numerous stone fence posts and buildings which can be found throughout this region of Kansas.  

Sunday, September 11 Todays route using Google Earth 91 miles
Evergreen Motel and RV Park   Pratt, KS Locate this campground with Google Earth $22.00 per night
Basically an overnight stop en-route to Halstead. Hot day today, in the mid 90's. We stayed in this same campground twice earlier this year when we went to Oklahoma City for a rodeo.
Monday, September 12 Todays route using Google Earth 81 miles
Springlake RV Resort   Halstead, KS Locate this campground with Google Earth $14.00 per night
Very windy and hot today. Upper 90's. Then part way through the afternoon our Living room AC started blowing its circuit breaker. Frank checked the voltage which came back at 125 volts, plenty of power to drive the AC. So Tom called several RV repair places, but they are all busy until next week. We eventually called the place we were at last week in Abilene and scheduled an appointment for next Monday. Later Frank pulled the cover off the fuse panel and studied the breakers. Turns out both AC units were connected to the same electrical faze of our 220 volt feed. We unplugged the trailer and Frank spent about 30 minutes rewiring the panel to move the bedroom AC to the other faze. That worked and we now have 2 AC units again. The campground is not wired adequately. Our trailer is about 800 feet from the transformer and there are about 30 other sites on the same feeder line.

Tuesday, September 13
Today we visited the Kansas Underground Salt amazing place. We took a 680 foot descent via an elevator into the salt museum cave, with 150 miles of tunnels. They explained how the salt was found and then mined. Locate with Google Earth     They even had a small train trip of 15 minutes, and then an open gondola trip of 30 minutes through the tunnels. A fun place, very well run, and extremely well designed and shown. Nice job. On a sadder note, when we returned to the surface our cell phones had a message to call Tom's family. Tom's 39 year old nephew who has so painfully suffered with diabetes for years passed away in his sleep last night. May he rest now. Tonight we will have spaghetti for dinner in the trailer.

Wednesday, September 14 Todays route using Google Earth 179 miles
Big Brutus   West Mineral, KS Locate this campground with Google Earth $15.00 per night
We are back at Big Brutus where we were last year. Very quiet and peaceful here. After setting up, we drove to the West Mineral post office, 1 mile away to pick up Frank's medications. They screwed up again and hadn't shipped one of the meds he will run out of in 6 days. Then we discovered our cell phones don't work here. Frank climbed up into Big Brutus and was able to get a cell phone signal. Turns out they shipped the one medication earlier today and they shipped it to West Mineral, Kansas. It won't get here until sometime next week when we will be well away from this area. We will have to put in a forwarding request with the post office. After half an hour on the phone, Frank got Kaiser to call in a prescription to a Wallgreens in Topeka which we can pick up in a few days. So we should be covered. The heat of the last few days is past. Today it only got up to about 70 and tonight here it should get down to 45. Very nice sleeping weather. The last time we were here, our Verizon Internet connection was practically nil. It would appear they have upgraded the local service and our Internet connection is very good. Just no cell phone coverage, but then our cell phones are with AT&T.

Thursday, September 15
We spent a leisurely day. We slowly toured the Brutus and looked at the museum.   Frank scanned some more rodeo programs for his new site Gay Rodeo History. Very cool, never got up beyond 65. Light rain this evening.

Friday, September 16 Todays route using Google Earth 65 miles
Lake Francis Campground   Fort Scott, KS Locate this campground with Google Earth $22.00 per night
We moved north about 60 miles to a campground near Fort Scott, Kansas. Nice little campground but completely empty and no one to collect money. Drop fees through slot in door. After setting up we drove back to Fort Scott National Historical Park. This is by far the best interpretation we have seen of an historic military base. The museum and exhibits are very well done and the buildings are in pristine condition. Of particular interest to Frank was the Officer's Quarters #2 which has been partly restored inside with exhibits that shows how various parts of the house have had different renovations over the last 150 years since the fort was built.   Check out their cellphone/online audio tour.
Saturday, September 17 Todays route using Google Earth 95 miles
Melvern Lake, COE   Melvern, KS Locate this campground with Google Earth $10.00 per night
We're in a Corps of Engineers campground. Quite nice but the weather is drab. Later in the evening we had heavy thunderstorms and over 1.8 inches of rain. This section of the campground only has 1 full hookup and we got it. Course the campground is mostly empty.
Sunday, September 18 Todays route using Google Earth 65 miles
Prairie Band Casino and Resort   Mayetta, KS Locate this campground with Google Earth $15.75 per night
I'm beginning to think this is Tom's favorite campground anywhere. It is very nice with paved sites, low cost, decent Internet, a casino and restaurant nearby. Frank worked on this history project and computer things while Tom did laundry. We had dinner at the buffet again tonight.

Monday, September 19
We started the day with a trip to Topeka to pickup Frank's meds and a visit to the grocery store. Frank spent more time working on his history pages and doing small projects around the trailer. We re-activated the XM radio here in the trailer for 2 months. More laundry for Tom. Daily work never ends even after one retires. We always seem to fill our days with something or other. The important thing is to keep from getting bored and to do something useful every day, even if it is only the routine needs of life, and to enjoy what one does.

Friday, September 23 Todays route using Google Earth miles
Farnum Creek, COE   Milford, KS Locate this campground with Google Earth $9.00 per night
I haven't entered a daily log for the last few days because we basically haven't done anything. We tinkered around the trailer, Frank finished scanning the rodeo programs we brought with us and we cleaned. Tonight we are camped on a beautiful lake which is unusually high for this season because of all the spring rains. In fact a few sites in the campground are closed because of high water. Tomorrow we move to Abilene for our rally of folks that own the same brand of camper we do. We just found out that the campground we stayed in the last time we were here back on September 1, 2009, is currently underwater. The Corps of Engineers has used this lake to accumulate flood waters from North West Kansas, in order to help reduce the flow into the Mississippi river this summer when the region had so much rain. They have only last week started releasing water from Milford Lake. We can see where some of the campsites in this campground were covered recently. While it will cost a lot to repair the facilities here, that is better than the billions that would have been lost from even more flooding along the Mississippi. Frank has finally gotten this year's Google Earth placemarks and route up to date. The sunset was beautiful this evening.   Of interest, here is a Google Earth file that shows the entire drainage area of Milford Lake. It is massive, over 350 miles from east to west and over 100 miles north to south. Locate with Google Earth
Saturday, September 24 Todays route using Google Earth 26 miles
Four Seasons RV Acres   Abilene, KS Locate this campground with Google Earth $24.28 per night
We broke camp late and headed west to Abilene, a short 25 miles. We setup camp, got propane at the RV dealer here at the campground, then Frank went over and met with the other folks that are here for our RV rally. Later in the day we all went to Abilene and boarded the Abilene & Smoky Valley dinner train. While we went along at a grand speed of 10 miles per hour, we feasted on prime rib and baked potatoes. While the environment was a bit loud due to the lively discussions going on, we all had a grand time and the meal was delicious.  

Sunday, September 25
We didn't go anywhere today but stayed here in the campground. In the afternoon Frank taught a class on website design while Tom baked a cake for the evening. At 5:30 all the rally folks gathered in the campground meeting room for a dessert social and watched an A&E program on Eisenhower. We should have some photos of tomorrow's events.

Monday, September 26
Today started with a tour of the New Horizon RV manufacturing plant in Junction City, Kansas. These are high end 5th wheel trailers and go for between $60,000 to over $200,000, and we can see why. Nothing but the best construction in these babies. And every one of them are custom made just for the buyer.   We then drove to nearby Fort Riley and a tour of the Custer House. While there we shot our group photo for this year's rally which was shot next to the grave of "Chief" the last horse of the US Cavalry, which can be seen behind us in the first photo. We decided to shoot 2 group photos so the second one was shot on the front porch of the historic house.   We finished the day off with a potluck dinner and a door prize drawing along with stories of the military experiences of all the guys.  

Tuesday, September 27
A very busy day. We started out with a trolly tour of old Abline town.   Next we visited the Dickinson County Heritage Center which also contains an historic carrousel and the Kansas Museum of Independent Telephony which Frank really liked.   Next lunch at the Kirby House Restaurant   then a visit to the Eisenhower Presidential Museum and boyhood home.  . Finally in the evening we had a cowboy dinner at the campground store.  

Wednesday, September 28
We started the day at the Greyhound Hall of Fame. We walked through their museum of Greyhound history and heroes. Two beautiful, and very friendly greyhounds greeted us. Marvelous animals. Then we went to the Seeyle Mansion. This mansion was one of the finest homes in Kansas. A New York architect designed the new home in Georgian style for Dr. and Mrs. A.B. Seelye in 1904. It was built in 1905 at a cost of $55,000. The mansion contains the original furniture and Edison light fixtures. We toured 25 rooms, including eleven bedrooms, ballroom, bowling alley, and kitchen areas. Special items of interest are the beautiful dining room, music room with gold French furniture and Steinway Grand piano, library, and the Tiffany-designed fireplace in the grand hall. The Patent Medicine Museum contains many artifacts of the A.B. Seelye Medical Company. Founded in 1890, more than 100 products were sold over a 14-state area. Best known cure-alls included Wasa-Tusa (some of which were 70% alcohol). Later in the day we went to a candy factory, but no tour. Then a family dinner at the famous Brookville Hotel. The Brookville Hotel traces its roots back to the 1870's, when the railroad spread their tracks out across the prairie to meet the expected rush of Longhorn cattle coming up from Texas along the Chisholm Trail. In 2000, the decision was made to move the restaurant to Abilene, locating the restaurant closer to the Interstate Highway which continues to bring a steady stream of people searching out the best fried chicken dinners in Kansas. MENU: Relishes, Sweet-Sour Cole-Slaw (Family Pennsylvania Recipe), Cottage Cheese, One-half Skillet of Fried Chicken, Mashed Potatoes w/ Cream Gravy, Cream-Style Corn, Baking Powder Biscuits with creamy butter and preserves, Home Style Ice Cream. We left stuffed again.

Thursday, September 29
Today started with those who wanted to take an art lesson, and many did. They painted river rock. We did not. Tom declined saying, "If I had a white rock, I would paint it white again, and name the piece 'A White Rabbit Eating a Marshmallow in a Snow Storm'". After lunch we went to see an amazing collection of memorabilia of Budweiser. It was at a private home, and the man had hundreds of items. Served us beer at no change, although we left money, and he even made some great appetizers. Sadly it seems that his teenage son started the collection, but was killed in a car accident. As the father cleaned out his son's room, he saw the beginnings of a great Budweiser collection, and so he continues it today in honor of his son. Tonight we all had pizza. We brought extra salads and cakes to round out the meal.

Friday, September 30
Friday was a slow day. Everyone could do or repeat what they wanted. Tom did laundry. Then in the evening we all sat around a large campfire and roasted hot dogs and told stories. It was a nice finish to the rally.