Trip to Missouri, Day 3

Goodness there’s a lot to write about. Our hotel had some more fellows guarding the place. The gent with the pick looks more like a baseball player than a miner, with that focused stare of a heavy-hitting batter. But his Native American friend looks a little wooden.

Trinidad, CO

Trinidad, CO

Trinidad, CO

Before leaving Trinidad, Colorado, we decided to walk around a little. Trinidad is a cool town. It was a mining town before the mines shut down, and I’m not quite sure what the economy is built on today. Apparently Bat Masterson was town marshal there for a while. It’s full of nifty old buildings, nice people, and nifty old buildings. I particularly like the fact that some of the streets are paved with bricks that seem to be locally made, as they are stamped “Trinidad.” The town has a proper courthouse and a beautiful building that turned out to be the funeral home (why is it that one of the prettiest buildings is always the funeral home?).

Trinidad, CO

Trinidad, CO

Trinidad, CO

Trinidad, CO

Trinidad, CO

If you ever go to Trinidad, go to the cafe that is part of Danielson’s Dry Goods at 135 Main Street. This place is amazing, and it has a mocha that is TO.DIE.FOR. Seriously. Even if you’re just driving through Trinidad, go there. They also have free wi-fi.

So we headed out of town, and there’s just so much to see on the road. There’s this little building that was once some sort of store, I think, but it’s literally in the middle of nowhere. It does have some cool dandelions, but the interior of the building is filled with junk. There’s just nothing around it, really, except grassland. Miles and miles of grassland.

There was also a memorial on the side of the road to the crews of a couple of B-24 Liberator bombers that collided during World War II at this spot.

And continuing on the WWII thread, just past that odd little building there was a vehicle sitting off in the ditch, attached to a trailer with spools of telephone wire. Obviously someone was running new phone lines and this red thing was what they were using. As we drive by, I just glanced at it and kept going, but something about it seemed “off” and it just kept niggling at me. A mile or so down the road, it hit me that the vehicle was a WWII era M3 halftrack troop carrier! I’ve heard of these things being used civilly but never seen one still in use before. Most of the ones I’ve seen are restored to their military configuration. So I had to go back and shoot it.

halftrack

halftrack

We passed a tiny little airport that had a total of one Super Cub parked outside, but the local sprayer outfit had the cutest mailbox.

The Super Cub sports a registration that, if it’s been continuous, is listed in a 1966 accident with the FAA. It’s fun to look up N-numbers of planes I see 🙂

Oh yeah, and keep the mailbox in mind. You’ll see it again later, in a slightly different guise.

A WHOLE lot of nothing later, we hit Kansas and started seeing oil pumps. I never knew Kansas is an oil-producing place. My main question is, why are we letting BRITISH PETROLEUM pump oil here? Don’t we need our own oil?

We got to Garden City, a place I had never heard of. Wendy saw a sign for the Garden City Regional Airport, and as we are both airplane people, we decided to go see what was there. I mean, what could be at Garden City? “Maybe they have a restaurant,” I joked, since we spend a lot of time at the restaurants at Phoenix Deer Valley and Glendale airports. She laughed, and said, “What could be at Garden City?” This sign greeted us as we pulled in… and we laughed some more.

We got to see the Piaggio outside and some little stuff rolling around, and eat a fantastic Italian meal. I mean, this place is GOOD.

Piaggio

So on to Dodge City, Kansas. It was a relief to get there, as there’s not a whole lot in Kansas except cows. This is all one feed lot:

In Dodge City, there’s a B-26 Invader on a post, that seems to be the favorite roost (and restroom) of about 265,344 pigeons.

There were also about a million jackrabbits and these cool longhorn cattle, which are apparently descended from the herds that were driven in the great cattle drives in the Wild West days. We met a really nice gent on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle who told us all about the Invader and also about the cows.

So we drove up to the airport itself, and there’s a total of one airplane there. But it’s the REAL version of the mailbox we saw earlier. How cool is this?

Air Tractor

And so on out of Dodge City. These steely cowboys came out to say goodbye:

Cowboys

But the day wasn’t over yet. We ran across a wind farm. These things are so beautiful to watch; I don’t know why anyone would NOT want them around. The windmills are grand to look at, with a magnificence that must be seen to be understood. I could watch them all day. And in the fading light of the sunset, they look especially serene.

windmills

windmills

Finally, after passing farmers burning the fields they just harvested,

fire

we pulled in to Hutchinson, Kansas for the night. Whew. Long drive, but it’s worth it. I haven’t been across this part of the United States before, and it shows me how great our nation truly is. On this July 4th weekend, it’s especially meaningful to see the purple mountains’ majesty and the amber waves of grain.

And lots of cows.

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