We left our stay in Missouri and did not play golf, there was a Missouri Golf Associatioan tournament at the course we were to play so we changed plans and headed to the Truman Library. We will under separate post tell what we learned at the Truman Library and Eisenhower Library, fantastic stops and we already have plans (reservations) for the Reagan Library later in our trip. While heading towards the Eisenhower Library John could not pass close to Manhattan Kansas without visiting Kansas State. we drop by two of his old haunts!
Leaving the Eisenhower Library we headed toward Cody, Wyoming. It was time to stop for the evening and in the middle of the Kansas wheat fields John spotted a State Park on Lake Waconda.Waconda is the third largest lake in Kansas, surrounded by wheat fields.
It was a wonderful place with full services so we had a nice evening of drinks and dinner.
The next morning we headed down the road to see the Largest Ball of Twine created by a community. Frank Stoeber, a resident of Cawker City Kansas, decided to create a ball after reading about a man in Minnesota and had 1.6 million feet of twine on his 11-foot-diameter ball when he died in 1974. Cawker City built an open-air gazebo over Stoeber’s ball where every August a “Twine-a-thon” is held and more twine is added to the ball and last statistic in 2006, the twine ball had reached 17,886 pounds, a circumference of 40 feet.
Leaving Cawker City we continued heading towards Cody, driving through Kansas, Nebraska and Colorado we finally reached Ft. Collins where we stopped for the night. The next morning we played the Ft. Collins Golf Course.
We played with a very nice young man living there, who grew up in Wyoming and was a brand new father and elementary teacher for computers. He pointed out some sites not to miss on route to Cody.
We packed up the clubs and continued towards Cody. We headed towards Cheyenne expecting we would find a place to camp before we went through Medicine Bow National Forest. In Cheyenne, we had some lights replaced on the RoadTrek and headed out towards Laramie. Not finding a place to stay we headed out towards the National Forest to find find a place for the night. The National Forest included the Snowy and Medicine Bow mountain ranges. One of the history points mentioned by our golfer friend was off the road, so south on a dirt road to the Ames Monument which was designed and built by Henry Richardson in Sherman Wyoming.
The Ames brothers garnered credit for connecting the nation by rail upon completion of the United States’ First Transcontinental Railroad in 1869. The Ames Monument marked the highest point on the transcontinental railroad at 8,247 feet. Since then the Union Pacific Railroad twice relocated the tracks further south, causing Sherman that to become a ghost town. But, The monument still stands!
We arrived in Centennial, Wyoming which was created as a base camp for logging in the Snowy and Medicine Bow mountains when the Union Pacific Railroad was meeting up with the Central Pacific Railroad as part of the transcontinental railroad. Later gold was discovered just southwest and a train was added from Laramie. We stopped at the local bar to find out where we might camp. Good god, a bar owner should know local places to sleep it off! He sent us across to the street saying that Jenny might let us park right there. Jenny had no room, but gave us a map and sent us up the road an old RV site, currently not in use. We found the place and parked the RV, the views were breathtaking!
We woke to a wonderful sunrise and continued our drive through the park.
The Medicine Bow Mountains are a range in the Rocky Mountains. The northern extent of this range is the sub-range the Snowy Range. Driving through the Snowy Range in the Rockies was one of the most beautiful drives so far but much more to go, this was unbelievable beautiful.
Janice looked to the left and saw what seemed to be an antelope. As we later learned it was a Pronghorn the only surviving member of a species from 11,000 to 2.5 million years ago, what a find!
We continued viewing many sites of history. The next was split rock, a landmark for the Oregon Trail and Pony Express.
On to Saratoga, famous for their hot springs. We followed the signs along the road and found the public hot springs back by the town pool. There were locals in the river soaking up the heat of the water with their dogs so we decided to pass on partaking in the springs. John saw a strange phone on the wall of the town building and tried to figure it out!!
One very interesting stop was at an active Archeological dig for dinosaur bones in Thermopolis Wyoming. This place was incredible. While we did not visit the actual dig we did go to the museum. They are well know for one of only 11 specimens of Archaeopteryx exist in the world today and “The Thermopolis Specimen”
is second only to the “Berlin” specimen in terms of completeness, including a well-preserved skull that for the first time gives scientists a “top view” of the head of Archaeopteryx.
We then watched through the windows at the lab as they worked on specimens from the dig.
The dinosaur museum is spectacular!
On to Cody and our next adventure!