Thursday, October 29, 2020

Downs City Park

   As we drove across Kansas we noticed that almost every little town has a city park right along the highway. They all are similar in design - a road looping off the highway and running for about 1000’ before returning to the highway. They have trees and a rectangle of grass with picnic tables. Some have electricity. Some are free, other have a small fee.

  Downs City Park has restrooms, picnic tables, a playground, basketball court, volleyball court, Little League field, and free electric hookups. We plugged in to the electricity on the power pole and spotted more outlets on the fence posts. Stay limit is three days. Park  39.50899, -98.54148

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

The World's Largest Ball of Sisal Twine

      Apparently there’s a quite a competition to have the largest ball of twine, however, Cawker, Kansas will always be the winner because people can walk right up to Cawker’s ball of twine and, most importantly, they can add more twine to it! In fact, every August the town sponsors a "Twine-a-thon". :-D

  The shelter that houses the ball of twine is accessed by steps but the ball can be easily seen without leaving your vehicle.

  The parking lot is large enough for any RV. Don’t miss the restored gas station across US 24 from the ball of twine. It’s a one room hotel!  Twine  39.50921, -98.43381

Monday, October 26, 2020

Cloud County Historical Museum

       Arriving on a Friday afternoon, we found a locked door even though, according the the information online, the museum should have been opened.  Just as we were ready to drive away the curator came out and offered to give us a tour. The tour was a little rushed because she was involved in a big project but we managed to get a peek at most of the exhibits – lots of items donated by local residents including some from the WWII German POW camp located a couple of miles from Concordia, Kansas.

   A wheelchair lift accesses both floors of the museum.

   All of the parking is diagonal on-the-street. It’s okay to park across the spaces. Museum  39.57073, -97.65911

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Marysville City Park

  The park has four RV sites and a large grassy tent camping area. All of the sites have electricity. There’s a dump station with a potable water faucet nearby. It’s all free with a stay limit of five days.
   The sites are just gravel areas along the side of the park road with a curb that must be hopped. We were surprised at how many RVs were crowded into the four sites. Since the RVs sites were filled we parked in the playground parking lot. Park  39.83784, -96.64633


Saturday, October 24, 2020

Davis Memorial

    As a tribute to his wife after her death (or as rumor has it - to spend all the money they had saved together so that her family would not inherit anything when he died), John Davis built an elaborate memorial in the Mount Hope Cemetery, outside the little Kansas town of Hiawatha. Ten statues of John and Sarah Davis in different stages of life are surrounded by a high marble and granite wall. Sarah is missing from the last depiction of John with an empty chair beside him signifying her death in 1930.  John died in 1947 at 92 years old. The people of Hiawatha were angry that John spent so much money, estimated at $200,000, on the memorial when he could have funded community projects such as a hospital or swimming pool. Very few attended his funeral services.
The wall is so high that it’s impossible to see much from a seated position.

There’s a pull out adjacent to the memorial where RVs can be parked. Memorial  39.84913, -95.51598

Friday, October 23, 2020

Patee House Museum

  A lot has happened in the  Patee House which was built in 1858 as a luxury hotel. The short-lived Pony Express established it’s headquarters on the first floor in 1860. Over the next 26 years the building served as a courtroom during the Civil War, housed the Patee Female College, became a hotel again, housed St. Joseph Female College, became a hotel once again, and finally was converted to the R.L. McDonald shirt factory in 1886. The factory closed in the late 1950s. The building was scheduled for demolition but fortunately was saved by the Pony Express Historical Association which owns and operates the museum today.

   The museum occupies three floors and is filled to the brim with artifacts and exhibits. There’s a stagecoach, wagons, cars, a complete train, a city street is lined with shops, a 1050 pound ball of twine, a carousel, a Pony Express office, and many interesting articles to read. The original hotel rooms on the third floor are furnished as they would have been during different periods and include the rooms of Henry Corbett, a night watchmen at the shirt factory, who died in 1897 when he tumbled over the third floor banister.


  The museum is accessible. An elevator accesses the second and third floors. The ramps between levels on the first floor are dangerously steep. Certain types of walkers are not permitted, possibly because of the ramps. A loaner wheelchair is available.

      RVs can be parked on the street in front of the museum. Museum  39.75582, -94.84545

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Kibbe Hancock Heritage Museum

   The Kibbe Hancock Heritage Museum houses all kinds of nicely curated items including a strange collection of caskets and embalming machines from the recently closed Illinois Funeral Director’s Funeral Customs Museum.
  And since this is Illinois some exhibits on Abraham Lincoln.
  The Spanish Influenza proclamation could  be a current notice.

  Everything is accessible.

  RVs can be parked on the street in front of the museum. Museum  40.41497, -91.13943

Monday, October 19, 2020

Carthage City Park

  This is quiet and pretty campground sitting above Carthage Lake and overlooking a nine hole golf course. The campground has 15 sites - 5 have gravel parking pads, the rest are grassy. Amenities include electric hookups, potable water, picnic tables, fire rings, dump station, and a shelter. The restrooms are 100 yards away and downhill. Payments are made at the clubhouse. If you arrive late, pay the next day.
   The dump station is hard to find. It’s outside the park, right off of US 136 - 40.41664, -91.15247

  None of the sites are designated as accessible but most can be used. The tables do not have extended tops. The ground is hardpacked so rolling is easy. Campground  40.42545, -91.15142

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Spoon River Solar Farm Learning Center

  Geared towards children, this cute little outdoor exhibit is located across from the 500 kW Spoon River Solar Farm on Route 24. Easy to understand signs explain how solar power works. There’s a tractor to climb on, a bell to ring, and a couple of dioramas with switches to turn. 

  Loose gravel in the parking lot and a thick layer of wood chips makes rolling around very difficult. All of the exhibits are easy to view from a seated position.

  The parking lot is large enough for any RV.  Center  40.2751, -90.23412