Pretty Damn Nice! travel blog

Today's windshield view

Brick streets in Hoisington, Kansas

We stopped for breakfast at this rest area

Another windshield view

Burns, Kansas

Downtown Burns

 

Church in Burns

Old Ebenezer Cemetery

Oberst family graves


This morning, we said goodbye to Carol. She is heading to southern Kansas to work for the next three months. We will miss her as we really enjoyed her company. She is a very special, talented lady.

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We got back onto Highway 281 South and headed out through the Kansas countryside once again. First, John stopped for gas at $3.34 a gallon. We were paying more than that in Tahoe for the last couple of years! The scenery changed - it was still fields of corn and maze, but now there were oil derrecks in each section. All these big ranches have oil wells on them too? Not a bad living.

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We passed through the little town of Hoisington, Kansas, where all of the streets are made of brick - even the side streets as far as you can see. We noticed a large stone and brick yard/company out of town. It must be the primary employer in that area.

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In the little town of Florence, Kansas, there was a round-about in the center of the highway. This would never fly in California! There would be an accident a minute. But here, everyone seems to take it in stride.

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We turned south on Highway 71 to the tiny town of Burns, Kansas, where my father grew up. He was actually born in Bisbee, AZ, but the family moved to Burns when he was still a baby. They did not actually live in town, but had a farm in the country, where my grandfather's father and brother also had farms. I don't think the town has changed much in the last 90 years. The streets are still not paved. There are no large businesses and no new houses. In fact, we only saw one person who was mowing the lawn at a church. I asked him if he had lived in Burns for a long time and he said he did not live there, but had in the past. I told him I was looking for the Ebenezer Cemetery. He gave me directions to the Ebenezer Methodist Church where the cemetery was located about five miles out of town. I asked if he knew about the Blue Mound School, which is where my dad attended. He said he did not but had heard about the Blue Mound, which was built by the Indians, from a Don Gfelter, who still lived in town. My father talked about the Gfelter family when he was growing up. We found the church and cemetery. My great grandparents are buried there as are the family of my father's Uncle Bill, who were all murdered back in 1928, when my father was 12 years old. It is our family's tragic mystery, because it was never resolved. I do not usually like to take pictures of graves, but I was moved when I stood and looked down at the graves of my family members, knowing their stories from my father. I also saw several graves from the Gfelter family, some of whom were born around the time of my father, so they must have been childhood friends. Most of the graves were German names that I recognized from my father's stories. My father remembered going to the church where the services were in German. His parents both spoke German, but did not teach their children as they wanted them to be American. The only German words my father knew were cuss words and the Lord's Prayer. It was very peaceful and beautiful there in the yard surrounding the church and the cemetery and in fact, we ate our lunch there.

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We continued south to the little town of El Dorado and we are staying at the Deer Grove RV Park. It is basically a dirt parking lot but it has cable and WiFi - sometimes. Since tomorrow is football day, we decided to stay here for a couple of days. We rate this park a 4.

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It is hot here, around 88, and very humid. I notice there are lots of flies and some mosquitos. There are lots of birds here and in fact, it sounds like a jungle outside. We were finally able to turn off the air conditioning once the sun went down and enjoyed a cool evening. And for once, our AT&T phones actually work!!! We saw coming in that gas here is $3.29.

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There are several people parked here that live here full time. This evening, a whole group of guys came in with their pickups and parked around the front of our rig. They all work on a pipeline in the area and all of their trucks are covered with mud. They were having a cool one with the guy who lives next to us.

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This area of the country is experiencing warmer than normal weather. We will be happy when the weather gets back down into the 70's, which is supposed to happen next week. We are making changes once again to our plans and think we will try a trek up north to Indiana to visit my good buddy, Bruce. That's one of the things that is to fun about full-timing - schedules can be changed and re-changed. Hopefully, the weather will continue to cooperate and not change into that cold, white stuff.

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