Getting Out Of Dodge

Today, Dave asked me, quite innocently, "Is this THE Dodge City?" We hadn't originally planned to divert to see it, but when he found out my dad was born there, he changed our route. I'm sure glad he did. It's a pretty cool town.

He also started saying, "Get out of Dodge" whenever we were leaving one place and heading another direction, whether we were walking or driving, walking out of a building or into it, whatever. It got to be pretty funny.

Today we drove from Amarillo to Dodge City, in 100 degree+ heat. I've never been in Kansas before, and after dinner at a local steakhouse, we had fun exploring the town where my dad was born. Much of the hill above town is still home to turn of the century homes, and most of the streets are paved with brick. The town I grew up in had brick streets, but the city fathers asphalted over the top of them. Not Dodge City. Blocks and blocks of gorgeous brick. I loved it.

We drove the hill several times, exploring. We saw old brick schools, and some beautiful churches. My favorite structures were the 1881 stone home that is now the historical museum, and the original Carnegie (library?) that is now an art museum. I especially loved the rotunda, and all the stained glass windows. I took a lot of pictures.

My dad's family moved to Denver when he was five, so he never went to school here. Beautiful schoolhouse, isn't it?

"Boot Hill" was an obvious attempt to draw in the tourists, but since it was closed, we got free use of the parking lot. Cool! I took photos of the old church, and the guardian bunny rabbit.

Across the street (brick, of course!) was an old train depot and steam engine, which Dave made a beeline for. He explained the configuration of the engine to me, a Prairie Class engine with large wheels suited for speed over flat terrain (but not for hill climbing, which is why we don't have these in Washington). We made one more drive through the brick streets, took photos of the wonderful bronze statue of Wyatt Earp, then headed west toward Garden City. We drove straight into the sunset, heading west toward Mountain Time.

I read somewhere, I think at breakfast the next day, that this statue was done by a local woman artist who didn't begin sculpting until she was in her early 80's. Look at the way his coat is flipping aside as he's pivoting and reaching for his six shooter.

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