So, for the first few days last week we were riding with cloud - by Wednesday the cloud had turned wet - very very wet.
Our least favourite thing other than wind is what? Rain - you got it. Hey - didn't we see enough of this stuff - all - summer - long!
But beautiful nonetheless. Hey - did you know that the southeast side of Kansas isn't flat and treeless at all? Who knew! Not us! We could live there!
From Wellington we traveled on to Winfield - a mighty fine looking City, and then south to just before Arkansas City to get on the 166.
Our first stop - breakfast - Derek took this picture - one of our favourite sayings (hmmm except for the holy shit part) - of the back of a semi truck. We had a picture of a similar one back in April from a store in Idaho Springs.
A little bit of history at the rest area. We were still on the 166 headed east - here we were just at the turn off to Dexter.
Amazing colour - so glad we aren't too late for it - gives us hope that we'll catch the Appalachian/Smokey Mountain colours as well.
And more green - sorry - just to rub it in for all you up there soon to be looking at snow out your windows.
As we were coming up to Coffeyville we were wondering about a break. LOVE my State tourism books that I keep at the ready..... I quickly flipped through and caught an ad that talked about the Dalton Gang. The Dalton Gang? We'll stop for them. But where to go?
No sooner did a 'Historic downtown' sign came up and we took a left - seems like the right place to go - right?!
It was! Probably a great little museum - again - we didn't go in. A bit too frugal for that - but we did walk around the downtown to see what we could see.
A mural right in our parking lot, chronicling the events and locations of the famous shoot out. Crazy - but the gang thought that they could rob two banks at once and make off with their take to Mexico. Sadly, four of the townspeople lost their lives in the battle as well.
The downtown square - and look - pink water. We found out from the Chamber that it is for Cancer Awareness. They change the colour depending on what they are supporting at the moment. Neat idea.
The back alley where some of the action took place.
One of the defenders, Charles T. Connelly. No - that's Derek! I mean the red outline!
One of the remaining banks the Gang attempted to rob.
A lady from the Chamber showed us around inside - these are the original doors to the vault.
On our way out we drove the few blocks from the downtown to the cemetery where the Dalton Gang and a few of the defenders are buried.
Obviously they still have their fans. And the gang's hitching post - or bar - in this case.
Funny of course that we are more interested in the robbers and murderers than the guys that went after them - right. Derek and I were talking about that later. And if they had just kinda drifted off into the sunset we probably wouldn't have thought much of the Dalton's either. Something about going out in a blaze - well - a blaze - means that we are fascinated. Anyway - more western history stuff for me.
On we travelled for the last few miles of Kansas on the 166.
Just before Chetopa was a sign that the 166 was closed east of there with a detour to Baxter Springs - the last town before the border. The detour turned north and so did we. Hmmmm - this doesn't seem right. So I quickly looked at my map. Nope - it isn't going to make sense to go north only to head south again. Instead, Derek did a quick turn around and we headed back through Chetopa continuing south. Hey! Were going to Oklahoma - who knew we were going to Oklahoma this trip!
I know - really BAD sign - but what am I supposed to do with all this rain!
The only thing about going this way was that we had to pay 75 cents - that's right a whole 75 cents - to take the toll road up to Missouri for 17 miles. Another bad picture - sorry!
Just inside Missouri is a really nice Welcome Center/Rest Area. One of the best things (only best thing?) about interstates. I love these stops - from state to state - they are usually large and clean and filled with tons of info. This one also comes with complementary coffee - even better. But strangely, no wifi.
Because this is really our first time in Missouri (we drove through a teeny tiny bit back in 2008) we wanted to get lots of info for our drive through.
We didn't get much further for the day which was good because it isn't good to drive on a busy interstate with a ton of trucks in the pouring rain and strong winds.
We hunkered down at the Home Dept in Joplin. Another highly recommended overnight stop because the parking lot is HUGE - we easily hid ourselves over in the southwest corner.
Spending the night pouring over all the info we had received we had worked out a totally new plan for our route through - who knew that there were TWO breweries to visit?!
Thanks to Karen and Tony for identifying the mystery plant from Kansas - Sorghum - who knew? Well, Derek sort of did but he wasn't sure - now we know!
Oh - and again - I just want to say how impressed with the area of Kansas that we covered - the east side - that is. Other than all those feed lots - the west side did sort of have a beauty of it's own - a solitary beauty I'll call it.