Tag Archives: Colorado and Kansas

Mount Rushmore Road Trip Part 14B

27 Jan

A Slice of Life

Bill LItes

Day 14 Tuesday – Continued 

9/22/2020  

Continuing north another 25 miles on KS-25 I next visited the Kearny County Museum located in Lakin, KS.  This museum consists of the main museum building filled with artifacts and memorabilai related to the history of Lakin and the southern High Plains area of Kansas from as early as the late 18th century.

Outside there is an annex which has an 1831 Conestoga wagon, as part of their Stnta Fe Trail exhibit.  Also outdoors you will find the original Great White House built in 1875 by Alonzo Boylan, and filled with period fernishings.  Another outdoor exhibit is a restored old 1882 Santa Fe Railroad Depot that served Lakin for 100 years.  There is also an 1893 one-room school house, a 1909 12-sided (round) barn, and the 1923 Deerfield Texaco Service Station, all of which have been moved to this location over the years.  The separate Machinery Building  houses examples of early farm equipment, a vintage fire truck, a grain wagon, and several antique tractors.

After that informative experience, I headed west 75 miles on US-50, across the border into Colorado, to visit the Big Timbers Museum located in Lamar, CO.  This small museum is housed in the old 1929 AT&T equipment building, and  is loaded with local artifacts and memorabilia about Lamar and the southeastern area of Colorado from the mid-1800s.

Now, continuing west another 55 miles on US-50, and skirting the Arkansas River, I stopped to visit the Koshare Indian Museum & Kiva, located on the Otero Junior College campus in La Junta, CO.  The museum was closed, but their website tells me that the museum tells the history of the Native American culture, with artifacts from early southwestern Colorado.  Guests can visit the Koshare Kiva that is a representation of the kivas used by Native American Indians, over the centuries, for many of their ancient spirtual rituals. 

After missing that unique experience, I headed the short drive out CO-194, northeast of downtown La Junta, to check out Bent’s Old Fort. The fort was built in 1833 by William & Charles Bent amd served as a trading post for fur traders and the southern Cheyenne & Arapaho Plains  Indian tribes.  The museum displays many artifacts and memorabila related to the early pioneer days in the High Plains area of eastern Colorado.  It served as one of the many  stopping  points, between Missouri and New Mexico, for Army and pioneer travelers heading west on the Santa Fe Trail.

I was ready to head for the motel, there in La Junta and get something to eat.  After I got checked in I ask the motel clerk for his restaurant recommdations in town.  He said he liked the El Azteca Mexican Restaurant just down the street a few blocks.  I had their Chili Rellieno Plate with Pinto beans and Spanish rice.  The meal was exellent and I had enough left over for my evening meal tomorrow.  Back at the motel I recorded the day’s activities, watched a little TV, and headed for the “Land of Nod.”

—–To Be Continued—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 63 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.

One of Bill’s favorite Scriptures is:  John 10:10

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