Sunday, June 7, 2015

Santa Fe Trail--Fort Larned

4 Aces RV Park
Kinsley, Kansas
Site 27

Today we awoke to another gorgeous day.  I'm really starting to wonder how we're avoiding the bad weather that everyone else in the state is experiencing.  
Here's the skies we have today.  We took a short drive north to Fort Larned.
It was a short walk over the Pawnee River to the welcome center but I liked how they accommodated the handicapped.  There was a wheelchair by the signage near the parking lot for use by anyone who wanted to use it.  It's amazing the things I notice since my accident last December where I shattered my heel.  

 I was very happy that I didn't need to use it.   I'm walking without a walker or cane over the bridge over the Pawnee River.

As we walked closer I thought they had done a good job of reconstructing the fort.

We watched a 10 minute video of the fort and discovered that it is the original fort.  All the buildings are original and it was built in 1860.  Fort Larned was a military post set up to protect those traveling on the Santa Fe Trail.  Commerce was vital to the expansion of the southwest.  

The military was active in the Indian wars from 1859 to 1869.  
Naturally, we loved the fact that you could walk through the fort with all the guns, uniforms and accessories placed like it would have been back in that day.  No Plexiglas to try and look through.  

George Custer and the 7th Cavalry were instrumental in ending the Cheyenne wars in the area when an attack killed Black Kettle in 1868. 

Fort Larned also served as an agency for the Indian Bureau between 1861-1868.

In 1884 the land was sold at public auction and the family that owned it for 70 years used the buildings on their farm.  The National Park System bought it in 1964 as a national historic site.  
 During the years it was publicly owned people signed the walls of the buildings.
The displays in the welcome center were well done.
I didn't realize that they used a lot of Starr Guns.

Notice Bill scratching?  The bugs and black flies were terrible.  We should have realized this when we saw the bug spray by the rangers desk.  Bill had covered himself in bug spray before we left, but they still bite him.  It must be the blood thinners he takes because I didn't use anything and they didn't bother me.  
We started talking to this couple and found out they live in Congress at the Escapees park.  

It's a shame the bugs were so bad, or we would have talked longer with Arlo and Polly.
When we left the park we went east to Larned.  Bill wanted to fuel up the truck.  It was $2.69 for diesel and in this small town of Kinsley the one station we saw had it for $3.09.  

We passed a park with some monuments, so Bill turned the truck around so we could see who was in this area. 

Another great day exploring Kansas.  How many of you have said, "what's in Kansas to see"?  

We passed the Santa Fe Trail Center but they are closed on Sunday and Monday or we would have stopped.

Now the big question of the day, where are we going for dinner?  The park manager recommended this place.
The prices are so reasonable.  The price of a cheeseburger with french fries at the place where we ate yesterday was $2.75.

Turtle Safely.......

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