The Santa Fe Trail into Dodge - Sept 15, 2009

Randy paid $10 to get the RV tires aired up. Then we drove to see the Santa Fe Trail tracks, west of Dodge City. The tracks are lightly visible, and are in the high plains. 
You can see for about 20 miles around – the view is probably close to how it looked in the 1800s.
We went to nearby Cimarron and walked thru an old building that used to be a hotel, a brothel and a health sanatorium. Upstairs are several rooms on both sides of the hall that fit the description of both hotel and brothel. A few rooms are converted to bathrooms with old-fashioned tubs. The building has pressed tin ceilings and high cove molding.

In Dodge, we walked around to see the town. The original famous Front Street had burned down twice and was replaced with brick in the 1890s, which was still in the cowboy era. But in the 1970s the Front Street structures were torn down, and there is very little left of old Dodge. According to several folks, there was a lot of dissention to the decision to tear down the buildings, but it was done anyway. The old train station restored, and there is a statue of Wyatt Earp across from it.
We went to Carnegie Center for the Arts – a very cool building. The main section is a round brick structure, with stained glass windows upstairs. 
We had lunch at Cuppa Jo-nes, and then drove around town some more. We drove past the small House of Stone which was closed for the season, and stopped in the Episcopal Church built in the 1890s. It is the oldest Dodge church still in use. It’s a small building and very well taken care of.

There is a gaudy tourist trap built around the original “Boot Hill”. We learned from local folks that the Boot Hill cemetery there is empty. The bodies were moved twice, ending up in the corner of a large cemetery. Over 30 bodies were put in unmarked graves, and we were told that the local government won’t allow any marker, even a generic one that indicates there someone is buried there.

Back at the RV Park we talked to the camp hosts awhile, then talked to some folks camping here. They suggested we try Empire Blue Cross for health insurance. Later we re-set the tire pressure gauges and hooked up the Jeep, and Randy fixed beef and potatoes for dinner.

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