06.05.15 COSMOSPHERE – Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center, Hutchinson, Kansas

Friday, June 5, 2015 -Before we leave Kansas I have to comment about the wind here.  It’s crazy ridiculous.  I thought it was just the first day here, but every day has been over 25 mph winds.  Last night we even had 50 mph gusts, the RV was just a swaying! The weather people report it like it’s normal, guess it is. Today’s gusts were in the mid 30 mph.  I had such a hard time functioning outside that I could just imagine if you let a little child go outside untethered they may fly away.  I’m quite serious about that statement.  I sat outside to get some sun earlier this week and before I could get any tan going I got windburned.  Other than that it’s been sunny the entire time we’ve been here which was quite a welcomed relief after the days and weeks of dalton gang hideoutrain until now.

While ya’ll are reading this on Friday morning, we are back on the road again in Dora, heading to Meade, Kansas where we’ll be visiting the Dalton Gang Hangout and spending the night. This will end our stay in Kansas.

cosmosphereOn Wednesday after we left Strataca, we went not far away to COSMOSPHERE – Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center. The Cosmosphere has four venues: The Hall of Space Museum, The Justice Planetarium, The Carey Digital Dome Theatre, and Dr. Goddard’s Lab, which is a live science presentation. The 105,000-square-foot facility now houses the largest collection of Russian space artifacts outside of Moscow, and the second largest collection of space artifacts in the world, second only to the National Air and Space cosmospherefront of building Museum in Washington, D.C.

Spacecraft and aircraft on exhibit here include Apollo 13, a Blackbird SR-71 spy plane, a flown Vostok spacecraft, a Sputnik, space suits & tools, items that have been on the moon. The Cosmosphere is the permanent home of Liberty Bell, the Mercury 7 capsule that was recovered from the bottom of the ocean and restored at the Cosmosphere.

Pictures of a few things we saw at the Space Museum.

REALLY COOL PLACE THAT YOU STOOD IN FRONT OF AND ON THE LEFT IT SHOWS YOUR BODY’S TEMPERATURE THROUGHOUT IT’S VARIOUS SPOTS.  MY BRAIN IS HOT!!

20150603_144853MODEL OF THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION

20150603_180331APOLLO XIII ODYSSEY  20150603_175845 LEVA BOOTS20150603_175523 LUNAR MODULE 20150603_175313 20150603_155052

MARS EXPLORATION ROVER 20150603_144709 APOLLO XII 20150603_144603 20150603_142154 20150603_142020Pictures from the Planetarium – no pictures could be taken during the show so this was the dome before the show and the entry way.  Two very interesting films about space travel, past and future and a cool display and explanation of the stars in the sky that night.  Learned a lot about star constellations and where some of the planets are located.

20150603_15004920150603_144512Pictures from Dr. Goddard’s Space Lab show.  Dr. Goddard was responsible for a lot of discoveries that lead up to the making of rockets.  We learned a lot during the demonstration and explanation process. The smoke on the ground in two pictures was liquid oxygen.  It was used in the demonstration show and since ours was the last show for the day she treated us to seeing this!  We sat at the back of the room during the demonstration and were very glad we did.  Things went boom!

20150603_163306 20150603_163258 20150603_161301 20150603_161134 Here’s pictures from the digital dome theater.  Again pictures could not be made during the documentary about progress being made towards getting to Mars and future improvements to the International Space Station. These two pictures wee shown on the dome before the documentary began so I snuck a couple of pics! It’s a huge dome shape screen that made everything we saw all the more amazing!

20150603_165754 By the end of today Roy and I had absorbed way too much knowledge and our eyes hurt from looking at so much!

We  usually try to see free or not very expensive places.  Doing both of these in one day was a bit over our usual budget but it was very much worth it.  Being seniors helps with the price and if you saw one of these places you got $5 each off the price of the other.  That helped!

Well this old couple is ready for a little down time after all this excitement today!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

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06.03.15 Not Dorothy’s Kansas – Strataca and Cosmosphere

not_dorothys_kansasWednesday, June 3, 2015 – Two little old folks went off to the town of Hutchinson Kansas to learn lots and see plenty!

First we visited STRATACA, also known as Kansas Underground Salt Museum.  STRATACA is located in Hutchinson, Kansas about 20 minutes from our RV park. It is built within one of the world’s largest deposits of rock salt and provides the opportunity to go 650 feet beneath the Earth’s surface.  It is the only salt mine accessible to tourists so we were really excited to get to go down there and check it out.

Salt produced here is called rock salt, and about 500,000 tons is mined each year. It is principally used for industrial purposes and for de-icing stratacahighways. When finely ground, it is used for feeding livestock. It is not used for table salt or other purposes requiring a very pure type of salt.

Connected to STRATACA, Underground Vaults and Storage is a large facility that is known 20150603_100421for storing a vast number of original Hollywood movies, as well as millions of documents and items from all over the world in a secure and environmentally conducive environment.

After watching a safety video we put on our safety hard hats!  We rode an elevator (they call it a hoist) down 650 feet where we did a self guided walking tour through an immensely large salt cave. Watched several short videos along the way about the various steps in salt mining.  The videos were each shown next to the equipment and an actual site where that step was done. We road the Salt Mine Express around part of the underground mine and then were toured around on a tram.  Lots and lots of learning to be had here! We came away with a fist size chunk of salt and some small chunks of salt to send to Madisyn.

Here’s some pictures of our adventure in the salt mine!

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The hoist we went down 650 feet. Took 90 very very long seconds to get down there – in pitch dark!

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Underground Vaults and Storage seem to be part of the Salt Mines.  Old movie films, movie props, personal documents and other items are stored here.  Part of the salt mine tour included being able to walk through part of the storage and seeing some of the items.

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The four photos below are of a sign above a case and a case that is holding an actual original edition of the New York Herald newspaper from the day after Abraham Lincoln was killed.  I tried to get some up close so you can read it.

20150603_113519 20150603_113612 20150603_113630 20150603_113732 20150603_113852 20150603_113919 20150603_114031 20150603_115857 20150603_115919 20150603_115936 20150603_120005 20150603_120013Really old Technicolor movie reels20150603_120034 20150603_120728 20150603_120846 20150603_121128The street you come in on to get to Cosmosphere is E Avenue G.  The green street sign on the ceiling is where the street is located 650 feet above.  I had to keep reminding myself we were so far down under the ground!20150603_121221A red salt vein running through the ceiling  20150603_121705 20150603_121832 20150603_124327We really enjoyed this experience and all we learned.  I’d highly recommend it if you’re in the area.  Today’s adventures have again turned into a two day post.  Too many pictures for one post!  Tomorrow I’ll share about our fun and adventures at the COSMOSPHERE – Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center.

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

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06.02.15 Riverfest in Wichita, Kansas

riverfest wichitaTuesday, June 2, 2015 – We went into Wichita today expecting to see a big event in Riverfest.   It’s probably a whole lot better on the weekend but the Monday activity was very sparse.  A lot of food vendors, a bunch of kids games in the Kid’s Corner, a Ferris Wheel and that’s it.  We received a brochure with a map so we knew where everything was and we went to all of it.  There was also a list of events for each day in the brochure, and the Monday list wasn’t very long.

Like I said I’m sure the weekend is much much better but they have it open during the week so I think there should be more going on.  We arrived at 2 pm and since there wasn’t much to see we stayed until 4 just walking around and looking at the city.  There was music planned for 6 but we don’t wait too well so we didn’t!

We enjoyed seeing the city of Wichita.  It is a very pretty and clean city.  Many of the building’s architecture are very unique.     The pictures below are ones I took of the area we covered as part of Riverfest.  We got in a lot of walking.  The city is way bigger than what we saw but I was thankful for the exercise we got!

20150601_151518  20150601_151736 20150601_152724 20150601_153926 20150601_155424We did do three really cool things.  One was riding the Ferris Wheel!  Took several pictures from up high and you can see the city well from that vantage point.

20150601_145232 20150601_145329 20150601_145137 20150601_145041 20150601_145012  20150601_144742The second cool thing was that we both posed for pictures for Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce and got free bottles of the sauce for doing that.  They emailed us the pictures they took and they are below too.

roy sbr sweet baby rays

20150601_150149 20150601_150333The third cool thing was that this old girl got to participate in the children’s Make Art in the Park.  There was a very long table with lots of crafts going on and little children sitting around doing them.  There was an open spot and I asked if it was just for kids and they sweetly said it was also for the kid at heart! It’s fun to get to be a kid again sometimes!

On our way home we saw this cool set up on the side of the road and took a couple of pictures

20150601_163453 Halstead, Kansas  – The Biggest Little City in Kansas!20150601_125239

Me in front of the Halstead Kansas Post Office getting ready to mail a goodie package to Madisyn!20150601_124611That’s about all the excitement we could stand for today so I’ll wrap it up here! I’ll write again after we visit Strataca and Cosmosphere in Hutchinson on Wednesday.

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

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06.01.15 Spring Lake RV Resort

995667_482037838538229_1160544368_nMonday, June 1, 2015 – Here’s some pictures we took while we drove around the Spring Lake RV park yesterday.  It’s a very large park, called the largest RV park in Kansas.

Since we are parked in the back of the park (see below) we don’t see much of the beautiful part of the park up front so we drove there!

1  3There are geese that roam free!

4 6A wooden bridge over the front pond that leads to a large patch of grass with picnic tables!  Several empty RV spots by the pond and the Welcome Center.

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We wish we were parked up there and are not sure why they put so many people in the back and not in the front. We’re enjoying our time here wherever we are parked.  The sunshine we’ve now had the last three days is such a welcome relief from the clouds and rain of the past weeks!

See you guys later when we come back from playing in Wichita!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear

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05.31.15 Around the park and beyond!

1488991_10151893528555806_1792714610_nSunday, May 31, 2015 – We are currently staying at Spring Lake RV Park in Halstead, Kansas. The sun is finally shining where we are, after seeing clouds for many many days while in Arkansas and Oklahoma.

If you’ve been following us very long you may remember how I loved the wildflowers growing near us while we ranch sat the Morgan’s ranch for two months a year ago.  We have several of them here and we made a little arrangement in a small glass to enjoy.  God’s little beauties He gives us at the most random times!

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Yes we have one of every color available of the solar hula dolls and we have a New Orleans Saints one too!

We barbequed yesterday evening and Roy caught a picture of me resting by Dora.  I was so relaxed I almost fell asleep.  Roy also flew his helicopter for a while but then it landed on the other side of the fence.  He’s so smart, he worked the helicopter a little bit at a time up and over the fence!    20150529_173931 20150529_185732 20150529_185813  20150529_190549  20150529_190719Our plans for what we’ll go out to see while in Kansas are all around the Wichita area.

hqMonday we’ll be going to the Wichita River Fest, a major, huge, big festival around parts of downtown Wichita.  It sounds great and we’re happy to be here while it’s going on!

strataca

Wednesday we’ll go to Hutchinson, Kansas to see the STRATACA Underground Salt Museum – A Journey Into The Dark – a subterranean adventure 650 feet below the earth’s surface.  While in Hutchinson we’ll also visit the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center. cosmosphere Both sound like great experiences we haven’t had before so Dora’s explorers are ready!!

As always, I’ll share our experience at these places with you guys!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

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05.30.15 – Welcome to Kansas, the Sunflower State!

kansasSaturday, May 30, 2015 – We have happily made our way to the beautiful state of Kansas arriving here yesterday afternoon. We stayed at a different Coast to Coast resort for one night on our way to Minnesota two years ago. Many years ago, I flew to Wichita for work a couple of times for computer training at our data center Mid Continent Computer Services. I remember loving the area back then. May have had something to do with my friend Diana 20150529_101806who was from there and I got to see when we went there. I remember staying at her parent’s home and her mom making this delicious pineapple casserole. You know it must have been good for me to remember it all these years! Diana worked for Mid Continent and eventually we got her to come to work with us at Alliance Federal/Bay Savings Bank in Kenner, LA. Great times and great memories with that girl and her hubby Jeff!

Kansas is known as the Sunflower State.  Since that’s my favorite flower I’m looking forward to seeing them here.  We took county roads after entering Kansas to avoid toll roads and to see the area better.  What a wise decision.  The wheat fields were beautiful and we saw several oil rigs (not the kind we see in the gulf but little ones).

When we stayed in Minnesota two summers ago, one of the things I loved was how their pine trees look like Christmas trees.  We’re beginning to see many of those Christmas tree pines in Kansas.  We’re also beginning to see a lot more nature rock formations.

I drove part of the way here, a very small part.  But it was my first experience driving on a highway with other cars20150529_113640 on it!!!!!  I did really well with the driving but pulling off the side of the road and not running into a highway light pole was almost a disaster.  I slammed on the brakes to not hit the pole which sent Roy and our kitchen trash can flying.  Roy’s not broken but the trash can is.  So I passed the driving part but not the stopping part.  I need to know how to do this in an emergency but Roy’s not ready for me to drive again any time soon!

We are now comfortably set up at Spring Lake RV Resort in Halstead, Kansas.

spring lake entryIt’s the biggest RV park in the state.  Where we are parked is pretty far from the entrance but not too far from the clubhouse where food and ice cream are served!  We are pretty much in a big field with streets down it and full hookups.  Should make for some nice peaceful sitting and reading outside.  In the last month I have not read as much as usual, so maybe I can get back to the wonderful world of reading while we are here.

When we know what we’ll be doing this next week in this area, I’ll let ya’ll know too!

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