Too windy to drive an RV

Why did we spend three days at an RV park in Dodge City, Kansas? We drove through relatively high wind over 30 mph on the highway during our drive from the Chalk Pyramids near Lake Scott State Park. It was too windy to drive an RV.

Each time we were passed on a two-lane highway by an eighteen-wheeler, the RV would make a little slide toward the shoulder. Just a slight motion, but not exceptionally comfortable.

We planned to stay one night in Dodge City, but when the wind was still howling the next day, we decided to stay put for a few days; because it was too windy to drive the RV. Steve and I checked in at the KOA campground next to a city park and a huge dog park for Tank and Lilly.

Neither of us is a fan of large RV parks, but we used this pleasant park as a home base.

Do you remember the history of Dodge City?

Too windy to drive an RV
Front Street at Boot Hill Museum

Dodge City, named after the nearby Fort Dodge U.S. Army post, was established in 1872. Around that same time, the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad arrived, which guaranteed Dodge City’s growth as a cattle town and trade center.

The town became known as the Cowboy Capital of the world and was at one time or another home to Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson, Doc Holliday, and other well-known lawmen and outlaws from that era. This city WAS the wild wild west.

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Doc Holliday

History tells us that in 1885 Dodge City began its decline as a wild west cattle town. An increase in farming and ranching and two destructive fires that ran through the city contributed to this decline.

By 1887, most of Dodge City had been rebuilt, replacing the wooden structures with brick buildings, and its wild west days would soon be a thing of the past. However, Dodge City was the setting for the well-known western Gunsmoke.

Hollywood also used Dodge City’s wild west history as the subject of many movies, ensuring that Dodge City will forever be remembered as the wild west.

Too windy to drive an RV
Retired U.S. Deputy Marshall Meade investigating a shady-looking tourist

Boot Hill Museum

500 W. Wyatt Earp Blvd.
Dodge City, KS 67801
Mon-Sat 9am – 5pm and Sun 1pm – 5pm
Adult: $15 / Senior $14 / Child $11 / Family Pass $52

Too windy to drive an RV

Boot Hill Museum

This museum and old west town replica allow visitors to experience Dodge City in the late 1800s. In addition to the gift shop and Boot Hill cemetery, you can tour several interconnected buildings, all on your own, that display the different aspects of Kansas frontier life.

Steve and I visited the Longhorn Saloon replica, and enjoyed a beer and the friendly bartender’s stories. I was surprised to find an exhibit and information about Gunsmoke during this tour, but I enjoyed the Native American display above all the others.

The restaurant was closed, no gunfight reenactments were happening, and all other events were also on hold when we visited.

Gunsmoke’s Marshall Matt Dillon

What a great museum. We saw creatively displayed historical exhibits and learned a lot about this area’s history. Still, overall this was a very touristy place.

Longhorn Saloon Stage
Longhorn Saloon
Saloon Scene
What is Life
Boot Hill
Dodge City Museum Street View A
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Slideshow Images from Boot Hill Museum

Gettin’ outta Dodge

Our plan was to stop by Lake City, my Dad’s hometown, on our way home from Dodge City. So, since we did not want to drive the RV in the high winds, we left it parked safely at the RV park and loaded Tank and Lilly in the Jeep.

Steve and I struck out for Lake City, an hour and a half away, to see what we could see, but we did not make it as far as Lake City that same day.

The Sculptures of M.T. Liggett

Mullinville, Kansas
South Ave., Mullinville, KS

MT Liggett Sign Art
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Slideshow images of M.T. Liggett’s art

About forty minutes from Dodge City, as we drove along Highway 400, just north of Mullinville, these bizarre metal sculptures suddenly appeared on spikes twirling and spinning all along the highway! Lots and lots of them!

Many of his art pieces are caricatures of political figures throughout the world. To my amazement, Steve almost instantly recognized these sculptures from an American Pickers television series episode he had seen that featured these sculptures and M. T. Liggett.

Mr. Liggett also created sculptures of each of his six ex-wives! He must have been quite a character.

Kiowa County Historical Museum

320 South Main Street, Suite 100
Greensburg, KS 67054
Mon-Fri 11am – 5:30pm / Sat 1pm – 5pm

Too windy to drive an RV

After stopping to marvel and gawk at the metal sculptures, we continued toward Lake City but only managed to get about 15 minutes down further down the road to Greensburg. There, we saw a sign pointing toward the Kiowa County Museum.

It looked interesting to us, so we followed the sign. The weather was chilly and we were safely able to leave Lilly and Tank in the Jeep for a short time while we checked the place out. We first saw this magnificent soda fountain shop as we entered the building! Who has a soda fountain in a museum?

We took a seat at the counter and visited with the wonderfully friendly Mary as she made Steve an authentic chocolate malt. I was more traditional and went with a banana split! What a terrific experience we had before we even set foot in the actual museum!

Too windy to drive an RV

Doesn’t Mary make a mean banana split?

The museum was an excellent historical find. Very modern exhibits throughout the museum tell the history of Greensburg and its founders. As we began our tour through the museum, we quickly remembered the horrific EF5 tornado in 2007 that destroyed almost all of this town.

This tornado that destroyed Greensburg’s community and took the lives of twelve people stayed on the ground for over an hour was more than a mile and a half wide and had wind speeds over 205 mph. Do you remember this event from the news also?

Video by City of Greensburg, Kansas

The town can never be the same, of course. Still, it has rebounded from this tragedy and created a more intelligent, energy-efficient, and green community. Greensburg is probably more so today than ever, a faith and family-oriented community.

The Big Well

315 South Sycamore
Greensburg, Kansas 67054
Mon-Sat 9am – 6pm / Sun 1-6pm

Too windy to drive an RV

From the Kiowa County Historical Museum, Mary directed us across the street to the also very modern Big Well Museum, one of the 8 Wonders of Kansas. The Well is housed inside the museum building and is identified as the largest hand-dug Well in the world.

This museum building opened in 2012 to replace the museum damaged by the 2007 tornado. Displays exhibits depicting the tornado’s devastation and the incredible rebound the community has made.

An illuminated staircase of at least 42,000,000 steps allows visitors to go down to the bottom and then take about that many more steps up to the top. 42,000,000 is an extreme over-exaggeration – just my knees talking.

I am alive, my senior legs are still able to walk, and I can tell you about it, so almost anyone could manage all of the stairs just fine also.  

Twelve to fifteen men dug this Well, 32 feet wide and 109 feet wide. Others obtained and delivered stone casing for the Well from local rock quarries.

The St. Patrick’s Well constructed in 1527 in Italy and the Well of Joseph in the Cairo Citadel are both actually larger wells, but this is undoubtedly the largest in the United States!

It was built in 1887 at a cost of $45,000 to provide water for the Santa Fe and Rock Island railroads, and it served as the municipal water supply until 1932.

Wikipedia Big Well (Kansas)

An unexpected attraction at the Big Well Museum is a huge pallasite meteorite. When it was discovered near Greensburg in 1949, it was the largest pallasite meteorite that had ever been found. It weighs over 1,000 pounds.

Fromme-Birney Round Barn

Too windy to drive an RV

This is another little gem Mary at the Kiowa Historical Museum mentioned to us. The barn was built in 1912 and had 16 sides. Its original purpose was to hold draft horses.

Soon after its completion, draft horses were replaced by tractors, and the barn was no longer needed other than to store hay. This barn is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and although it is completely unattended, it is open to the public.

Items for sale are price-marked and placed about the structure. Visitors are trusted to leave payment for their purchases in the container provided. The top floor is used as an event venue. It is an interesting structure to see on the Kansas prairie.

Lake City, Kansas

Stee and I decided to save our trip to Lake City for the following day. We love surprises like the ones in Mullinville and Greensburg, but they consumed the entire day. When I was a child,d we visited Lake City infrequently, but I do have terrific memories of cold, snowy days there at Christmas.

We drove around the tiny town and briefly stopped by the cemetery where my Dad is buried. There is not much to see in Lake City; although it is a place of good memories for me.

The very best bonus for this tiny adventure was a visit to see my cousin and her husband, who live in that area. I had not seen Carol in many years, and Steve and I enjoyed our brief visit very much.

This is the end of our Kansas adventure. We had such a great time, met many beautiful people, and saw many beautiful things, expected and unexpected. Steve and I will travel to Kansas again for new adventures and to revisit the old ones, I hope.

We are very interested in visiting Medicine Lodge, Kansas, to attend the Indian Peace Treaty Pageant – hopefully, next year.

I would love to know about places in Kansas that we have totally missed, places you might have visited, and would like to suggest for our future “expeditions.”

Please leave a comment on this post or contact me at We ALWAYS WANT TO GO and are always looking for new adventures.

Too windy to drive an RV

5 thoughts on “Too windy to drive an RV

  1. Tour guide extraordinaire! Had no idea there were just neat things in Kansas! I always thought there was just the yellow brick road! Will have to go!

    1. Kansas was really fun and we also had no idea there was such neat stuff to see.

  2. Pingback: Every mile is a memory
  3. I may have to drive to Mulinville, KS to see that metal art when I visit Pittsburg, KS… or maybe just head to that museum for that banana split! Interesting finds and I’m sure Steve was happy to help you finish off that bana split 🙂 .

    1. How did you know about the banana split? They were neat places to visit. I love small town gems – and especially the wonderful residents; they’re always so welcoming.

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