North by Northwest…And Back at It

The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man.

The view from our campsite at Devils Tower

We’ve arrived! School’s over! Let summer begin!

After a six-day trek following a meandering trail from Onaga to Devils Tower, we’ve made it to our summer job. The drive up here was an easy-going and fun one as we made time to stop at sights along the way. First off, we had to stop at Kansas’s greatest tourist attraction: The World’s Largest Ball of Twine in Cawker City. Really though, it’s a quirky thing to see and entertaining to think about the farmer, Frank Stoeber, rolling up some twine to burn, then deciding to instead keep rolling more and more. Along with the community’s helps, the ball now spans eleven feet in diameter!

Little Jerusalem State Park

We headed west from there, visiting Little Jerusalem State Park and Monument Rock near Oakley. This is a part of Kansas that feels much more like the Southwest than the Midwest, and is not something people think of when they think of the state. We are an environmentally-diverse place!

Monument Rock

We then did a little detour up to Kearney, Nebraska, visiting The Great Platte River Road Archway Monument that bridges over I-80. It encompasses the traveling history of Americans, from those heading west on the Oregon trail, to trains, to the cross-country trips in cars today. Some 350,000 to 400,000 people made the trip on the Oregon Trail, with dangers resulting in 1 in 10 not making it to their destination. Mournful scenes of wooden grave markers along the route would have been a common sight.

On our modern-day journey, we unintentionally traveled along a portion of the Oregon Trail, staying a night at the RV campsite just below Chimney Rock – which acted as a milestone for those heading west. We also took a little walk up to wagon ruts carved four feet deep into granite. Standing there and thinking about all the people heading for a better life was humbling, to say the least.

To Oregon!

After crossing into Wyoming, we stopped at Fort Laramie and then at the beautiful town of Sundance where the Sundance Kid was jailed for stealing a horse (and from where he got his name).

It’s a scenic place up here. We’ve started work at the campsite, yet with Yellowstone to the west and the Black Hills to the east, we have many sights planned to see. It should be an eventful summer!

Thank you for reading.

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