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Finally the vacation post

Ok first off, you can read along with me and see all the little preview images I'm going to post or you can skip the narrative and go right to the photos Here if you want, your choice. Word of warning though, I didn't spell check all the explanation pages so don't get on me for it. I'll fix them tomorrow. It took me forever to edit and upload all the images in the first place.

OK, so it's Sunday, July 31 and I'm packing to leave later that morning. I wanted to get out of the city before 10 and get down to the farm to pick up the rest of my stuff. Well that didn't happen. Why didn't I leave on Saturday you ask? It was Deb's Birthday and I would have been crucified so I stayed and took her to lunch and a movie. So anyway, Sunday, I kept finding little things that needed to be done. It was after noon before I left to go to the farm. No big deal since my only goal was to get somewhere in Kansas that day. Mom is at the farm alone, Dad having taken off to East Lansing, MI earlier in the week for the National Order of the Arrow Conference. So I get thre to find it is 105 outside and the Central Air seems to be on the fritz. It's not blowing any air up through the vents though I can hear the cold air intake fan sucking air fromthe house down into the basement unit. So I get it turned off and take off the side panel only to find a huge block of ice around all the innards. Not so good I thinks. So I call the heating and cooling guy who installed it and he tells me if he comes out on a Sunday it will cost me double his normal rate. He suggests I clean the filter and then turn the fan on so the air will circulate and melt the ice. This seems to work so I call him back and he says he will be over Monday to put more freon in the system.

By the time I gather my things and head to the grocery store, it's after 5 pm and I still have not left. It was after 7 pm before I did leave and drove across Illinois, through Missouri on US 36 to Cameron, MO then down I-35 through Kansas City to Emporia where I finally stop for the night at 1 am in a little roach motel. But at least it only cost $32.

Next day I'm up at a decent time and down US 50 to US 56 at Greensburg to see The Big Well. The World's largest hand dug well.

After that I pretty much just drove hard for the the rest of the day. I'd made about 350 miles the day before so I had just shy of 600 more to go. I was at my destination of Cimarron, NM by 7 pm. My very first stop was at the house of my adopted Grandparents, Buddy and Irma Morse. Withing five minutes of getting there, I was offered a place to stay for the week if I wanted it. Hey, I'm not too proud to sleep on a couch. Sure beats the back of my car. I gave Buddy a birthday present of some vintage yellow melon chevron beads. He was happy. We sat up talking a few hours then everyone went to bed.

Tuesday Buddy and Irma were out of he house by 7:30 to go open the Old Mill Museum where they work. Then I showered and was out of the house by 8:30. First stop, the Rockin Lazy B Gallery. Here I dropped off 26 pieces of jewelry, 9 photographs and 2 block prints to be sold on consignment. Next stop, my friends Ethel Ramsey Holt and her new husband Red. We had a really nice visit. Then it was over to see Shirley Dale at the Outfitter store to trade some beads and turtle shells for a nice elk hide bag that had been ahnd beaded. Then I stopped by the Old Mill for a visit with Buddy and Irma for a bit. Then out to Philmont Scout Ranch to drop of the necklace and matted photo for the silent auction. I went ahead and volunteered to help with setup at the reunion later in the week.

I've been wanting to get more involved with the organization so I finally just decided to jump right in with both feet and get involved. Michele Allen, the Executive Director asked me to help Brad Plumb get the campsites ready to go and help with registration, the crackerbarrel the first night and the campfire the next night. The rest of the day I spent exploring some of my old haunts and taking photos. Later I went back up to Buddy's for a dinner of buffalo roast and baked potatoes to which I contributed six ears of sweet corn I'd brought with me. We sat around and talked until about 10 then the old folks went to bed and I sat up reading a Louis L'Amour book and smelling the sweet scent of juniper, cedar and sage drifting in the windows until I fell asleep.

Next installment tomorrow. Go back the first link and check out all the pix if you get impatient.




( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 15th, 2006 07:20 am (UTC)
Good photos and interesting narrative. I did peek at some of the others just for a few minutes, but not all of them.

smelling the sweet scent of juniper, cedar and sage drifting in the windows until I fell asleep. It doesn't get much better than this, unless you could be looking up at the stars or moon too.

That's an impressive gallery you have set up. Looking forward to your next post.

Goodnight W, sleep well.
Aug. 15th, 2006 03:22 pm (UTC)
Next post made. I should be able to wrap it up with one more. Then I need to start posting some of the photos to the various communities. I've been working on getting all the historical perspectives on these little towns for my posts to rural_ruin. Glad you are liking them.

Aug. 16th, 2006 12:46 am (UTC)
I appreciate all the miles you drove and the effort you put into taking these photos. You came back with a treasure chest full. The coke ovens were something new to me.

Looking forward to seeing more :)
Aug. 16th, 2006 02:44 pm (UTC)
The coke ovens are all ove rthe place in northern NM and Southern CO but mostly off the beaten path. Mostly on private land too which is good and bad. One maginificent set I know of was purposely caved in by the owner for fear of liability from people climbing through them. Luckily I got photos inside before they did that.

Aug. 16th, 2006 02:50 pm (UTC)
I understand insurance and liability. It's sad that the owner destroyed the coke ovens. It's lucky for you to have taken the photos first, otherwise many of us would never see them. It seems everything old is being destroyed as fast as possible. Doesn't anyone believe in leaving anything from the past intact, like what's left of the ghost towns?

Do you have any cemetery photos from old ghost towns?
Aug. 16th, 2006 03:27 pm (UTC)
Yeah, one of the more famous of the ghost town cemeteries is Dawson, where coal mine explosions ten years apart killed hundreds of miners. I'm not sure how many of them I have online but here are a few:




And here is Cimarron Cemetery which has a lot of very old burials from the "Old West" period.


And here is the town of Dawson as I shot it in 94 before they caved in the coke ovens and knocked down the smokestacks.


I've always been amazed that within a region a few hundred miles in diameter there is such a difference in the design of the coke ovens within the same industry.

Aug. 17th, 2006 01:28 am (UTC)
I've only viewed 7 of the links...this is what I was hoping for.

I'll be back shortly to take a close look at all these links. Thanks for putting them up for me.

Aug. 21st, 2006 04:58 am (UTC)
Sorry it's taken so long to review these links/photos. The old cemeteries are always interesting.

I was hoping and glad to see a couple of old wooden grave markers. That deer and the yuccas near the grave are something else.

Thanks for posting photos of what the coke ovens looked like before they were destroyed. At least you have the photos to remember them. I can see why the owner wouldn't want someone perhaps crawling inside one and possibly meeting up with a rattlesnake who was cooling off from the heat, or maybe bring all the bricks/stones down on themself. Still, it's a historical loss.

Thanks for sharing these special photos.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )


Wander aka StoneBear
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