A Kansas Flop

At first light Sunday morning, we snuck out of town before all the church bells woke everyone up (although how anyone could sleep through all the trains is a mystery). Our RV park was about 50′ from the tracks.

Plan was to make the 200 mile drive to Abilene, KS and spend several hours at the Eisenhower Presidential Museum, then camp at an RV park in Abilene. Eisenhower was to be the first of the Republican Museums we’ve visited. So far, the four Museums we’ve visited have all been Dems.

What a major disappointment this museum was! 20151220_132734Probably 60% of it was devoted to Eisenhower’s military service and general WWII artifacts. If you like to read tiny print on large posters, this is the museum for you! Guns, tanks, military uniforms….you get the picture.20151220_135909Finally, we get to the point – Eisenhower was sought by both parties to run for President, but the Republicans finally won him over..20151220_140844 Truman supposedly had told him that he would run as Eisenhower’s VP, if only Eisenhower would run on the Dem ticket. But, we all know that Eisenhower/Nixon was the winning Republican combo in 1952 and 1956.20151220_141059Curiously, it seems to me that he was a President with no agenda. No New Deal, Fair Deal, Great Society or anything like that. Just kind of an I Like Ike agenda. His enormous popularity as a war hero carried the day.20151220_142649 NASA was formed during his administration, the Interstate Highway System was started as well. Eisenhower favored integration, both of schools and the military, but it seemed to be a lukewarm effort. There really wasn’t much that stood out in the Museum, except Mamie.20151220_13510620151220_135325 We got a really good impression of her – always smiling and engaging, in direct contrast to the rather dour Bess Truman who preceded her.

Oh, Eisenhower was the only President to win an Oscar – for enlightening use of television as a medium.20151220_142211 We left the Museum without much of a portrait of Eisenhower as a President. So disillusioned were we, that we abandoned our plan to stay in Abilene, and so we moved on down the road for another three hours.

Unfortunately, that put us in Dodge City, KS – a place I swore I would never step foot in again. (Here’s a link to my post about our visit here)Ugh! But, our choices were very limited. We stayed at a campground, laughingly called Water Sports Campground. Perhaps it was named that because of the huge, deep mud puddles everywhere.20151220_183441 My new red Marmoleum floor took a whipping! We couldn’t get out of there fast enough in the morning. Check out some of our neighbors! 20151220_183000So, we can check Kansas off this trip. Next up – New Mexico. Bright sunshine picked up our spirits a bit, and we had smooth sailing down two-lane Kansas State Highways for mile after mile. Crossing into New Mexico, we opted to cut our travel day short and camp at Storrie Lake State Park in Las Vegas, NM.. 20151221_173337No facilities of any sort. Pit toilets. We were the only campers there. We buried our noses in books and spent a very cold night in solitude. 20151221_174538Dark clouds and ominous skies greeted us Tuesday morning as we prepared to depart for Winslow, AZ.20151222_095656 Another long travel day, punctuated by howling winds and snow squalls. This was my first time driving/towing in the show and big wind. Tense? I had to pry my clawed fingers off the wheel when we finally stopped for gas, and switched positions. As we approached the AZ state line, we were greeted with this sight – behind the mountain was a bright white horizontal band of clouds, (just below the halfway point in the photo) outlining the mountains and mesa in the distance. It looked like a cloud tsunami! With the dark sky overhead, it was spectacular. My photo, shot thru the truck windshield really doesn’t capture the drama.  20151222_144913But, we got to Winslow in time to take Jezzy for a long walk in honor of her 10th birthday. So, we did the historic photo – you all know what this is about, right?20151222_163416Another five hours of driving tomorrow, and we’ll (finally) be in Las Vegas. Merry Christmas to all – we’ll be hanging out with family, and NOT getting in the truck for a week!

 

22 thoughts on “A Kansas Flop

  1. Safe travels…I think Ike was a military man first, a president second. Have we had a president since that was on a different career path than career politics?
    In the meantime, this La Quinta Inn in Bowling Green, KY with it’s two queen sized beds and pull-out couch works so much better for Brian, Cassie, and I.

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  2. Ike had no agenda?? Well…let’s see….you listed as examples the New Deal, Fair Deal, Great Society. Then you added….”or anything LIKE THAT”. So let’s rework that sentence….”he had no agenda that I (as a liberal democrat who LOVES big government intervention in all our lives) would like”. There! Now the critique of Ike fits perfectly!!

    Now…here is my take on Ike. Thank GOD he had no big Agenda like the New Deal, Fair Deal, Great Society, or anything like that.

    Smile….sorry…couldn’t help myself.

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  3. Judy, you have to stop going to Dodge City – it’s like a person only going to Flint when visiting Michigan. And as for museums, I believe I mentioned last time that you should go to the Big Well in Greensburg seeing you were so close. Kansas really is a wonderful state!

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    • We were just trying to fly thru on our way to Vegas. There aren’t too many spots to camp this time of year.

      Kansas does have great roads tho. But I will drive all night if I have to in order to avoid DC!

      Merry Christmas to you and Rose!

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  4. I was standing on a corner in Winslow Arizona…

    Unfortunately, Presidential museums are the product of the committees that control them, and I ke deserves much better. He began desegregating the military during WW II before it was legal for him to do so. He used federal troops to enforce desegregation in schools in Arkansas after the Brown v. Board of education Supreme Court ruling, which was extremely controversial on several counts.

    If you want to see huge flocks of migrating waterfowl and sandhill cranes, you should have stopped at the Bosque del Apache Wildlife refuge in New Mexico on your way to Vegas.

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    • Agree with you that Eisenhower deserved better than his museum delivered. We left feeling that we had viewed some artifacts, but the emotion behind all of them was lost. I have loved hearing excerpts from speeches on memorable occasions, and we just didn’t find much of that. Each museum has its own character and emotion. Like the Clinton Museum, this one left us wanting.

      I think we may have passed the Refuge. There wasn’t much happening on any of the areas we could see (as we sped past), and we didn’t have time to stop. We’ve had hit or miss (mostly miss) luck with seeing anything at the Refuges we have visited. Probably is a dawn or dusk timing issue. We’re not too good at that!

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    • My sister lives in Vegas, so we’re hanging out with them. But, we plan to sneak away to camp around Lake Mead for a few days. There’s lots of little low-priced or free spots nearby. Also check out Valley of Fire SP. There are amazing sights and hikes there if you are headed that way.

      On Tue, Dec 22, 2015 at 10:57 PM, campshaws wrote:

      >

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