Tuesday, November 1, 2016
On a second day we traveled the part of the loop that took us looking for various locations both historical and unique.
Our first stop was Marquette, KS with its historical buildings…
And the Kansas Motorcycle Museum (donations are welcome at this free museum).
There were a few other museums there, but the day we were there they were all closed. Of course Gary was content to just tour the motorcycle museum with camera in hand.
There were some very unique old motorcycles, some of which obviously weren’t paper trained…
More modern bikes, scooters and dragsters…
A motor cycle that had been ridden around the world…
Side cars, car like bikes and lots more, three rooms full of more
We wandered around the museum for some time snapping photos and reading the information tags on various vehicles. I never knew motorcycles came in so many shapes and forms.
That day we also went to Mushroom Rock State Park. The smallest state park in Kansas. Just 5 acres, with no camping but some unique rock formations that you can “hike around”. I’m not a sturdy hiker, but I had no trouble walking the trails around these rocks.
There is a public restroom, a shaded bench, and the rocks. That was about it for that state park, but it would be a good place to take a picnic lunch and enjoy the rocks.
Unfortunately ill mannered vandals had done their handiwork by scratching into the soft stone and defacing it. While the rocks were still much in their natural state the graffiti was senseless.
Along the route there is a bridge landmark. It is a bridge to nowhere now. Simply sitting out in a field and if you aren’t looking for it, you will miss it. While we saw it. I wasn’t fast enough with the camera to get its picture.
Coronado Heights is like a small castle sitting on the hill top outside of Lindsbrog, KS. Local lore claims this is the point at which FranciscoVasquez De Coronado gave up his search for the Seven Cities of Gold and turned around to go back to Spain.
This area is part of a seven sandstone bluffs of the Dakota range and thought to be the a fore mentioned seven cities of Cibola. Of course the only gold Coronado found was the golden harvest of the crops in the area and the color of the sandstone.
Indeed in 1915 chain mail from Spanish armor was found in the area. So maybe he was there.
It was built in 1936 by the WPA. It is currently under repair, with a promise the washed out road leading up to it will be resurfaced after the repairs are done.
The road is passable, but is basically a very rough, rutted, one lane road leading up to it. Still it was definitely worth the ride up just for the view.
We found one very unexpected visitor at the site that day. I thought these little fellows had gone extinct. If you look closely in these photos you will see what is commonly called a horned toad or horned lizard.
All in all this was a relaxing and enjoyable day with spectacular views.
The fun at this campground began on the road leading down to it. Shortly after we turned onto the main road to go down to the park my eyes fell on these delightful sea creatures.
We loved everything about our stay at this campground. First of all it was COE, so it was $9 a night, what’s not to like about that. Our campsite had water and 50 amp electric, but no sewer. That’s okay the dump station was nearby.
While our campsite D-3, was a bit sloped we’ve got pretty apt at getting the fifth wheel level. So not a problem.
The camp host was friendly and stopped by to chat with us on and off the six days we stayed there.
Most days we weren’t home because I had picked up the brochure for the Prairie Trail travel route to see many free or near free places. It took three of our six days just to do the entire loop at our slow, laid back pace.
Some of the spots were a bit of a challenge to see, but we found them and we were glad we did.
As we did our travels we were also on a photo safari to take photos of abandoned buildings. Trust me, we found many to snap photos of.
One of our favorites was on the road between Venago campground and Lindsborg. If you zoom in on the photo you will see a buzzard, which Gary didn’t know was there when he took the photo, sitting in the window. I’m thinking this could be the makings of a great Halloween card.
The area was rich with fodder for my husband’s camera lens.
Our first bit of the Prairie Trail was in the next campground over in the state park that shared an entrance road with the Venago COE campground.
Horse Thief Canyon is a real surprise in this area. It was after all Kansas, so why would anyone expect to find a canyon? But there it was.
I would love to boast we did the canyon nature trail hike, but we didn’t. Just looking at the entrance to the trail, almost straight up I knew my health had not returned well enough to allow me the stamina that hike would take. So we had to be content with taking photos going into the area and what Gary could take by climbing a short way onto the nature trail without me.
This canyon also has horse trails you can bring you can bring your own horse to ride. In fact the state park campground has a horse camp, complete with a corral. I do not know the rates for the state park, just Venago, but it looked to be a nice park.