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DODGE CITY 9-28-01

I got into Dodge City on tuesday. Three friends from Galva, Donna, Beulah & Audrey, met me on the road. Donna walked a couple miles with me, then later we had lunch together in Dodge City. It was great to see them.
Joan, the lady at the Cimarron Crossing B&B, hauled my cart to Dodge for me. I really enjoyed walking without it! I finally caught up with my cart at the Visitors Center.
From there I went to Dave & Mary Beth Ploutz house to stay with them tues & wed night. Dave is a police officer & Mary Beth is an RN. They have 2 daughters, Deena & Emily. I really enjoyed staying with them.
On wed at noon I attended a Lions mtg and gave a talk about my walk. They passed the hat around & gave me $55. They also arranged to haul my cart to Spearville and also contact more Lions Clubs.
After the mtg, Mary Beth took me to Boot Hill Museum & Front Street. Dodge City was founded in 1872 and quickly became a trade center for travelers & buffalo hunters. That same yr, the railroad reached Dodge City, making it a major shipping point. From 1872-74, an est. 850,000 buffalo hides were shipped from Dodge City. Dodge City was the buffalo capital for 5 yrs until mass slaughter destroyed the huge herds & left the prairie littered with decaying carcasses.
By 1875 the buffalo were gone, but the Longhorn cattle of Texas soon took their place. From 1875-1886, over 5M cattle were driven from Texas to Dodge City. The town thrived with buffalo hunters, railroad workers, soldiers & drifters who "settled their differences" in shoot-outs. Lawlessness reigned, as law men Bat Masterson & Wyatt Earp fought to bring law & order into Dodge City. Back then the town was laid out with 2 front streets, one on each side of the RR Tracks. A law was passed that guns could not be worn or carried on the north side of the tracks. The south side, where "anything went," was wide open.
I really enjoyed seeing the museum & front street. Mary Beth also took me around & showed me several really neat statues, including "El Capitan," a statue of a longhorn bull. Later that afternoon we spent the evening at the park. The weather has been absolutely beautiful these last few days.Today (th) I walked 17 miles to Spearville KS. A Lion member hauled my cart for me. A few miles out of Dodge is a "Scenic Overlook" spot overlooking -- ready for this? -- a gigantic feedlot!! I am happy to say that todayI walked past my last feedlot. I've passed about a million of em since I entered western Kansas, and believe me, at my speed you notice every one of them! I'm quite happy to have that behind me now.
I got into Spearville and went to the Post Office to see if I had any mail. There was none. I asked the lady if there was anywhere to eat, and she said the tavern right across the street. So I went there and started visiting with the owner, and he served me lunch for free.
After that I went to the Catholic Church and Father Maes said I could stay in the church. This evening while I was in the church typing my email, a fellow came in and said he & is wife would like me to stay at their house tonight and that they had a spare bedroom. Believe me, I definetly like a soft bed rather than a hard floor, so I walked to their house 2 blocks away.
Tomorrow (fri) I'll visit with children at the elementary school in the morning and then walk 12 miles to Offerle, where I'll probably stay in another Catholic Church.
Y'all take care and have a great weekend! KB

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