The third day of the trip is GRADUATION DAY and I could not be more proud of my niece!!!!!!!
Afterwards we head for Jose Pepper’s for a celebration meal with all the family and friends that gathered for this event.
We head to Wichita Kansas to attend my nieces college graduation and add some time before/after to make a mini vacation out of it.
Well our flight out turned out to be a Turbo-Prop but at least we sat far enough back to be away from most the noise.
We get in to our hotel close to midnight and then get up early to start our next RRAdventures of 2012 by heading for Hutchinson, Kansas to track down some depots; including the Arkansas Valley Interurban Depot.
From there we head for Fort Larned National Historic Site near Larned, KS
We then head down the road a bit to the Santa Fe Trail Center that has lots of historical stuff but not as much on the Santa Fe Trail as we had hoped but still very much worth the stop; especially since they have a depot there! The depot is from Frizell, KS and is AT&SF
With the major outside activities done (to avoid the heat) we head back into Larned itself to track down another depot
From there we head for Pawnee Rock, KS to track down their historical depot
Our next stop in Pawnee Rock is Pawnee Rock itself which was a geologic structure that mark the midpoint of the Santa Fe Trail. We also find a lone grave to Nehemiah Carson (PVT Mexican War) who died here from an unknown illness.
We don’t have much time left but we quickly pass through Great Bend, KS to track down AT&SF Steam Engine #3416
Time to head back to Wichita, Kansas to call it a night
With lunch ate, we head on down the road to Garden City, Kansas. Here we once again track down another AT&SF Combination Depot. On the far side of the parking lot there is also a sign talking about the history and, I find a pair of BNSF Engine idling near by.
We depart and head for Lakin, KS next to locate the AT&SF Combination Depot that has been moved to form a museum of local history.
Next stop is Syracuse, Kansas where find a trio of AT&SF structures, the Passenger and Freight Depots along with the Water Tower. Sadly, all that is left of the old Passenger Depot is the Baggage Room now used by BNSF as storage.
We now cross back into Colorado and stop in Holly to find yet another AT&SF Passenger Depot.
From here we will travel farther west as we have lots more places to find and photograph before we call it a night in La Junta.
On Day #10, we pull up camp in Wichita and take a slow drive towards La Junta, CO; making a ton of RR stops along the way.
Our first stop will be in Kingman, KS where we track down the AT&SF Combination Depot which is now used by the Central Kansas Railway and I also bag Hopper FINX #10573
From there we travel to Cunningham, KS to find the AT&SF Combination Depot there.
Next we head over to Pratt, KS to find the next AT&SF Combination depot along this route.
We reach Dodge City next. Here we find the AT&SF Passenger and Freight Depots and Santa Fe Caboose #999014 all close by to each other.
Down the street is the “Boot Hill” museum. From the outside it looks like a Tourist Trap but besides the “cemetery” there are building that are very much worth going into as they have lots of historical items to view and read about the history of this area. As for “Boot Hill” itself well…
Als on their property they have the AT&SF Combination Depot from Sitka, KS as well as AT&SF Steam Engine #1139
We stop for lunch at Arby’s and I catch one more RR shot before we head to our next stop…
On our 9th day, we will tour around Wichita itself. We planned to go to the Zoo early with my niece and her roommate; but, the roommate is a bit slow getting going. So, Lisa and I head downtown on a Depot hunt! Yep we got a nice haul all in one spot; (1) KCM&O from Runnymede, KS, (2) Rock Island Passenger, (3) Rock Island Baggage, and (4) UNION Station
The girls are now dressed and ready so off to the zoo we go. After getting our personal tour of the place we stop for lunch.
Now it’s my turn and I take the girls back downtown to the Great Plains Transportation Museum. It was great fun to share my hobby with them as they explored the various railroad equipment with me. Lisa also makes sure we captured a shot of my niece and me together!
I take the girls out to dinner too. From there the girls take Lisa and I over to see the Keeper of the Plains monument which is a massive Native American statue they light up with fires and night. The girls also give us a tour of their campus before calling it a night and get some needed sleep.
Day #10 will be another travel day with lots of RR hunting as we start heading for home…
It’s day eight of our trip and today we meet up with my niece and the three of us head for Hutchinson, KS. Our morning activity is to tour the Kansas Underground Salt Museum. At the surface is old Engine No. 2 now sitting as Static Display and I find lots more RR stuff underground that I will share in a future in a trip report.
Day #9 coming soon…
After leaving Topeka, he head down the Flint Hills Nation Scenic Byway working our way to Council Grove, Kansas. Here we track down the MKT (Katy) Combination Depot. Next to it is the Sylvan Park Ranch “Private” Depot. This is the last depot of its kind know to exist. Behind it is a MoPac Caboose…
We then head over to another section of town to track down the MoPac Freight Depot.
Here to is the Kansas Madonna of the Trail we also wanted to track down.
We will also track down Kaw Indian – Guardian of the Grove Statue and also locate the Neosho River Crossing of the Santa Fe Trail that also has a historic Wagon there as well.
Our next stop is Strong City, Kansas. Here we track down the AT&SF Combination Depot and luck be with us again and spot a Santa Fe Caboose sitting in a park near by. We also spot a bridge that is marked and stopped and got a shot of it too!!!
From there we stop in Cottonwood Falls for lunch and I spot a BNSF Rail-Truck outside the Court House. Have camera, take shot…
We head down the road again stopping at Schrumpf Hill Overlook. Nice place to get a feel for what the Kansas Plains once looked like with the Tall Grass all around.
We then reach El Dorado, Kansas to track down the MoPac Combination Depot. We also stop at the Butler County History Center & Kansas Oil Museum and within all the displays, we also find a Tanker Car!
We head for Wichita, Kansas to meet up with family for dinner and games and then call it at night as this is out next base camp..