Sand Creek and Gateway Downs, CO, Dodge City, KS, August 24-25, 2007
Okay, I'll admit, Dodge City, KS, might not be on just everyone's route from southern Wyoming to Chicago, but it was on mine. I've wanted to see where Matt Dillon and Miss Kitty lived and loved for, like, forever. It's been been burning in my brain worse than the White King. My way of thinking was, when are you likely to be back this way again, maybe never? So the trail home led south for awhile, to southeastern Colorado and across the border to southwestern Kansas, and the big Gunsmoke shrine I imagined therein. But there was a lot of driving to do between southern Wyoming and there, and as long as I was going that way, I wanted to stop and visit the Sand Creek Massacre site out in the middle of nowhere in SE Colorado, and it only stayed open until 4:00 pm. Must hurry!
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The Sand Creek Massacre site, down in the creekbed there. I managed to arrive at 3:30, and luckily the rangers
hadn't left yet for the day. I was the only visitor on site, and for that matter, about the only car out on those
lonely gravel farm roads. Right now it's a very basic national monument. One of the rangers said a review was coming
up that would decide its future. I spent a little more than half an hour, but the rangers were patiently waiting at
the gate, and closed up the quiet little park behind me.
Check these out! I found this along U.S. 50, just at the Colorado/Kansas border.
This was the dominant feature of that part of the country. Mile after mile after mile. Smelled like it, too.
Dodge City was a disappointment. The real Front Street was just regular businesses in old buildings. There was a tourist attraction
sort of thing named Boot Hill that supposedly recreated the time of the Long Branch, but I didn't want to pay. Didn't have time
to visit the real Boot Hill. There was no big Gunsmoke Shrine that I saw. I was bummed. In the early morning light, you can sort of imagine the history, though.
It was time to git along.