Wednesday, June 4, 2014

And The THUNDER Rolls!!!!

With all this weather ... thunder clouds, lightning and tornados ... swirling all around us, I haven't gotten much sleep in the last couple of weeks, nor have the puppies.   At 11:45 my weather radio alarm went off with a thunderstorm warning, causing me to fly out of bed!!  This picture of Cooper (who dressed himself) shows pretty well how we all feel today!!  The worst of last night was the wind gusts that whipped my slide-out toppers like someone snapping a wet towel!!  It rained a little ... I know because I was up at 3:00 am closing up my awnings, thinking THAT was the problem.
We left Wichita yesterday amid beautiful blue skies with puffy white clouds!!  With all the recent rains, the countryside is gloriously green.
As we wind our way across the plateaus and down into the valleys, there's little to no traffic on Hwy 54 East ... a much nicer relaxing drive than on the freeway South of us. 
Here's ANOTHER example of where a tornado has touched down.  The trees are broken and striped of their leaves.  The other side of the highway looks the same.  Along the way were many small towns where you could see the same thing.  One small section of buildings were missing with only concrete pads left ... the next buildings intact and in business.
More cattle country here than around the Wichita area where they grow mostly wheat.  The herds were not nearly as big as I imagined they would be.  Just guessing here, but I didn't see any windmills for water ... only catch basins where they could drink.  That small amount of water doesn't support large herds of cattle.
Crossing into Missouri, there were no welcoming signs.  In fact later, through geocaching, I learned there is a lot of bad blood between Kansas Jayhawkers and Missouri Bushwackers, which is pretty much still evident today!!
This Madison Avenue Steak House is located in an old manufacturing building with the name H. L. Miller and Sons ... Manufacturers and Designers of the Nancy Frock line of dresses in the 60's.  Funny ... old to me is the 1900's ... old today is the 1960's!!!
When we arrived in Nevada, named by an early settlor after visiting Nevada City when gold was discovered (but not pronounced the same), we pulled in to the Elks Lodge to a perfect parking site.  The lot is huge and entirely covered with concrete, sloped downhill for water runoff.  There are only three spaces available, but they have full hookups for $10 a night.  It's definitely worth it to become an Elk if you travel in an RV ... and besides, they do great work for children!!
The lodge sits on top of the hill and is a nice solid concrete block building ... just steps away if a sneaky tornado decides to drop in!  
With the recommendation of the Elks, we went to Los Sauces for Mexican food dinner.  It was beyond excellent!!  Barbara had a mushroom quesadilla, however unusual, that was the best she's had!!  A quick drive through town to find a couple of caches and see the town square, found us at the Bushwackers Jail where these kids were picking up litter.  I had just mentioned how clean the town was ... and this is why.  Not sure if it was a school or church group, but I thanked them for such a great job! 
Terrible picture!!!!  I was trying to be sneaky with my phone while we found the cache, but was looking right into the sun.  I promise I'll do better next time.  The story goes something like ... Kansas was against slavery, Missouri was PRO slavery, and they were always fighting.  When the Missouri Bushwackers went across the border to take revenge on Kansan abolitionist raids, the Kansan's came back and burned Nevada to the ground.  Needless to say, Nevadans have never forgotten!!  
At any rate, it's a beautiful little town with many old buildings still remaining, including this amazing church that is boarded up completely.  This might become my new project ... turning this church into an amazing home!!
It's sad they stuck this big Pro Realty Group sign on this old bank building.  The date at the top is 1880 and there are many more buildings like it here.  Right up a photographer's alley!!!
Today I think we are visiting Fort Scott, just back across the border in Kansas.   Originally built for protection of the permanent Indian Frontier, it was later abandoned and purchased by some locals who turned it into one of the biggest railroad cities in Kansas.   More tomorrow!!


  1. Or you could turn it into an amazing quilt shop! :)

    1. Now THAT'S an idea ... haven't seen ANY out here so far!!!