Friday, September 21, 2018

Horse Thief Reservoir

Best name ever for the newest body of water in Kansas.   Located nine miles west of Jetmore,  the reservoir opened in 2010 and when we visited there last week, was at capacity.  There was a sign as we came into the campground that announced the area as the sunset capital of Kansas.  And, we did experience a breathtaking sunset that night.

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There are bluffs on the east side of the lake but overall there is a western Kansas feel about the terrain.   There were other RVs parked in the campground but we did not see anyone out and about which was rather odd.  We drove around the entire campground trying to decide the best open site.  It was a windy evening and there were no sites that provided any shelter with trees.  Although there were many planted and that will change in the future.  Many of the sites were fully covered in concrete with small wooden shelters over the picnic tables.  We haven’t been to every reservoir in Kansas, but Horse Thief has to have some of the nicest campsites.  There were two huge yurts and there was also a sign that said these provided Kansas’ best glamping experience.

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After a little research, I found there is a Horse Thief Canyon nearby.  It has historical significance in that there was a huge Cottonwood tree there where three horse thieves were hung in the 19th century. The tree was once thought to be the biggest cottonwood tree in Kansas.  It was hit by lightening in the late 1930s and is no longer standing.   The canyon sits on private land now but has a long history of being a meeting place for locals.  I would think that the canyon had some significance in the naming of the lake.

Although I had our Kansas fishing licenses, the wind kept us from fishing.  Too bad because, as you can see, we were right on the water. 

We enjoyed our visit but were up with coffee, bacon and eggs and on the road to Colorado for our annual September visit.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Wilson Kansas is Haunted!

At least that is what Dan’s fellow Chapman High School C’62 graduate and his wife told us.  I am inclined to believe what I am told by people who live right there in the city.  And, they have experienced the “cold air” feeling as have others.  So, there you go.  Believe it or not!

If you are traveling to Wilson, there are several non haunted stops---well, I’m not sure about the water tower….

First, we enjoyed our lunch at Made From Scratch Cafe on main street.  Wilson has a population of only 757 and my opinion was this little restaurant does a great job of serving good, rural type food.  As a side note,  reviewers from big towns like Raleigh NC and Pensacola Florida should know that when a restaurant specializes in homemade pies they will be made from scratch and food on the small buffet was like Mom’s.  There is not a gourmet cook in the back—hey, big city people, ask the friendly waitress what the small town restaurant is known for when ordering.

Next, our hosts drove us around town to see the sights.  First is the World’s Largest Czech Egg.  It towers 20 feet in the air,  was painted by local artists and commemorates the local Czech heritage.

IMG_0748-001 Next is the old water tower.  It was built in 1907 for the purpose of “fire and sprinkling”.  Later the top water hold structure was removed and the structure was used as a jail.  Visitors to the old jail have left two historical pieces from other famous jails—Alcatraz and Yuma.  When the new jail was built in 1963, the structure sat vacant, although it was rented for $1 a year to a local man for a while.

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Next is the United Methodist Church where our host served as its pastor in his past.  I believe this church is  on the National Register of Historical Places. 

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Thanks to our hosts, we enjoyed our visit to Wilson, Kansas, although I am disappointed I did not experience the presence of a ghost.  Now off to the newest reservoir in Kansas.