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Missouri: Chief Winnies

December 14, 2017

October−Four coaches traveled across KS to Colorado Springs Oct. 9-11 to rendezvous with two other coaches already in Colorado Springs for five days of fun and adventure in central CO.

We started the journey with Terry and Vicki Day, Chris and Bobbi Prinslow, Mark and Twila Chambers, and Glenn and Linda Commons meeting up at the Prairie Band Casino RV Resort north of Topeka, KS on Sunday, Oct. 8. We enjoyed a dinner at the casino and filled a few slot machines with our money.

On Monday morning, we headed out on our first leg of the journey to Wilson Lake near Russell, KS. We decided that since we were north of Topeka and I-70, we'd stay away from I-70 and travel the two-lane highways across KS. Everyone thought this was a great idea—KS roads are in pretty good shape and we didn't run into any farm equipment along the way. We arrived at Sylvan Grove Corps Campground, set up camp, and then headed out to S P Dinsmore's home and mausoleum in Lucas, KS. What a strange site in central KS. Mr. Dinsmore was over 60 years old when he retired from farming and started building his log cabin built out of sandstone logs. Mr. Dinsmore's home and mausoleum are one of the eight wonders of KS and it's quite a site! We also visited the second best public restroom in the USA in Lucas. This is quite a site—full of mosaic artwork all over the walls, ceiling, and floor!

Tuesday we headed out along the route of the Santa Fe Trail traveling to Great Bend, Larned, Garden City, through Lamar, CO, and to our campsite at John Martin Reservoir in southeastern CO. We stopped at Ft. Larned National Historic Site and learned about one of the outposts the Army had established to help secure travelers on the Santa Fe Trail.

Wednesday we made the short drive to Colorado Springs, but on the way we stopped at Old Bent's Fort National Historic Site. It was a very interesting trading post along the Santa Fe Trail. We called it the Wal-Mart of its time! It had everything that someone traveling the Santa Fe Trail needed to finish their journey to NM.

Arriving on Wednesday afternoon to the Garden of the Gods RV Resort in Colorado Springs, our four coaches met up with Rick and Bette Kennedy and Terry Gill with his friend Mickey. We enjoyed seeing everyone and Rick Kennedy did a great job guiding our group into the campground—considering the ongoing road construction at the entrance and the tight roads on the grounds. Rick learned just how tight the corners are at this campground. We'll let you ask him about that experience!

Thursday we all went as a group to Royal Gorge near Canon City, CO. What a beautiful site this is. They had a fire a few years ago and lost most of the buildings on site, but they've rebuilt the entire complex and it's an amazing place. After the visit to Royal Gorge, some of the group went back to the Springs and others stopped at Cripple Creek, CO—an old gold and silver mining town that at one time had a population of over 50,000. It's now a town of less than 2,000 and mostly full of casinos, but it's a beautiful historic town in the Rocky Mountains.

Friday was a free day for everyone with some hiking at Garden of the Gods, shopping in Manitou Springs or Old Colorado City, or visiting the Manitou Caves or Olympic Training Center. Lots to do in Colorado Springs!

Saturday we all enjoyed an exciting football game at the Air Force Academy. Air Force beat UNLV, but it wasn't an easy victory for the Falcons. They had to work for it the entire game! Unfortunately, Mark and Twila Chambers had to leave and return home to Des Moines and were not able to stay for the game. We wished them safe travels home.

Sunday many of us gathered to eat leftovers from the tailgating the previous day in the Prinslow's coach while we enjoyed watching the KC Chiefs game.

Monday started our journey home. Where should we go next year?!

By Chris and Bobbi Prinslow