Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Toto, We’re Finally in Kansas!

Liberal, KS was our destination when we left Deming, NM, and we thought we’d get here in two days, with a stopover in Tucumcari, NM. Because of high winds and faster gusts, we got off the road early on both Monday and Tuesday, staying in Santa Rosa, NM and Dalhart, TX respectively.

We were lucky to get the last 2 sites (of 4) at the Dalhart Elks Lodge. While it’s not scenic, it was a safe place to get off the road while wind and dust were causing multiple accidents on I-40 between Tucumcari and Amarillo, just south of us.


Today we had only 112 miles to drive to Liberal. Although the wind was blowing, it wasn’t nearly as strong as the last two days. And the roads were better, including a nice, smooth 4-lane divided section for a large part of the distance.


We are parked at the Seward County Fairgrounds, where there are enough sites for the 4 RVs here, including us and the Mains, to leave an empty site in between each.


The name Liberal was adopted in 1872 when one of the settlers, who built the first house here, generously gave water to weary travelers. They said it was “liberal” of him. So now there’s Liberal Liquor, Liberal Bank, Liberal Schools, etc. I’m sure there are plenty of jokes made about this.

Liberal is the home of the Seward County Historical Museum, which includes a 1907 home that “has been preserved and restored to reflect” that of Dorothy’s House & Land of Oz. We visited this site on another visit, but it was closed today. Since neither the novel by L. Frank Baum, published in 1900, nor the movie, released in 1939, specified where in Kansas Dorothy’s house was, it has been claimed by the city of Liberal.

We had dinner tonight at the excellent Ruffino’s Italian Restaurant, that we discovered during one of our previous visits. The outside doesn’t look much like a restaurant.

Grier Eating House


But as soon as you enter the first set of doors, there’s no doubt.


Through the next set of doors, the reception area for Ruffino’s is just to the left.


The front of the menu shows the front of the building (the entrance is now on the side).


In fact, the restaurant is inside what was The Cimarron Hotel, next to the Rock Island Depot, with similar architecture.


The building is now called Grier Eating House.


Our dinners were excellent and we continued to enjoy each others’ company.


We will take a different direction in our travels from Bill and Jan tomorrow. We’re heading north toward Sioux Falls, SD to get my driver’s license renewed. They are going to explore other parts of Kansas. Then we’ll meet up again in Goshen, IN for the Escapade.

We look forward to finding the time and facilities to wash our motorhome and car somewhere soon. This is the dirtiest they have been in a long time, especially the motorhome!


1 comment:

  1. All that dirt and no rain. It's been really great traveling with you two. We look forward to seeing you again in a little over a week.


Please tell me what you think, either here, on Facebook, or by email. I *love* comments!