THE WOOF BOWL

Hi! Thanks for stopping back by. We are at Roswell’s dog park, The Woof Bowl, located in the city’s sports complex. While the last post was short on pictures and long on words, today will be the exact opposite.

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The boys enjoyed their play time! I hope you enjoy the photos!

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Burger does his thing while The Chiweenies Brothers do theirs

 

 

The boys meet some new friends

Thanks coming along on our big adventure. Hugs, Shawna

Clovis and Roswell

Clovis, New Mexico also has a dog park, and I am beginning to think I am getting senile because, yes, I left the camera in the van. AGAIN!!  The boys had a ball and when they were tired out we stayed in the van to nap enjoying the large beautiful shade trees.

I get busy trying to catch up on posts and look up at one point and notice it’s getting dark. Uh-oh, this isn’t good. I don’t drive at night if I can help it and in a strange city … The boys’ dinner will be late because we need to get out of here.  It was by pure luck and a faith that He would get us there we find Walmart. Yes, another night boondocking in Wally’s lot. This is getting old, but it is what it is, and at this point time we don’t have a choice. Momma is not driving in the dark and it’s getting dark fast.

It’s Thursday, October 19, 2017 and we are up early, I grab coffee at McDs and we head to Roswell.

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I love their Main Street on the western end.  These streetlamps line both sides of the street

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That’s it!  I have way too many photos to show you in the next post because by golly I REMEMBERED MY CAMERA AND WE FOUND THE DOG PARK in Roswell so in the interest of keeping posts from becoming too lengthy I will keep this one short.

Thanks for stopping by 2Dogs! Hugs, Shawna

Amarillo by Morning

Or so sang Terry Stafford in 1973 and George Straight in 1983. Amarillo is where we are headed. I have researched dog parks and Amarillo has two.  Little did I know they would be so hard to find, but eventually I do and the boys spend a few hours in the afternoon running off some energy. I was too tired and mentally stressed from that windstorm at Lake Meredith to remember to bring the camera, but trust me, the boys had a ball.

After a boondock night in Walmart’s parking lot we go back to the dog park (and AGAIN I forget the camera!!) and then head to Palo Duro Canyon. It isn’t very far from Amarillo and the drive through the United States’ second deepest canyon doesn’t take long either.

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Fries can’t wait to see what’s around the next corner

Never mind the dog nose art, please!

Fries is duly awarded with this guy making Beep! Beep! sounds in the tree (:-)

And he obligingly drops down to the ground and allows me to take a couple more pictures of him before hiding in the brush.

After making the loop through the canyon we head back to Amarillo and the boys get another run through the dog park which I miraculously find again. And leave my camera in the vome. Again.

We spend another night in Wally’s parking lot and we head out early for New Mexico. Westward ho!!!

Thanks for following us on our adventures.

Hugs, Shawna

 

 

 

 

Everything’s Bigger in Texas

October 11, 2017. From Meade we head back to Liberal and get supplies, gas, and a walkabout before saying goodbye to Kansas.

We head south through the panhandle of Oklahoma on Hwy 83 and crossover into Texas stopping in Spearman to enjoy The Windmill Park, a collection of antique windmills, some very rare.

Our destination is Lake Meredith National Recreation Area in Fritch, Texas. Free camping with amenities: Potable water, flush toilets, SHOWERS, trash cans, covered tables and a beautiful view of the lake . I plan on staying for several days at least so as soon as we arrive I set about making our camp. It’s hot, but a nice breeze keeps things cooler.

Our first morning I hear the familiar sound of a flock of sandhill cranes. They often fly very high in the sky and it is sometimes very hard to spot them.  I hear them, but don’t see them.

As I sit in my camp chair reading my current book, a nice cool beverage at my side something hits me in the face. Hits my glasses to be precise, the left lens. Hard.  I discover it’s a HUGE green katydid. He lost a leg in the crash. UGH!

We pass a decent night, but it’s a bit warm and I decide a shower is in order. I gather my bag and leave the boys with their treat balls and Kongs to keep them occupied.  My anticipation of hot water and shampoo is short lived. I get inside the shower/bathroom and find there are spiders. A HUGE tarantula-size spider and a couple small ones. Inside. Grey and white with large abdomen and long slender legs. I herd the monster outside and thank goodness he didn’t fight back.  Let’s just say the shower wasn’t as lovely as I was anticipating, but nothing is perfect, right? The water’s hot, the room is  reasonably clean, and it’s free. What’s a giant spider?  UGH!

Find a spider photo.

I spend a lot of time rescuing The Chiweenie Brothers from the ever present stickers that lurk in every patch of grass. Their poor little paws must feel like pincushions. Burger the Goat Dog just chews them up. UGH!

The sunsets are lovely

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And listening to the sandhill cranes make their way to wintering grounds is enchanting. A flock finally flies low enough to get a somewhat decent photo.

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The breeze turns to wind every afternoon, and it’s almost impossible to sit outside for very long. I decide to move camp on Saturday as I have to go into town for ice and I hope to find a spot with no–or at least fewer–stickers.

Ice procured in nearby Sanford at $2.68 for ten pounds of cubes (haven’t found anyone since Nevada that sells blocks) we are back in the campground and I find a spot with another lovely view of the lake and we plan to make it home for a couple of days.

Saturday  October  14th.  It’s really warm today, and I look forward to evening and a cool down.  We get settled in for the night after the evening walk and I play a few rounds of Chums with a friend over the internet.

All of a sudden, out of literally nowhere, the wind smacks into the van making it rock. The boys look up in alarm and I swear.  Not I swear it did. I swear. As in what the heck? Or something of that nature! 🙂

Dashing outside I scurry around fighting every inch of the way to get the solar panel under the van, the garbage bags secured, and miscellaneous items that haven’t been blown off the table into the van. Getting the van’s back doors closed is almost impossible, but thank God it was accomplished because otherwise everything in the back would surely have been blown away.

From that point for the next three or so hours gale force wind pounds us. I don’t sleep well, but the boys eventually settle down and snooze away.  A dog’s life!

After that eventful night, our morning walk reveals something hairy crawling out onto the tarmac where we are taking our  stroll. Fries runs right over to it, but backs off. A tarantula.  UGH!

Do NOT ever doubt a Texan when he says everything is bigger in Texas.  They are absolutely right. And we’re outta here.

I stop at the post office in Fritch to pick up our forwarded mail, then we head out continuing our westward course.

Thanks for following 2Dogs! Hugs, Shawna

 

CORN, CATTLE, AND CRUDE

This is my take on Kansas. Throw in acres of sunflowers, soybeans, and a flat landscape and you have the picture.

We stop in Oakley to pick up mail and an order from Amazon; a hitch carrier that I put together in JJ’s Truck Stop

and get it done just in time, barely getting back in the vome snug and secure before a hellacious lightning, thunder, and rain storm cause

the parking lot to become a lake.

DSC_0002We don’t budge until morning when the sun peeks over the horizon and lo and behold the water has disappeared.

October 7th — Today we head to Liberal where we spend one night in Wally’s parking lot and then we take a small detour to Meade where there is another small city park that allows camping for up to three days. There are no showers or electricity, but bathrooms are available. Freecamping.net, where I get my info on these little places, said drinking water was available, but I have to tell it’s not setting well with me, so I question it’s quality.
We are surprised with a flock of turkeys that wander through the east side of the park. The Chiweenie Brothers go nuts of course, but the turkeys don’t pay any attention. Burger barks just because everyone else is!

 

The Dalton Gang, of wild west fame, had their hideout here in Meade. You can read the story HERE and see photos if you are interested.

In this little city park I am intrigued by a sign and marker at the north end near the highway so the boys and I take a walk.  It’s about Hoodoo Brown.. Ever heard of him? Me either, but here’s his short story:
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Thanks for stopping by 2Dogs, and welcome new readers. I hope you enjoy coming along with us on our big adventure.
Hugs, Shawna
CURRENT READ: Still working on To Kill a Mockingbird (Love this book, reading it for the second time)
WHAT’S IN THE NIGHT SKY: VENUS! She’s a beautiful site in the eastern sky in the early morning hours before dawn. I was up early yesterday, coffee in hand, just to sit and enjoy the java and contemplate this beautiful site.

 

Scott State Park, Kansas

Out of Oakley a little ways is the Scott State Park, It’s very picturesque, but camping fees were exorbitant. We looked around, took some photos, and headed on down the highway.

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DSC_0020Summer is waning and the cooler nights and bugs are taking their toll on the flowers. The butterflies are still enjoying them, though.

As we are heading out toward Hwy 83 to continue our journey south toward Liberal I spy some turkeys crossing the road and making their way up the hill alongside the road.

Charlie’s never seen a turkey, at least not one this close! He’s very intent, isn’t he?DSC_0030

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DSC_0028Welcome new readers! Thanks for stopping by.

A Family Tragedy Revealed

After staying three days in Karrer Park—a free campsite with electricity and showers [although the showers were FILTHY]—we leave McCook, Nebraska for Benkelman. I have been wanting to get to Benkelman ever since I dug up confirmed information that my grandmother died here. She took her own life and no one in the family would talk about it. Now that all those who knew anything have passed it’s become kind of an obsession with me, this quest to find out why.

Burger, The Chiweenie Brothers, and I arrive on a Sunday. I stop to photograph the welcome sign and immediately someone stops behind me to ask if I need help. Everyone waves! Such a friendly little town of 900+.
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I steer Freedom into the heart of this little burg and locate the newspaper office. Of course, being a Sunday they are not open, but I now know just where to go tomorrow morning. I am not holding out much hope, but you never know. I want—need—to knock on this door and if it doesn’t open, so be it, but I have to try.
We find a place to park for the night at a little city park, the Ward Bond Memorial Park honoring the late actor Ward Bond who was born here in Benkelman. Anyone remember the television show Wagon Train? It’s lovely and the dogs enjoy the lush green grass.
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Evening brings wind, fluffy clouds that soon turn menacing, and then a light show off in the distance. Which I did not get a photo of, cowering on the bed like I was, but it soon passes and I fall into a fitful sleep. DSC_0006
Up early filled with anticipation and a knowledge that today I will either find some answers or the doors to my grandmother’s death will be closed to me, at least during this lifetime.
I take a slightly different way to the center of town and find the courthouse, famous for being the building that led the powers that be to decide on claiming Benkelman as the county seat. It was also where they took my grandmother’s body for the autopsy and preparation for burial in her hometown of Hastings. This I did not know when I took the photo. I just thought it was a wonderful old brick building and enjoyed reading the history of it from Benkelman’s website,  HERE. This little town has an interesting past.

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The Benkelman Post is in the heart of town, and I push the door open with so many mixed emotions. I ask the young man who comes to the counter if this newspaper was in publication in the 1930s and if they have kept the papers archived in some way. He says yes to both questions.
I tell him what I am seeking but that I only know the year of my grandmother’s death, not the exact date. He doesn’t seem to mind that I am asking him to go through an entire year of weekly papers, papers that are bound into large books. He retreats to the back of the office and comes out carrying one of these large books and proceeds to meticulously look through it.
It is hard waiting; it seems like it is taking forever, time dragging, almost at a standstill. As he gets closer to the back of the book and the end of the year I feel the dread of learning nothing start to envelope me. As soon as that feeling tries to take root the young man begins to take the book’s cover apart and he pulls out a sheet of newsprint. “There’s something there?” I ask, barely able to speak. “Yes,” he says and tells me he will make me a copy. I can barely hold back the tears threatening to spill out onto the counter. There’s something in the paper! I can hardly believe it.
He hands me the copy, I pay for it, and just glance at the headline. Not wanting to read it in front of anyone, I thank the young man for his help and his kindness and I almost run back to the van. I read the headline Woman Stranger Takes Own life Here Monday (so she didn’t know anyone here!) and just part of the first paragraph of the first column and I cannot read any more.
My mind on the fact I finally have some answers I start the van, back Freedom out of the space, and point her nose toward St Francis, KS. Or so I thought. Thirty miles later I realize from the road sign that I have gone in the wrong direction!!
After backtracking the thirty miles I am back at Benkelman and take the correct road,

DSC_0012arriving in St Francis and their town park behind the fire department. I take the boys on a quick walk, stake them out, and read the article.

If this had been published now and not in 1932 it would have warranted no more than an inch or two of space, a mere announcement or just a death notice not the two columns, almost a half-page of the account of my grandmother arriving in Benkelman, Nebraska intent on ending her life. Small town newspapers!

She arrived in Benkelman, procured a hotel room for 50 cents (they found she had 12 cents left to her name after renting her room), washed out her hosiery and changed her clothes, neatly arranging her meager belongings, drank two bottles of strychnine that had been bought in Utah, and lied down on the bed to die an agonizing death.

They surmised that she had hitchhiked to Nebraska from California as she had done it once before, and because the bus and train schedules didn’t coincide with her arrival. She had been seen in town earlier in the day. She had been identified by a post card she had with her, thus they were able, through law enforcement to track down family in Hastings, who in turn were able to contact my grandfather in California. He informed the authorities that he had no means or funds to come get the body nor to bury her.

It was disclosed by family who arrived from Hastings to transport her body back there for burial that she had mental issues and had been a patient at a mental facility at one time in Nebraska and also once in California.

There’s more, but I will leave it at that. It was—coming to Benkelman—the reason I am in this part of Nebraska and a big part of the beginning of my gypsy life, not to burden readers with this family tragedy.
Hugs, Shawna