Day 7: Stops along the way

Trip Start Jul 21, 2010
Trip End Jul 29, 2010

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Original Pony Express: Home Station #1

Flag of United States  , Kansas
Tuesday, July 27, 2010

As we were leaving the National Park and Homestead Monument, we met two women who were also from PA (they had noticed our license plate.)  They were on their way home from a trip to Utah and had even more open plans than we did.  We offered them some suggestions about places to stop on their way back east and shared some tips on getting cheap hotels through or (which Mom had been doing all along for us). Then we were heading south, toward Independence, KS, home of the "Little House on the Prairie."

Along the way though, we made a few impromptu stops.  First, we stopped at the Original Pony Express: Home Station #1, Marysville, Kansas.   There is Pony Express Museum there and a historical marker that designates it as the site of first “mail house” on the route, back in 1859.  After a short stretch and picture opportunity we were back in the road.

Our next stop was in Scott Spring, Kansas, a common stopping place for pioneers starting out on the Oregon Trail.  Please note, we were not intending to make this a stop. The way these stops work is that my Mom sees something, hits the brake, makes a sharp turn, says it will only be a minute, and then we stop. And really, when, completely out of nowhere you see a life size replica of a covered wagon, how can you not stop?  It was actually a great little exhibit, featuring information on how people got started, such as buying the supplies and assembling a wagon team (if you ever played the game “The Oregon Trail” it was just like that, really).  There were also a few signs with information about the many dangers and challenges these pioneers would face along the way, including disease, storms, and forging almost impassable rivers.  Again, after a short picture opportunity and bathroom break (at a surprisingly well-maintained outhouse), we were back on the road.

This time we drove until we reached Independence, Kansas. Another beautiful sunset, and then miles and miles and miles of prairie, rarely seeing another car.  Weirdly, we came to one four way stop in the middle of nowhere, and there was another car there.  Finally we got to Independence around 2 am, grabbed a healthy snack, a bottle of wine for mom, and the remaining pie, and headed up to bed at the Independence Microtel Inn.  We'd made reservations for a double room, but since they didn't have any left, they gave us a nice suite.  

More pictures of Days 7 & 8 at
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Christopher Corbett on

You might enjoy "Orphans Preferred: The Twisted Truth and Lasting Legend of the Pony Express" (Random House/Broadway Books) by Christopher Corbett

Christopher Corbett on

Maybe have a look at

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