Our first primary destination was Elkhart Kansas, on the Cimarron Route of the Santa Fe Trail, but that's over 500 miles, so we pressed through to Kingman Kansas west of Wichita for quick overnight stay in an RV Parking Lot behind an Alco (overpriced at $20, and with 'pay' wifi on top). Although we didn't make any stops of note the first day (since we've been there done that quite a bit), we knew there where a few stops before Elkhart that beckoned us on our second day. Including some interesting Kansas Ghost Towns. So after passing along and near the old Cannonball Stage Route that ran between Kingman and Greensburg, we made our first stop in Kingsdown.
|Looking down Main Street in Kingsdown, Ks|
Still heading west on 54 we passed through Bloom, another Kansas ghost town that we had stopped at last November. Settled by the Vanderslice family in the early 1880's, they called the area Bloomburg, after their Pennsylvania home town, but that was shorted to Bloom by 1885 when the Post Office was established. This town saw it's Post Office close more than once, and the population peaked in the 1930's with a couple of hundred residents, but would decline from there to just a few residents now. The Post Office closed for good in 1992. Read more about the ups and downs of Bloom HERE.
|Tunnel at the Dalton Gang Hideout|
|Old Mercantile/Store in Woods, Ks|
|Cimarron National Grassland north of Elkhart|
The Cimarron Branch of the Santa Fe Trail
|Middle Cimarron Spring|
|Point of Rocks on the Santa Fe Trail near|
Here's a few from the top of Point of Rocks.
|Looking West on Point of Rocks one can only imagine what|
Santa Fe Trail travelers must of thought of this landscape.
|A view south on Point of Rocks|
|Zoomed view south reveals Eklhart on the horizon. Yes,|
you can see for miles and miles and miles.
After our venture to Point of Rocks and snapping up photos of original portions of the Santa Fe Trail, we headed back into Elkhart, hooked up the mobile motel and headed south into Oklahoma. Although we couldn't follow the trail direct into New Mexico, we wanted to move on toward Clayton, with at least one ghost town stop along the way.
|Wheeless, Oklahoma Store?|
This area of the Oklahoma Panhandle was some of the hardest hit
|Abandoned home on the edge|
Today only a few buildings remain, including what appears to be an active church. The abandoned school playground is testament to days long gone before litigation ended the fun of metal slides and merry go rounds on chains.
|This playground sits lonely in Wheeless, Ok.|
|Rabbit Ears Landmark on the Santa Fe Trail|
We're heading toward Las Vegas New Mexico, and will eventually wind up in the Texas Panhandle for some more Old West history over the next week.
See our Facebook Photo Album for this journey HERE