Day 1---It seemed a bit unfair to have survived the horrid heat and draining drought only to face sheets of rain water once we finally decided to go somewhere, but that was the scenario when we drove out, when we headed West. The temp dropped as well down into the chilly 50s, and buckets of rain dimmed our view. We pushed on, held on to optimism but three hours later near Beaumont we decided to cancel the Cow Town visit. Then only fifteen minutes later we watched temps rise ten degrees as we drove under diminishing clouds. We went back to plan A.
We drove straight to Cow Town noticing how dead downtown Wichita was on a Saturday. It was sad because any city should have some bustle on the weekends. The museum areas did have some business though, and we had company at Cow Town. This reconstructed western town of the late 1800s has been open for over 40 years, but we had avoided it, thinking might be a commercial touristy place. But being in an Old West mood, it was my pick to visit. It was not disappointing.
A small entrance fee let you into the grounds where you could walk not only among but into the buildings, some brought in from other Kansas areas. The streets and board sidewalks looked authentic. It was wonderful to walk about and even go down to a typical farm of the era at the edge of town. While visitors could buy a soda or bags of snacks in the saloon, nothing else was for sale there. Even the horse and wagon rides were free. I could have ridden a lot longer. The horses were Percherons, bred for the Kansas plains and draft work. Their feet were huge and their shoulders thick, but they stood shorter than regular Percherons. The driver said these horses were used for pulling in the area up until the 1950’s.