Thursday, September 13, 2007

Vacation Post #9

August 20th:
In which Chris and Chris travel from Nebraska to Kansas making a few poor travel choices along the way.

The first stop of the day was Mt. Sunflower, the highest point of Kansas. It is located on a farm. We could see the farmhouse off in the distance and there was some dung near the high point, but otherwise not really any sign of life. The sculpture at the peak is pretty cool- a giant sunflower made from railroad spikes.

After the arduous climb (not) to the high point we headed off towards Cawker City. Along the way we made a terrible mistake.

If you are ever passing through Kansas and you see multiple signs along the highway advertising the attractions at Prairie Dog Town and you consider stopping, don't. Consider yourself warned.

Unfortunately we were drawn in my the lure of the giant prairie dog, rattlesnakes, badgers, the 5 legged cow and the six legged steer.

We got there and looked through the sketchy gift shop while waiting for the only employee so that we could pay our admission fee. After taking our money (luckily it was cheaper than the Pioneer Auto Museum) she proceeded to bang on the rattlesnake cage in order to wake them up. However, all they did was rattle their tails a bit. Not too exciting.

We then went outside and were greeted by prairie dogs running everywhere. I guess if you keep feeding them they'll keep running back. We then walked around a bit looking at the various animals- pigs, a donkey, a pen of bison, large statue of a prairie dog (was that really they one they were advertising? I felt gypped!)

We then came to the cage that we were perhaps most eagerly awaiting. The "circus freak" pen of the museum. The 5 legged cow and the 6 legged steer! They were both lying down, but the employee had instructed to offer them some hay, so some other visitors did just that. The cow stood up first. She had an extra flabby leg protruding from her shoulder. Ewww. Then the steer. He took a little bit more coaxing to stand up. Finally he did, but you could tell that he was in pain. Hooves need to be clipped, and his had been sorely neglected. Finally he got up and we were able to see his extra two legs- protruding from his butt. Again, ewww!

I imagine this is fairly common in the cattle market. After all, within a herd there has to be a fair amount of inbreeding that happens, but we just weren't prepared to see it.

So we each picked a bad museum on this trip. Chris had the car museum, and unfortunately this one was my fault.

We then continued on our way, heading off to Cawker City, home of the largest ball of twine. Yes, I know, Chris and I picked some really bizarre attractions on this trip.

As we were driving we started to get a little worried by the weather. The wind was blowing and the rain was falling. I turned to Chris and I asked, "Maybe it's the book I'm reading (which was about twisters), but is it odd for me to be really worried about tornadoes right now?" Nope- he was just as worried.

The skies cleared a bit and we got to our campground. However, it was still very windy. And it got worse. We spent many hours in the truck waiting for the wind to die down. Our tent was pretty much flattened by the wind and Chris was expecting one of the tent poles to snap, but everything remained unharmed.

We were both very glad to wake up the next morning with the sun shining.


~Mel said...

Even though I knew it was coming, I still was not ready to see the freakish cattle. It still turns my stomach.

Oooh not good if you were in the middle of a twister!

Chris said...

Luckily no twister- I think it was just an electrical storm- but it still freaked us out.