Harold Dawley's Bridle Bit Gallery Dodge KS

Wichita, Kansas - Part 1Dodge City resident Harold Dawley has something in his back yard that you might not expect. A man with passion is driven to strive for his goals. Mr. Dawley’s passions for horses, collection, and trading lead him to gather a beautiful collection of bridle bits, spurs, and other misc. items associated with his beloved horse.

Bill and I dropped by to visit Mr. Dawley and explore his inconspicuous museum.

Barbwire was the first thing Mr. Dawley started collecting nearly forty years ago. The first barbwire was made by hand and was quite expensive; "more barbwire can be made in thirty minutes then could be made in three months," Mr. Dawley explained. He had found an unusual wire, unusual because it was made by the railroad. He hunted for the stuff in a five-mile stretch near his home and used it for trading with other collectors. Mr. Dawley had much success with his railroad wire ‘tell someone in Colorado found a huge amount of his special trading item. Luckily he had already traded it for many other items when his wire became worthless. Still Mr. Dawleys days trading fence wire gave him a reputation and so he switched to collecting bridle bits  .If your in Dodge and your interested in meeting Mr. Dawley ask around town about the Bridle Bit Gallery Museum.

Casey's Cowtown - Dodge City, KS

Annette, Jose Sr, Jose Jr, AmayaThe dogs got to run and play while we stayed down for a couple of days in Dodge. Crowds of people usually fill the fenced area behind Casey’s Cowtown, so the large area had plenty of room for the dogs to run around off their leashes and for us to setup the horse panels. Casey’s Cowtown is a restaurant known for their great steaks and friendly family atmosphere.

Garden City - Dodge

Bill SpottedThe wind was blowing and the clouds where dark when we arrived at the Finney County Fairgrounds in Garden City. We settled in and set up our cooking stove to make a bit to eat. We ate then took a walk around.

In the morning, Bill rode out from the fairgrounds and sent Brenda and I on ahead to Dodge. I followed her, we stopped in at a gas station, and Brenda asked to barrow a phone book. She began making calls to find a place for the night. With no luck she asked the casher where the Dodge rodeo/ fairgrounds where located.  We then drove to the grounds to see if we could find someone to ask permission for us to put Blackie there. While talking to the Chamber of Commerce they mentioned that Casey’s Cowtown Steakhouse might have a location for us to stay, so she got their number and gave them a call.

They where more then happy to let us setup the panels in the back. After setting up we went out to find Bill and Blackie. We brought food and water for both horse and rider. Bill then continued on his way to dodge.

Crazy House - Garden City Kansas

Crazy House - Kansas The ride from Lakin to Garden City was quick and uneventful. Blackie continues to show improved energy because of the Merit Feed he is eating. He has also gained back a lot of the weight he lost in the desert.

When we stop at Crazy House on the northwest edge of Garden City, we are met with warm enthusiasm. Brian Shaw is the first person we speak to and he is willing to help us find a place to keep Blackie. The store is bustling with people here to take advantage of the clearance “tent” sale. The prices are already reasonable and the clearance prices are so low I only wish I had the money to take advantage of them. As I wait for Bill, I take some time to play with the dogs. It doesn’t take Bill long to get here as our last stop was only six miles out. When he arrives, we go talk with Brian to see where we will be this evening. He greets Bill with a hearty handshake. He then tells us we are welcome to put the panels up behind the store, we are then treated to a surprise. Brian has arranged accommodations for us at the Continental Inn in town. He has also paid for a meal at the new truck stop. As we set up the pens, some of the staff come out to greet us and make us feel welcome. Kansas people are sure nice. I guess that goes with the lifestyle of farming and ranching.

Conestoga Energy Partners - Pioneering the Future

Conestoga Energy Partners, LLCThe truck has been out of commission for a couple of days now. Luckily, we just happened to be in the town of Garden City when the breakdown occurred. Yesterday Bill and I took my car to go see the Bonanza BioEnergy Ethanol Plant here in town. While there, we met husband and wife team Dusty and Angie Richardson who invited us to take a tour. Angie guided us through the process of turning plant material such as corn into ethanol.

As one might expect, the process is nearly exact to making a high grain alcohol except the product must be 100% pure. Corn is fermented to produce alcohol, then the solids are removed and finally the remaining water. conestogaenergy.com Click this Wikipedia link to learn about ethanol as a fuel.

Syracuse KS - Camped at the Hamilton County Fairgrounds

Brenda & QueenieThe wide shoulders of the roads here in Kansas are superb for traveling by horseback. The brush is mowed short so that obstacles are easily visible. One of the major problems Bill has had to deal with while riding along highways are the large numbers of beer bottles hidden in the brush. He flinches every time he hears one crunch under Blackie hoofs. A piece of glass in the sole of his foot, the frog, or a piece in the bulbs of his heels could cause a crippling injury.

Coolidge was the first town we stopped at when we got into Kansas and is a small community with a post office and a restaurant.  We didn’t really get to meet anyone here save for postmaster. That night after Bill finished riding we camped out behind the post office.

Riding to Syracuse was uneventful, but we had the opportunity to meet some good people while waiting for Bill just outside of town. They came and spent some time with us while we camped out at the Hamilton County Fairgrounds. Bill shared some stories with them while Brenda and I prepared some shis-k-bob.

Our Ford truck just died, again.

Our Ford truck just died, again. This is third time on this trip that it has had a major problem. We're not sure what exactly is wrong. Our insurance company is gonna have it towed to the dealer tomorrow. If its the same problem as we had in Pocatello ID then the computer brain died again. In that case the parts warranty should cover the repairs. But the bad thing about this is that they will have to send the burned our computer to the factory, something about each computer being unique to the truck. I guess we'll find out tomorrow.

Granada - History & Hospitality

Granada COBill saddled up Blackie and rode out of Lamar. We traveled east on 385 and made our way to Granada. The traffic was somewhat heavy but otherwise the ride was smooth sailing. I drove up ahead to search for an internet connection. I often end up driving around looking for an unencrypted wireless network, although most major hotel chains have wireless internet, so that’s usually my first choose.  Small towns don’t usually have hotels, so I then have to search for internet.

I met back up with Brenda in the after noon and we asked some locals about a place we could camp out for the night. Lucky there was a open field right in town that was perfect for us. We got settled in and where getting ready to call it a night when a visitor came to see us. It turned out to be the mayor of Granada. She was very nice and directed us to a local restaurant called Chez W. DuVall’s Restaurant & Shoppe. There we met owners Myrna and John DuVall.