Dodge City, Kansas

16 04 2013
Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway No. 1139

Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway No. 1139

Everything about Dodge City brings the Old West to mind.  The main street through town is Wyatt Earp Boulevard.  Along Front Street is a recreation of the original Dodge City, complete with twice a day Boot Hill Gunslinger shows.  And, we’re parked at the Gunsmoke Trav-L-Park.  In history, Dodge City had more famous (and infamous) gunfighters working at one time or another than any other town in the West. It also boasted the usual array of saloons, gambling halls, and brothels established to separate a lonely cowboy from his hard-earned cash.  Perhaps most famously, Dodge City was the setting of the long-running radio and television series Gunsmoke following the adventures of fictional U.S. Marshal Matt Dillon.

Gunsmoke RV Park

Gunsmoke RV Park

The Gunsmoke RV Park is west of town at the highway 50 by-pass.  There are about 90 sites split between front and a back sections.  The front section next to the office, pool, laundry and bunk house has about 10 pull through sites and 30 back-in sites.  There is also a large tent area that can accommodate up to 50 tents.  The back section of the park has longer pull-through spaces, more grassy areas and probably a bit quieter since it’s further from the highway and railroad tracks.  We’re in site #21 along Festus Parkway, nearly in the middle of both areas with the tent area beside us and the children’s playground behind us.   The trees here are just starting to show signs of blossoms and leaves.  With green grasses and shady trees, this would be a welcoming oasis.  Overall this park seems a bit tired.  There are an abundance of faded signs (“No Wet Swimsuits”, “No Pets”, “No Parking”), unpainted picnic tables, some windblown trash (this must be a constant battle) and some broken and rusty hookup facilities.  The showers, restrooms and laundry rooms are all clean and well kept, but are showing signs of age.  However, in respect to the owners, they have only been re-opened since March 31st after a winter closure, so maybe repairs, cleaning and refreshing is just not underway yet.  Each site provides water, electric, sewer, cable TV and Wifi.  The WiFi service is provided by Cox Cable, and is the best we’ve had on this entire trip.  This strong signal bursts data over 4MB and runs along on long downloads at around 1MB.  We’ve successfully watched Hulu HD programming on the service.

We’re going to stay one more night, hoping to miss the majority of the rain, snow and cold temperatures that are currently pushing through eastern Colorado.  Tomorrow we’ll follow the Arkansas River valley as far as La Junta, and then on Thursday (assuming clear roads) make the final dash for home.  More from La Junta tomorrow…

Gunsmoke RV Park

Gunsmoke RV Park

Dodge City, Kansas

Dodge City, Kansas

Boot Hill Museum, Dodge City, Kansas

Boot Hill Museum, Dodge City, Kansas

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