On Monday, September 27, we had another slow start day. Mr. Wonderful (MW) sat outside and enjoyed the morning, while I slept a little late. He saw something interesting in the pre-dawn light: A gaze walked along the ridge line just above Petunia and climbed a tree. Yep, I had to look that up…a group of raccoons is called a gaze. The tree had a missing limb with a rotted out section, and he supposed they were looking for a place to rest for the day. One disappeared into the hole, and the other three climbed back down and set off to find other spots. I didn’t realize that raccoons run in packs, but if they have their own word, it must be common. According to the trusty internet, they stay with their family units for a year or so before heading off to find mates. It must be raccoon gaze season in Nebraska, too, because we saw at least a dozen dead on the road during the day, and most were in pairs.
RANDOM STORY: When I was around 15, we lived in a townhouse in Lone Oak, Kentucky. One night there was a raccoon on the back porch looking in the sliding glass door. We tried to give it some food, but it ran off. The next night we put a bit of banana out on the porch, and he showed back up. We kept moving the food closer to the door, and finally it was actually in the den with the door open. That little fellow started coming right in, getting his food, eating it, then heading back to the woods. They are so adorable. Of course, Mom didn’t know anything about it until we were older, but there were LOTS of things she didn’t know about! LOL A few months later while on a trail ride with my friend Lisa Downey, we met a couple of guys (Boyd and Allen, but I cannot remember their last name for the life of me) from Metropolis, Illinois. They had a pet raccoon. The mama was living under part of their barn and was killed, so they rescued Ernie. They also had a little dog with floppy ears, or maybe that was Lisa’s dog. Either way, when we rode, a dog’s head was sticking out of one saddlebag and a raccoon out of the other. They actually seemed to like it. I know, I know…wild animals…they will bite you…rabies…etc. None of that happened, and it still makes me smile to picture that little masked face riding along with us.
I spent some time writing before we hit the road. The turkeys showed up this morning to see us off, too. When we finally got the act together and headed for the dump station, we were shocked to see an Imagine travel trailer already there. Turns out that the only other person in the entire park was headed out at exactly the same time we were. They finished up quickly though, and we ended up chatting for a few minutes. They were from Lincoln, a couple of hours away, and the wife was actually born in Fairbury, our destination that day. Very interested in our full-time life, they asked a lot of questions. I always enjoy talking to strangers. Sorry Mom…that rule didn’t stick! We headed west on NE-35 to Emerson, then turned south on NE-9. The landscape was pretty rolling with lots of corn. It is, after all, the home of the Cornhuskers. We turned west on NE-51 over to Wisner, where we stopped for lunch at Lantz’s Steakhouse downtown. This place had a real pub atmosphere, and the food was definitely not typical for a tiny, midwest town. They had a Garlic Cheese Curd appetizer that MW couldn’t resist. Honestly, I was happy that he didn’t, because those little bites were delectable! Then he had the Brew Pub Burger, and I had Goat Cheese Ravioli. Just YUM! The owners, Curt and Tara Lantz, were very nice. Tara is the chef, and was actually born in Kentucky, due north of our barn in Sneedville. Curt was holding down the front of house, and said they serve local beef and have a variety of great steak cuts and prime rib on the dinner menu. They were both working hard the entire time we were there. In fact, Curt ran out the door and down the street to hand-deliver an order. Now that’s service! It’s been a while since I posted pics of food, but this stuff was amazing and deserves a look!
After a quick stop at the post office, we were back on the road, heading west on US-275, then south on NE-15 all the way down to Fairbury. It is corn harvest season, so there were lots of grain trucks and tractors on the roads and in the fields. I never understand people who say that farmland is boring. It is both beautiful and fascinating! From the top of a hill, it is a giant patchwork like a quilt. Just south of town we zig-zagged down to Rock Creek Station State Historic Park. There were only a handful of people there, and no one on our side of the campground. Although it was hot in the afternoon (94 degrees), it cooled off enough by bedtime to open the windows. Except for the occasional cow, it was very quiet.
On Tuesday we headed out late morning for a little road trip. I know….we are in the truck a lot on moving days, but we still enjoy a good ride around in the country. Our first stop was at the town square in Fairbury. This place was built in anticipation of the rail line coming through, and by 1870, had 370 residents. By 1872, when the railroad reached the county, there were 600 people, and 10 years later, 1,600. It became the western headquarters of the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad in 1886 and remained so for 80 years. A huge rail yard was built including an 18-stall roundhouse, and at one point, fourteen passenger trains passed through town each day. Named for the hometown in Illinois of one of its founders, Fairbury has a beautiful, Romanesque Revival courthouse built in 1892 surrounded by a square of brick streets with lots of ornate buildings. A fire in 1879 helped build this beauty, as many of the fourteen wood buildings destroyed were rebuilt with brick. The entire 10-block area downtown is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is worth a look. There is a plaque on the courthouse grounds that shows the four Pony Express stations that were in Jefferson Country at Big Sandy, Whisky Run, Rock Creek (where the State Park is located), and Otoe.
Next, we headed over to Runza for lunch. This is a regional, fast food joint that we’ve been seeing a lot, so MW figured we needed to check it out. They have normal burgers and fries, but their main deal is the Runza. It’s probably best described as a fresh-made, breadier Hot Pocket. They are available with a variety of stuffings, but we both went with the Original Runza Sandwich. It had ground beef, seasonings, and lots of cooked onions. Honestly, not my thing. It tasted a bit like a Krystal burger on steroids without the tang of pickle and mustard. MW really liked it, though. They come with fries, onion rings, or “frings” (a combo of both). The winner for both of us was the crinkle-cut fries. They must use a different type of oil or something, because they really are the best, fast-food fries we’ve ever eaten. Next time, I’ll just have to get a burger to accompany my fries. Or maybe I’ll just eat the fries!
After lunch, we made a big loop starting west on US-136, north on NE-53, then east on NE-4 over to our attraction for the day, the Homestead National Historical Park. In 1862, in the throes of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln signed the Homestead Act offering 160 acres of public land free to anyone willing to work it. The qualifications were: 1) the homesteader be the head of the household or at least 21 years old, 2) be a citizen or declare their intention to become one, 3) not fight against the United States or aid its enemies. (Interesting timing on that last little tidbit. Was reducing the size of the Confederate’s pool of potential soldiers a goal?) In return for the land, the homesteader was required to pay a minimal filing fee, live on the land, build a home, make improvements, and farm the land. You notice there was nothing about race. Homesteading was open to everyone including former slaves and free black men and women. Nearly 4 million people came from all over the world to take the Government up on the offer, spreading across 30 states. Of course, the advertisements for the program often embellished the situation, and folks sometimes found themselves in dry, barren areas where they expected to find the Promised Land. Not all stayed, but up to 63% managed to eke out a living. Those lands have now been handed down for generations. That just sounds beautiful, doesn’t it? The American Dream! Except, in order for this to happen, all of the native tribes had to be displaced. (President Andrew Jackson said in 1833 “That those tribes can not exist surrounded by our settlements…is certain. Without appreciating the causes of their inferiority or seeking to control them, they must necessarily yield to the force of circumstances and ere long disappear.”) The writing was on the wall long before this act was signed. The incoming homesteaders looked at the land as open, empty, and waiting for settlement, but it was home to the American Indians. I was happy to see that the museum acknowledged that point and included their story, too. In the film, one tribal descendant said, when talking about the Louisiana Purchase (which transferred millions of acres in the midwest to the U.S.), that “France didn’t own the land that they sold”. The Homestead Act offered everyone a chance, except for those who were already there. The Dawes Act, which came later, actually gave homesteaders land ON NATIVE RESERVATIONS we had already given to the tribes! There were unintended consequences associated with the homesteaders, too. Thousands of settlers plowed millions of acres, removing the grasses and natural erosion control. In the 1930s, severe drought coupled with the natural winds across the prairies blew away much of the topsoil in the Dust Bowl. That, combined with the Great Depression, ruined thousands of farmers. The museum is spread out into several buildings and is situated on the claim filed by the first homesteader, Daniel Freeman. It also includes the brick schoolhouse attended by Daniel’s children and the Palmer-Epard Cabin. A couple of things I didn’t know: 1) The Homestead Act was not repealed until 1976 for the lower 48 states and 1986 for Alaska! The last homestead patent (given after the claim was “proven up” over 5 years) was issued in 1988, when I was 26 years old!! 2) Thirty states were included in the Act over the course of its 124 years.
While in Fairbury, we checked out the laundromat. It was very dirty and not air-conditioned – a requirement when it is getting into the upper 80s! So we continued over to Beatrice to see what they had to offer before heading back to Petunia.
Wednesday morning we were greeted by an amazing sunrise. It was an important day…Mom and Dad2‘s 37th Anniversary. That’s a great day for the whole family! (See Mom & Larry’s…aka Dad2 or Bonus Dad…beginning here.) They spent the morning wandering around on a beach in Florida and later had seafood for dinner. Sounded pretty good! In contrast, after writing for a bit, I got my act together and headed out to do laundry. The Soap Opera laundromat was very clean with plenty of machines that were moderately priced. They also had several large tables to sit at, which is great when trying to get some work done while you wait. The chore didn’t take long, and I headed over to KFC for a sandwich and worked a bit more. When I was searching for food, I ran across the Beatrice Bakery downtown. Their number one item is Grandma’s Original Fruitcake, which is what drew me in. I can take it or leave it, but MW LOVES fruitcake! This particular recipe started being sold commercially in St. Louis, Missouri, by German immigrants, the Lantz brothers. (Wonder if they are related to the restaurant owners above?) They owned a bakery at the time, and one of them found their grandmother’s fruitcake recipe in a family cookbook. It became a bestseller, and the operation grew. In 1964, they needed a much larger location and decided to pull up stakes and move to Beatrice, Nebraska. The company changed names and ownership several times over the years, but as Beatrice Bakery since 2002, they have been shipping out record numbers of fruitcakes and other baked deliciousness. MW scored a fruitcake, and I grabbed an Amaretto Cake to share with Lori and Jimmy when we are together. I was also able to score a few gifts for the Christmas baskets. Brandie, an appropriate name for someone who works at a fruitcake factory, helped me figure it all out and even gave me samples to try. Yum! She said the building they are currently in has been a bakery for 100 years. Wow! Loaded down, I headed back to the park.
On Thursday we headed out in the grey mist in time to make our first stop when they opened at 10 AM. It wasn’t far at all. We could have walked. The Visitor’s Center at Rock Creek Station State Historical Park has exhibits and tells of a pretty interesting past. For a decade starting in 1857, the grounds served a variety of roles including pony express station and stage coach stop. At one time there was a blacksmith shop, general store, and post office there, but the most famous (or infamous, depending on your perspective) thing ever there was James Butler Hickok. Well, to be fair, he wasn’t famous when he arrived, but things changed. Let’s backup a bit, though. In 1858 it is believed that David McCanles and his brother left North Carolina, headed for Colorado to find gold. In Nebraska, they ran into several men headed back east from the gold fields with nothing to show for their efforts so David opted for a new plan. He purchased a way station along the west bank of Rock Creek consisting of a small cabin, barn, and make-shift store. The crossing at Rock Creek was difficult, and McCanles, seeing an opportunity, built a toll bridge to provide an easier route. Later he built a cabin and dug a well on the east side of the creek, so now he had Rock Creek Station and East Ranch. He leased the latter to the Russell, Waddell, and Majors Company, who ran a freight business and later, the Pony Express. Hickok was employed by the company, and in 1860, after being mauled by a cinnamon bear (crushed chest, broken shoulder, mangled and broken arm), they sent him to Rock Creek (by then a relay station for the Overland Stage and the Pony Express, to work as a stable hand while he recuperated. With the California and Oregon Trails also running right through Rock Creek Station, there was a lot of traffic. This is where the interesting stuff starts and stories diverge. The accepted version is that McCanles, along with his 12-year-old son, his cousin, and a ranch hand, came to confront the station master, Wellman, about past due rent. Mrs. Wellman answered the door, and McCanles either was invited or forced himself inside. It is unknown whether Mr. Wellman was home, but Hickok was inside the cabin. An argument ensued, creating a tense situation that ended with Hickok shooting the unarmed McCanles, the first killing he was credited with. The son ran for the woods, and Hickok shot the other two men, also unarmed, in the yard. Neither died immediately. One was dispatched by a shotgun blast from “Doc” Brink, while the other one was hacked to death with a garden hoe by Mrs. Wellman. (If I were Mr. Wellman, I wouldn’t be able to sleep next to her at night after that!) There was a trial and an acquittal, which makes me feel that some aspects of this obvious murder story are skewed. So what does the other side say? Hickok always maintained that McCanles was a bully who led a gang of murdering outlaws that robbed banks, trains, and stagecoaches, and rustled cattle. There were reports from others that McCanles didn’t care for Bill from the get-go, and also rumors that Bill was bedding McCanles’ mistress, Kate Shull. Bill said the men were armed, and looking for a fight when they walked on the property, and that he was defending himself. Although initially, that story only came from Hickok (and grew over the years like those of fishermen), in later years the grandchildren of a witness came forward and said their grandmother confirmed Bill’s side of the story repeatedly before she died. The foreman of the company stations said that he was with Bill when, on the way to Beatrice for his trial, he stopped at the McCanles home, apologized to Mrs. McCanles for having to kill her man, and gave her all the money he had on him…$35 (a little over $1,000 in 2020 dollars). Whether McCanles was the armed bully or the murder victim, he managed to contribute to our society. After the incident, some of his family moved to Colorado, and eventually the spelling was changed to McCandless. His grandson, Commodore Byron McCandless received the Navy Cross in WWI and the Legion of Merit in WWII; his great-grandson, Admiral Bruce McCandless, received the Congressional Medal of Honor for actions during the Battle of Guadalcanal in WWII; and his great-great-grandson, a Naval Academy alum, made history with the first untethered spacewalk, Captain Bruce McCandless II. The two ranches and the toll bridge have all been rebuilt after excavations revealed the locations. From the site, you can see the ruts from the wagons that passed through over 150 years ago, and a nice museum gives you a great deal of information. Migration to the west began around 1840 and continued into the 1860s before the railroad took over as the main travel route. During the highest traffic year of 1852, Oregon received 10,000 new settlers and 60,000 went to California & Utah, all traversing the vast prairies in a little wagon. Can you imagine?!
ANOTHER LOCAL STORY: In June 1842, Kit Carson and Colonel John Fremont were camped not far from the place that would become Rock Creek Station. Before leaving, they carved their names into the sandstone hillside. Over the years, that became a hangout for teenagers, who felt the need to add their names to the hill. Eventually the original signatures were written over, and the soft sandstone eroded away. The state put up a metal plaque at the site showing what the signatures looked like. That was then vandalized, and someone even tried to pry it off of the rock. It was eventually moved to the Rock Creek Station State Park museum to protect it. As I said in a previous post about the Roosevelt cabin and carved signatures in the doorway, I just don’t get it. I guess in this case, that teenager who got to second base with Mary Jo at the Kit Carson hillside felt that was of historic significance.
Rock Creek Station State Recreation Area is pretty nice. Adjoining Rock Creek Station State Park, it gives easy access to the museum and historical site buildings there that are open daily from mid-April to mid-October and by appointment in the winter months. You can walk through the exterior site year-round, and living history demonstrations take place in the summer months, too. Other amenities of the 390-acre combined parks include 6 miles of hiking/biking/equestrian trails, three covered picnic pavilions, and plenty of picnic tables and grills. Camping options include 25 paved, 30-amp electric sites, a handful of non-electric tent sites, and an equestrian area with 20 individual corrals and non-electric sites. All sites included picnic tables and fire rings. The bathhouse was new and pretty clean with coin-operated showers. There was only PBS for over-the-air TV, but the cell signal was strong. It was very quiet, and there were only a handful of folks in the park when we were there. We would definitely stay again. For this stay in September 2021, we paid $84.23 for three nights. Our annual Nebraska Park Pass covered the non-resident entry fee of $8 per day.
Finally on the road about 11 AM, we headed east on NE-8, then south, crossing into Kansas on KS-148. At Barnes, we turned east on KS-9 and stopped for lunch in Blue Rapids at East Side Cafe. We didn’t have many options and this WAS NOT a good one. We both had salads. MW’s chef salad was okay, but the blue cheese dressing they served was bad, so he switched that. My salad was supposed to be teriyaki chicken, but it was really a few greens with a bunch of sunflower seeds, crispy asian noodles, and one fried chicken tender (I expected grilled) that had been dipped in sauce and cut into tiny bits. There just wasn’t a lot of salad to it. Despite the obvious dirty feel of the place, the locals were streaming in the whole time we were there. Back on the road, we hit US-159 down to Winchester and rolled on in to Leavenworth and our new site at Riverfront Park. It had been a grey drive for the most part, and the scenery was generally open farm/ranch land. It all started out pretty flat, but as we crossed into Kansas, it was slightly hilly and had more trees.
Friday morning MW was up early to start the tire dance. Petunia needed new shoes, which he ordered from Tire Rack online and had delivered to the Firestone store in Leavenworth. He took the right two off, leaving her up on jack stands looking not a little like the Beverly Hillbillies might be in residence. He dropped them off to have the new tires mounted and balanced. They were busy and weren’t sure when they would get to them. Amazingly, they called almost as soon as he made it back to say they were done. After a quick trip to pick up, the new ones were installed on the right, and the left side pair removed. We headed back into town to drop those off, and the guy said they were pretty slammed, so it might be end of day. We ran by the post office, then found Krabwingz for lunch. This place was a true hole-in-the-wall destination. The young owner, Willie, seemed to be a one man show when we arrived, but another fellow popped out in a few minutes. They had three large, round tables out front, two of which were occupied when we arrived. Service was a little slow, but the food was SO worth it. MW had wings with a sweet and spicy sauce, and I had a catfish sandwich. I asked Willie when ordering what came on the sandwich…”catfish and bread”. LOL (There was tarter sauce on the table.) Seriously, might have been the best catfish I’ve had. Both of us had a side of greens, which were amazing! Willie said it was his Mom’s recipe, and I told him he should give her a great big hug! He said, “oh, she gets a cut!” The guys at the next table got the low country boil, which was delivered in an oven bag and looked great. Seriously good, local food. Give it a try if you are in the area. After lunch we picked up a few things at Walgreens and headed back to Petunia. The tire place called shortly after our return, so MW ran up to get them.
Later in the afternoon we headed over to hang with our reason for coming to Leavenworth again…the Faulkners. MW and I went to high school with Shawn, and MW was at his and Laura’s wedding. We haven’t been good about keeping up over the years, but got back in touch in 2018. The guys are both war nuts, so they have lots of fun talking history. In fact, Shawn is an expert on WWI who has written a couple of books. He teaches at the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth and also does a bit of speaking. Laura is a nurse and ended up getting home late, so we hung out with Shawn, daughter Brenna, and Shawn’s Mom Nan. Brenna is expecting the first grand baby, so there is quite a bit of excitement around that. It’s always fun to hang out with people who knew you back in the day. Of course, MW has Nan TOTALLY SNOWED. Apparently she thought he was some kind of saint in high school. Bahaha! My Mom is still pretty enamored, too. It’s got to be some kind of witchcraft! Maybe he has little voodoo dolls that are positioned with open arms and a welcoming smile representing all older women. WAIT!!! I’m an older woman! Holy crap!! Is that why I put up with him??!!! Just kidding. I’m well aware that his super power was just not getting caught. We enjoyed the evening and stayed late enough to see Laura for a couple of minutes.
Saturday morning started with MW installing the other two tires and putting Petunia squarely back on her feet. Whew! We then met Shawn and Laura to head into Kansas City to play tourist. The first stop was to walk through the Historic City Market, which is full of fruits, vegetables, flowers, canned goods, and other vendors. They also host a variety of events throughout the year. Next we headed over to check out The Arabia Steamboat Museum. This place was too cool!
On September 5, 1856, the 171′ Steamboat Arabia hit a “snag” (a downed tree lodged in the mud) about 10 miles north of Kansas City while carrying about 200 TONS of unknown cargo. It took minutes for the large boat to disappear in the Mighty Mo, but miraculously, all 150 souls on board made it to safety. Over the course of time, attempts had been made to find her, mostly because rumor had it the cargo included 400 barrels of bourbon! Locating the ship proved to be problematic, and no one was successful. In 1988, a group of five local men teamed up to figure it out. They were Bob Hawley, owner of a local HVAC company; his sons David and Greg; friend Jerry Mackey who owned a local fast food joint; and David Luttrell who owned a construction business. It took quite a bit of research to just find the ship. Over the course of time, the path of the river was altered by both nature and man. They approached a local corn farmer about digging on his property, where others had attempted in the past. His response was something along the lines of “go ahead if you want to throw your money away”. First they located the engine with metal detecting equipment. She was about 1/2 mile away from the current channel. Then they began drilling to find the outline of the boat, which turned out to be 45′ underground. Finally, the excavation began, only to be stopped by a large, underground water reservoir. That problem was solved by pumping the water into the river to lower the water table in the excavation hole below the level of the ship. The 4-1/2 month dig was exhausting in the freezing, winter weather, but by the end, they had removed all of the cargo and large portions of the ship. Due to the total lack of oxygen, everything, including clothes, shoes, china, canned goods, etc., was incredibly well preserved. The entire operation was self-financed and cost around $1M. In the beginning stages, the plan was to sell off the cargo, but as they started pulling things out, it became clear that they needed to keep this time capsule together. They borrowed another $500K or so to build the current museum, which is still owned by the families. On-site preservationists continue to work diligently to clean artifacts, and still have about 60 TONS to go! Although there was no bourbon aboard, the ship contained what is said to be the largest single collection of civil war artifacts in the world. Sadly, Greg Hawley was killed in an automobile accident in 2009, and 10 years later his Dad Bob Hawley died of ALS. David Hawley, Jerry Mackey, and David Luttrell are continuing the adverture. These days they are focused on the Steamboat Malta, which sank in August of 1841 and would provide a glimpse into the fur trade time period. While we were there, a guy came by, asked the crowd if there were any questions, and gave a couple of tips on what to see where. I heard him tell someone he was David Hawley. Well, you know I followed him! He graciously posed for a picture, and we ended up talking for a bit. MW and Shawn found us, and the latter’s eyebrows went up when David said they also have a steamboat that was carrying supplies to Fort Leavenworth on their radar! Sounds like a good retirement job for Mr. Faulkner!! (I heard a museum worker say that the owners are often on site.) Honestly, this place would be fun for just about anyone and is a true slice of history.
After spending quite a bit of time wandering around, we headed down the street to check out the multi-story River Market Antiques before heading to lunch at LC’s Bar-B-Q. My main response for this place is YUM! It smells like a smoked meat Mecca when you walk in the door. MW and I split a combo plate with ham and pork burnt ends. Next time I would get the beef burnt ends, because they appeared to be less fatty, but the flavor was great. Back at the Faulkner abode, we talked for a little bit before heading back to Petunia.
Sunday we met back at the Faulkner’s, then Shawn, Laura, Nan, MW, and I headed back in to Kansas City. Our destination was Boulevard Brewing Company, a local hot spot. They created a brilliant marketing gimmick…Beer Hall Bingo on Sundays. They have appetizers, small plates, and of course, beer available for purchase. The bingo is free and includes three cards each for three rounds. There are prizes for the winners, most of which seems to be free stuff for another visit, but there might have been t-shirts, hats, etc., too. Brilliant! The place is huge and has a large balcony, which is great during nice weather. There is also a gift shop. Another good reason to check this place out, they give a free beer to military folks and healthcare workers. Too cool! In the beer department, they have something for everyone. The winner for the day was Magic Drip, which is a stout with a strong coffee flavor. It was a high gravity beer, so a little went a long way. I had Bourbon Barrel Quad, which had a little more bite than I like, but wasn’t bad. We shared the pretzel bites and the hummus appetizers, too. The best part, though, was hanging out with Laura, Shawn, Nan, Brenna, Dallas, Shelby, Dustin, and Kate. They are a fun crew, for sure. Back at the house later, we watched Kansas City beat Philadelphia. Laura and Brenna are somewhat rabid KC fans, so they were happy about the result. After a very nice day, we said our final goodbyes and headed back to Petunia, stopping at the store on the way.
Riverfront Park is a very small place on the Missouri River in Leavenworth, Kansas. Amenities include a boat ramp (although the campground manager said they currently had some issue with it) and a picnic shelter. The gated campground is very small and definitely NOT for longer rigs. There is a railroad crossing just before you get there that is very steep, and a longer rig would drag. (They recommend not longer than 32′. Our 31′ fifth wheel made it across fine, but a travel trailer definitely may not.) Sites are paved and all have 30-amp electric, although at least one site requires more than 50′ of cord to reach the box. There are two locations for water, a playground, and a dump station onsite as well. The bathhouse is four individual rooms, and they were kept well. They are kept locked, and you receive a key when you arrive. There is traffic noise from the bridge nearby, but almost no boat traffic on the river. Oh, and there is a railroad track running right behind the park. Thankfully, he doesn’t blow the horn until he’s further down the track. The cell signal is very strong, and over-the-air TV has plenty to offer. It is a convenient location if you need to be in Leavenworth, and we would stay again. For this stay in October 2021, we paid $60 for four nights. They also charge a pet fee of $2 per day and a $20 refundable key deposit.
Next up…Missouri and Illinois. See you on the path!
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