Category: Abilene, Kansas

Abilene, Kansas

Saturday/Sunday, September 10/11, 2022

It was a very pleasant drive on I70 from Oakley to Abilene. At first it was very dry in Colorado, then turned to irrigated to pretty lush, green, huge farms and a lot of sorghum in Kansas.

It was cloudy all day with no rain until we were an hour from Abilene. Then it started to rain pretty hard. Why it didn’t produce much-needed rain in Colorado, I don’t understand, but I guess that’s the way it is.

We pulled into the campground with no one in the office. Finally, we took a pull-through spot, filled out an envelope at the bathroom and put a check in it.

We settled back on a chilly, rainy Saturday afternoon and watched a good football game between Tennessee and Pittsburgh. Trains kept coming down the track close by.

In the morning we went to the Greyhound Hall of Fame. We were greeted by a nice lady and two greyhounds that were very sweet. She gave us a bit of history of greyhounds and their origins as hunting dogs that could run all day at great speeds. Their top speed is 45 mph, but can be outpaced over long distances by huskies. Like horse racing, racing dogs began with, “My dog can run faster than your dog.” That started hundreds of years ago and evolved to what it is today.

Our host said they make great pets, but they need exercise, and that means running. We walked through the exhibits for an hour. There were sections for the dogs, trainers and breeders. I enjoyed reading the names of the great ones like Dyna Double One, Balleyregan Bob and More Taxes. Also I was amazed at a skeleton in a glass case. The greyhound skeleton reminds me of a bird. It is so light and small, it looks quite fragile.

After lunch we went to the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum. Talking to our neighbor at the campground, he said that was the reason he was here, and that he had been to 12 presidential libraries. Eisenhower grew up in Abilene, then and still a small midwestern town. There are two big buildings on a campus-like setting, one is the library and one is a museum.

The museum is nicely organized in chronologic order starting with his childhood, sports and activities in a small town. It was very interesting how his whole life prepared him so well for the job he would eventually do in WWII. Then on to the presidency and all he accomplished. I was tired just walking through, I can’t imagine a man continuing at such capacity for so long. For some reason the museum closed early that day, but I had filled up with information and was ready to call it a day. I thought it was a great museum and would go through it again. We have the big picture now, so if we went back, I would take four or five days divided into growing up, West Point and early military, WWII and the presidency.

A trip on the Abilene and Smokey Valley Train would be a fun thing to do here, but we didn’t allot time for that. Also popular is a tour of the Seelye Mansion. Dr. Seelye started the Seelye Medical Company in 1890. We walked around town, which is very nice, but it was all closed up on a Sunday. There is also a highly-rated Heritage Center and The Great Plains Theater.

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