The rest area had a welcome center with friendly staff and a large number of tourist brochures for Kansas. Looking over our options I could see why Kansas is not a big tourist destination. Other than the typical zoos and museums the only attractions of note were things like the world’s largest ball of twine, a re-creation of a yellow brick road and some rocks that rise a few dozen feet above the prairie. They didn’t even have some sort of farm tour. The only thing that caught my eye was Dodge City which had a place called Boot Hill that had a daily western gunfight show.
Four hours later we were at Dodge City. The drive through Kansas wasn’t quite as flat as I had expected and most of the state consisted of gently rolling hills rather than a true flat as a pancake landscape. It was pretty much all farms and some very small towns but at least even the two lane roads were decent and smooth driving. Dodge City wasn’t a very big town but at least it had a McDonalds. The temperature was in the high nineties so we looked for a cheap RV park to spend a couple of nights. I figured we would need it for to be able to run the air conditioner all night.
We found the Watersports RV park for an extremely cheap $25 a night. We got what we paid for, the Watersports RV park was rundown, did not have a pool or a drop of water nearby and occasionally smelled of fertilizer. We figured it would be good for a short stay, checked in and went straight to Boot Hill.
Boot hill is the major attraction in Dodge City and consists of a rather nice Old West museum and a few Old West Style buildings. The museum displays were interesting and educational with some of them even interactive. They had a very nice video about the American Buffalo synced to a rumble plate in the floor so you could feel the rumble of the earth as the Buffalo ran by in the video. After wandering around the museum and enjoying a nice Sarsaparilla in the saloon we watched the gunfight show which was fun. They used real guns firing blanks which was quite loud. After the gunfight we went inside for a pot roast dinner which was included in the $50 per person tickets. The food was unexpectedly good with the pot roast being quite tender and flavorful and we all went back for seconds… and thirds.
After dinner they had a small comedy and family rated Can-Can dancing show as well. It all finished up around eight and we went back to the very dry Watersports RV Park for the night. The low temperatures for the night was in the mid-seventies so we ran the air conditioner all night which was noisy but we slept fine.