In 2014, a friend and I drove to Santa Fe, New Mexico from Kansas City, traveling on two-lane highways in April. We took a different two-lane highway route on our return, including Route 66 and the Santa Fe Trail.
I’ve lived in the eastern half of Kansas most of my life, have traveled throughout the world, but there were many areas within a day’s drive or two of my house that I’d never seen. It was a very enjoyable and fascinating trip. Although our primary destination was Santa Fe, I found the stark beauty of the High Plains on our route to be an unexpected pleasure.
In book club we recently read Timothy Egan’s “The Worst Hard Time” about the Dust Bowl in the 1930s in southwestern Kansas, the Oklahoma panhandle, northeastern New Mexico and southeastern Colorado. which prompted me to revisit my photographs from that trip, which was a journey through that region. Although the area experienced a very harsh time, there is plenty to see of beauty and history to see there now. We didn’t stay long, unfortunately, so I’d like to return and see more of the area, including the museum in Clayton, New Mexico. Perhaps, I could book a room in the historic Eklund Hotel, where my friend and I ate a delicious lunch in the beautifully decorated 19th century dining room. Another museum to visit would be the XIT Ranch Museum in Dalhart, Texas.
You’ll probably wait a long time for a haircut at this Oklahoma Panhandle Barber Shop, which seems to be permanently closed. In the background is a grain elevator. The stand alone building looks desolate, but next door is a thriving full service gasoline station next door that serves a busy highway.
You’ll enjoy luxurious vintage surroundings at the Inn at 835, in Springfield, Illinois, in an historic neighborhood and on Route 66. There’s even rumored to be a ghost, but we didn’t see her.
In July, my husband and I decided to drive to Chicago for a wedding, rather than fly, so that we could see sights along the way. One town we’d never visited was Springfield, Illinois, of Abraham Lincoln fame. A quick check online, and I found this wonderful small hotel, the Inn at 835, which is in the historic area of Springfield, close to the state capitol, the Abraham Lincoln presidential library and the Abraham Lincoln home.
Built in the early 1900s, the Inn at 835 in Springfield, Illinois, first housed luxury apartments. The building was the dream of Bell Miller, a turn of the century businesswoman. It was designed during the Arts and Crafts movement by architect, George Helmle.
We returned from dinner at Obed & Isaac’s Microbrewery and Eatery to find this basket of chocolate chip cookies hanging on our doorknob. I quickly took a photo before the cookies disappeared.
While still in her 20s, Miller began a floral business in the early 1890’s, catering to Springfield’s high society. Before long, she expanded her small business into a number of greenhouses, encompassing a city block.
In December 1909, her dream apartment building was completed, including airy verandahs, massive fireplaces and exquisite oak detailing in a neighborhood once termed “Aristocracy Hill.” It’s on an historic section of Route 66, a bonus!
In 1994, the building was completely renovated and the apartments were converted into seven luxurious guest rooms. In 1995, the building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. According to the legend, Miller became so fond of her dream home, that she refuses to leave and haunts the place.
Inn at 835, Springfield, Illinois.
A rubber ducky greets guests on the edge of the tub at the Inn at 835.
The owners of the Inn at 835 also own the nearby Obed & Isaac’s Microbrewery & Eatery, in an historic home.
One of the original guest bedrooms in the Inn at 835, formerly the Bell Miller Apartments, in Springfield, Illinois.
Flag Outside Window at Inn at 835, Springfield, Illinois.
Breakfast at the Inn at 835, Springfield, Illinois.
Breakfast Room at the Inn at 835 in Springfield, Illinois.
The patio at Obed & Isaac’s Microbrewery and Eatery, Springfield, Illinois.
I like dark beer! This was one of the dark hand-crafted beers at Obed & Isaac’s.
"Asleep at the Wheel," an Austin,Texas, based-band, performed in the Olathe, Kansas, Free Summer Concert series on June 11, 2010.
One of my old favorite bands came to town on Friday, June 11, 2010, — “Asleep at the Wheel” (With a headline like “Asleep at the Wheel,” you might have thought this would be a political post!) The band performed in the Olathe (Kansas) Free Concert Series. Fortunately, great friends got us great seats up front, because I got delayed walking the lovely but labor intensive dog, Loki. (More about Loki in a future post…)
One of the music lovers at the concert sports a tattoo featuring a guitar and a harmonica.
Years ago, my husband and I heard “Asleep at the Wheel” in Kansas City in another free concert series on another humid summer night, and the band was just as awesome last night. Sounds like we’re a pair of real cheapskates with a hankering for Texas swing!
Ray Benson, the founder of "Asleep at the Wheel."
Under the direction of founder and lead singer Ray Benson, “Asleep at the Wheel” is in its fortieth year. Some of the band members are barely even half that age. The band has undergone a lot of changes in membership, but still maintains that polished yet over-the-top Texas sound. Ye Haw!
“Asleep at the Wheel” has won nine Grammys. The “Wheel” has performed and recorded with many outstanding entertainers, such as Willie Nelson and The Dixie Chicks. (See Barack Obama sing with Asleep at the Wheel in a 2008 video below. Someone should have loaned the future prez a cowboy hat!) In 2005, “Asleep at the Wheel” debuted its tribute play to Bob Wills, the king of Western Swing. Check out the websites below for more information.
Jason Roberts and Elizabeth McQueen of the Texas Swing band "Asleep at the Wheel" in Olathe, Kansas, on June 11, 2010.
“Asleep at the Wheel” playing their iconic “Route 66.”