Into Dodge

After traveling around the United States for the last few months, I now know better than to indulge myself in any preconceived ideas about our country’s  geography  or its people. With my political correctness and lofty tolerance finely tuned I strive to accept whatever comes my way wherever I go in this great country of ours.

Today, as we left the last of the starkly beautiful southeastern section of Colorado and entered Kansas, I began to squirm in my seat. As I often do when profoundly bored, I leaned heavily on the crutch of mindless fidgeting—first, I groped through the glove compartment and sought out the Good and Plenties. Getting little relief from eating candy, I flailed about some more and unearthed a hunk of sourdough bread from California and paired it with a warm, squishy wedge of Laughing Cow cheese from deep inside my backpack. Seeing that the scenery had not changed in the last ten miles, despite the fact that I had spent all that time with the candy, the cheese wrapper, the bread and my jack knife, I took another look at the map to confirm that we were still in Kansas, and then I messed around with the radio.

Many monotonous hours later, after checking in to the Gun Smoke RV Park on Route 50 in Dodge City, KS, a place whose reputation for extravagant welcome, cleanliness and atmosphere preceded it on several online reviews, the need to sample the Glass Slipper was too overwhelming to resist. A few moments later, after stepping out  of the smoky casita and into the loving arms of My Royal Consort with my eyes all aglow, we set off hand in hand to explore the Gun Smoke RV Park and all it had to offer.

As we strolled along together, my gaze was drawn past the fence surrounding the campground to the gently sloping grassy hills before me.  I saw that the tumbleweeds had conspired to arrange themselves on the barbed wire so fetchingly that they sparkled. Each one was lovelier than the next, and I found myself unable to choose the one I would bring home to Rhode Island.

That dome behind me is a Verizon Superstore--not the Emerald City.

That dome behind me is a Verizon Superstore–not the Emerald City.

Leaving the grassy field with the Verizon Superstore rising up in the distance like a magical kingdom, and turning our backs on the wholesale fireworks store to the east, we walked back to the camping area, where we were struck by the great quantity of signs posted at every juncture, and the strident tone of their copy.

The overall sentiment of the signs was consistent with all that we had read online about the proprietors and could easily be  attributed to the expressionless man who had wordlessly beckoned us to follow him while he lead us to a remote campsite and then drove off in his golf cart without a word, leaving us to take in the gravel and rocks, the train tracks, highway and firework store.

Perhaps it was the Glass Slipper that urged me to set out on a photo journalistic expedition of discovery in the Gun Smoke RV Park. I’ll never know. What I do know is that my forays into the bathroom and  and laundry room lead to a treasure trove of graphic admonition from the management. Their concerns about the conduct of their guests were myriad, with pets topping the list.

Many of the signs were multi-faceted, referring to everything from excess electrical consumption to flies, locusts and animals all at once, and requiring great concentration on the part of the reader. Other signs were simpler. And some, like the 8.5″ x 22″ printout on the wall in the laundry room were based in scripture with a decidedly Old Testament sensibility directed pointedly at our exotic Commander in Chief. If the wretched laundry pilgrim cared to avail herself of hope, she could turn to the free tracts that had been left for her next to the dryer. (Click the images to launch the gallery)

Even though the Glass Slipper did not induce one iota of paranoia in me, I didn’t feel that I could linger too long in the laundry room with my camera and remain unnoticed. Unfortunately, I was unable to capture with my camera the more salient points of the religious instruction regarding Barack Obama, so after dinner I was forced to return to the laundry room and steal the “scripture” from its’ place above the washing machine.

The scripture remains hidden in the dry goods bin in our camper. Meanwhile, I have nothing left to do in Dodge City but contemplate the likely arrival of the seven horsemen of the apocalypse.

Related Posts: The Greener Side


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  1. katy says:

    get out! get out now!

    1. admin says:

      Oh, but don’t forget Missouri. As far as straight up devil may care racism goes, it has not disappointed. Last night was just fine, in Joplin, MO. Tonight, a different story. The lovely proprietor of the Town & Country RV Park in Sikeston, MO presented us with a calendar that was supposed to be cute with monkeys dressed up like humans. We were pretending to admire it when the man said “that’s Obama’s family ha ha”….Unfortuneatly, we had just paid him in cash and there was only one other place to stay anywhere near where we were.

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