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24 April 2006 - Monday

†††† This would be the day where our eastern return route would be the closest to our western route of earlier in the month. As such, we had originally planned this day for a return to Woodward, Oklahoma for the purpose of completing some unfinished research at the courthouse.Prior to our departure we thought to check the Family Search online catalogue, which showed that deed records from 1893-1913 were available on microfilm.As a result we opted not to return to Woodward.This decision allowed us to spend a few more precious moments with our family because we would not have to travel the additional 200 miles of our route east.

††††† Around 8:00 am we left Colorado Springs heading east on U.S. Highway 24.†† Eventually we hooked up with Interstate 70 at Limon, Colorado where we also took time for breakfast.Here we met a 75-year-old Korean War veteran sporting a hat containing 3 purple hearts.It seemed that the establishment was a family affair as his son and daughter-in-law were also working there. He described himself as the dishwasher but it was quite evident that he enjoyed cleaning tables and handing out menus so he could spend time talking to the customers.When he found out that we were also vets he stopped by our table to chat from time to time.During our easy banter he related that after finishing with his full-time job he would return home to repair automobile transmissions and engines! It was clear to us that this was a man who certainly thrived on keeping busy.


†††† Driving throughwestern Kansas on Interstate 70was probably the most boring experience of the trip.The land was flat and generally featureless, and the straight as an arrow road was slick due to the constant misty rain that fell.This topped with fairly strong crosswinds made for miserable driving conditions that we were glad to leave behind.Eventually the skies cleared and the road dried out.Still the sporadic wind gusts kept the driver on edge, so much so that for most of the day we switched driving about every hour or so.In eastern Kansas the land became greener with rolling hills.Occasionally we would pass by pastures with black cows and their new young calves.Weather predictions were calling for thunderstorms and hale the size of softballs and we began to reconsider our plan to stay at a Corps of Engineers* campground near Junction City, Kansas.After inquiring at several sold-out motels we finally landed a room at an EconoLodge just off the interstate. So for the first time on our trip we actually paid for an overnight stay in a motel.We welcomed the opportunity to watch television and not have to walk out to a bathhouse for our showers.


* The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is the nationís leading federal provider in out-door recreation opportunities for the public.The Corps operates more than 2,500 recreation areas and leases an additional 1,800 sites.The Corps hosts 360 million visits a year at its lakes, beaches and other similar areas.


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