Travel and Adventure

May 12, 2015 Trip to Coffeyville, KS

Last Tuesday, we took a family trip to Coffeyville, KS.  My Mom’s birthplace.

For you history buffs: in 1892, the C.M. Condon bank was robbed by the notorious five-member Dalton Gang.  The gang was gunned down by townspeople during the robbery.  Emmett Dalton, the lone survivor of the gang, was sent to prison for his crimes.


Here’s a couple shots from inside the bank.



An old coin sorter.


The alley where the Dalton Gang tied their horses before the robbery.


You can see the bodies of the killed gang members through the window of the “City Jail”.  It’s a re-creation, of course.


The “Boys” are buried at the Elmwood Cemetery in Coffeyville.  The pipe you see is what the gang tied their horses to during the robbery, and their original grave marker.  Emmett Dalton was pardoned after serving 15 years in prison and he installed the headstone after his release.


The Dalton’s brother, Frank, is also buried at Elmwood.  Believe it or not, he was a U.S. Deputy Marshall and died a few years earlier in the line of duty.


It was an interesting day.  Not only did we learn about the Dalton’s, but we also drove by houses my Mom lived in as a child and visited the graves of family members.  Yes, some of them are buried at Elmwood too!

To see a few more pictures from the day, go to the photo album.

“Lost on Everest”: a multi-media web article about the first American to summit Mt. Everest

640px-Mount_Everest_as_seen_from_Drukair2Photo Credit:  Wikipedia (cc)

I’m a guy who loves reading about historical adventurers.  The Lewis and Clark expedition being one of my favorites.  When I ran across the Outside Magazine article about the first American to climb Mount Everest, I was immediately interested.  When I saw it also had historic photographs, current day video interviews and a well done story of the historic event, I was hooked.

This is what Outside says about “Lost on Everest”,

“Fifty years ago this month, Jim Whittaker became the first American to summit Everest. Three weeks later, a second party from the same team made an even more stunning assault on the mountain’s unclimbed West Ridge. Using never before published transcripts from the 1963 expedition, Grayson Schaffer takes a new look at a bold ascent that changed everything.”

While reading the article and watching the video, I realized how much of a slacker I am.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Here’s the link:

McLoud, OK Blackberry Festival: Not at the top of the Small Town Festivals list

Blackberries and whiskey running are two of the claims to fame McLoud residents boast.   The former is what brought me to the tiny town of less than 4,000 people:  The Blackberry Festival.

After a slight detour (I missed the exit) I arrived in McLoud at the tail end of the town’s parade.  Certainly not the Rose Parade, but I get a kick out of watching the people who attend them.  As the parade ended, I headed over to the festival, complete with carnival rides, food trailers and a car show.

Events were scheduled throughout the day.  The horse shoe tossing near the beer trailer (sounded dangerous) and turtle races perked my interest, but they were going to take place later in the day. Unfortunately, it was going to be way too hot to experience those events.  At 11:00 a.m., it was already reaching a stifling 96° and expected to climb to 105°.

I stopped at the McLoud Chamber of Commerce booth to pick up some of the famous Blackberry Jam.  I didn’t find the whiskey booth.

Then, after the second tour of the car show, I went back into town to the McLoud Diner for lunch.  It wasn’t a write-home-to-mom burger, but it served its purpose.  Afterwards, I decided to head back to Tulsa.

Overall, I was a little disappointed in this adventure.  It would have been a more memorable experience if the festival had been placed in the old downtown area, closer to the town’s history, the retail establishments and places where you could get out of the heat for a while.

Would I go back to the Blackberry Festival?  Probably not.  Been there, done that.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure it was an anticipated event for the residents of McLoud, but not much to see or do for folks from out of town.  Well, unless you enjoy tipsy horse shoe tossin’.

Pictures from the car show.