Thursday, May 1, 2014
POST 1307; MAY 01, 2014; KINGMAN, KANSAS
Walked some 12 miles East on US 54 this morning from PRATT, Kansas toward the town of CUNNINGHAM. Encountered two interesting activities along the way: A Cattle Auction; and, an Oil Drilling Rig at work.
Downtown PRATT, Kansas,
Same street, looking the opposite (North) direction. Was looking for a Barber Shop. Found three, but all were closed.
LISA'S WESTERN WEAR. Purchased an Old West Bandana to cover my nose in the cold high winds which have been so difficult to walk in.
Please say HELLO to ERICKA holding Son, DEVAN; and PAYTON PATTERSON, all of whom helped me shop for my Bandana. DEVAN gave it a sound "Taste Test", which convinced me it was the correct one. For 8 months, the little fellow is very personable.
Driving out of PRATT, headed for CUNNINGHAM.
Cattle waiting to be auctioned...most headed for the slaughter house. Chose not to post any of the auction pics. Brought to mind the Slave Auctions of years' past.
Oil Rig poised over the deep hole of a working pump. Seems there may be a problem because this crew of 4 was joining 60 foot sections of steel cable (each cable end has a "Male" threaded connector which is "screwed into the two "Female" ends of the stainless steel Cable Connector as the growing - in length - cable assembly is dropped into the oil well service hole.
Would have questioned the crew, but stayed a good distance away from what looked like extremely dangerous work.
A workman is standing on that elevated platform, hand feeding each cable length into the crane 4-part lifting block...cable section is already "screwed" into the previous cable section. As the crane lifting block is lowered the new cable section is lowered into the oil well hole...and so it continues until that entire bundle of cables is added to those already down the oil hole.
Extreme left of the above pic is the Female "Cable Connector" as it disappears down the oil well hole.
Typical sign in CUNNINGHAM, Kansas.
Please say HELLO to BILL, owner / operator of one of two surviving businesses in CUNNINGHAM that I discovered...the LIQUOR STORE. The other was a gas station.
CUNNINGHAM City Park.
Old US 54 heading West out of CUNNINGHAM. I say OLD because the State of Kansas has built a new section AROUND the town of CUNNINGHAM, refusing to include exits at either end of CUNNINGHAM, effectively stopping nearly all commerce.
Spoke extensively with town residents and walked to both ends of town to see for myself. Seems that a power play has been at work. US 54 used to go thru the center of town,\. Now it is 1/2 mile distant. All businesses except those mentioned are closed. The old roadway is still there , but closed to the new US 54 at both ends of town.
Really Weird !
To make it more mysterious, the West end of town had a "ON RAMP" to new US 54. Unexplained is why Kansas DOT bulldozed the entire brand new fully paved ready for traffic ramp into oblivion...the refuse pushed far away from the highway.
Have a feeling SOMEONE is really angry with SOMEONE ELSE.
The COUNTY then built a NEW dirt and gravel roadway - paralleling new US 54 - to the village of CAIRO, the next town to the West - just to have a connection between the two towns. It was this dirt road I walked this afternoon.
I am certain I have NOT received the full story.
I am standing on OLD 54, with NEW US 54 in the upper distance.
The bulldozed completed ON RAMP was directly in front of the camera; now, nowhere to be seen.
New COUNTY dirt road to CAIRO.
New US 54 to far left.
Walking back to CUNNINGHAM, came upon this revealing scene.
Walking OLD US 54.
NEW US 54 is at top right. Clearly, original NEW US 54 heads directly downtown to CUNNINGHAM. For whatever reason, the new roadway makes a SHARP right turn away from the original track...continues 1/2 mile away, where it makes a similar LEFT turn to route AROUND CUNNINGHAM.
Spoke with the Gas Station Owner. He expressed resignation, saying that is the way things are. I asked what transpired at pre-construction meetings. He shrugged, replying ..."nothing we could do." Asked him what remuneration was made. Hr looked confused, but finally said he received NOTHING from anyone for interrupting his business...in fact seemed pleased for ..."...the occasional 18 wheeler that stops for fuel."
This gentlemen offered that what has happened here in CUNNINGHAM is planned for other towns up and down US 54 route. Apparently plans are already complete for expansion of US 54 to Freeway style modernization...did not clarify for what distance.
Please say HELLO to JIM, contractor for maintenance to the rail line serving CUNNINGHAM.
Jim pretty much confirmed the above information.
Much better pic.
My broken camera is giving me fits.
CUNNINGHAM Residential Street.
CUNNINGHAM Main Street.
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With considerable reluctance have I included CUNNINGHAM comments. Have a feeling the matter may not be limited to this town...which is NOT my business .This blog is created on the premise to include that which I discover...and share my discovery short of criticism or opinion.
Trust I have not overstepped my own limitations. Certainly, no opinion or comments have been included.
We have driven to the town of KINGMAN for the night. KINGMAN, some 16 miles distant from CUNNINGHAM will be "Back-walked" in the morning.
Seems as tho the wind continues to diminish in strength. It is forecast to be warmer this weekend; perhaps into the high 90s.