County #5: Meade

On our recent southwest Kansas trip, we traveled through and stayed in the town of Meade which is in Meade County.  They have a lovely city park with WPA-built shelter house, restrooms and playgrounds.

They have a section of retro/old-school playground equipment which the boys gravitated to before hitting the more modern playset.

I think my favorite feature of the park was the foliage-covered seating area.  So pretty!

We happened to visit on a holiday weekend, so not much was open in the way of restaurants.  The local Pizza Hut drew quite the crowd, as hungry folks like us and others travelling to Meade State Lake and Park, hit them in a rush.  We decided to stay at a cute local motel so we could visit the Dalton Gang Hideout the next morning.  The motel, The Dalton Bedpost, was a quaint little place with each room named after one of the Dalton Gang!

The next morning we hit the Dalton Gang Hideout and had a blast.  Behind the museum you’ll find “Old Town,” which the kids loved.  Apparently it is used for reenactments and gun fights!  We didn’t see any of those, but the boys had a blast ‘arresting’ each other and placing them in jail and the casket outside of the funeral parlor.

The museum itself was great!  The curator was a friendly cowboy who you could tell enjoyed his work.  He answered many of Weston’s cowboy questions, even the really silly ones, with a grin and even gave the boys some wild west magazines so they could see how to be real cowboys too!

The entrance of the museum was through the barn of the old farmstead, where you can purchase wild west trinkets and treats and venture upstairs to see farm oddities like the albino raccoon and two headed calf.  The real draw for us was the escape tunnel, which was crafted originally by the Dalton brothers as a way to get from the house to the barn and horses undetected.  The WPA came in and reconstructed the tunnel using local stone in the early 1940s.  The boys thought this was cool and a bit creepy!

We loved Meade and are going to definitely come back to visit Meade State Park in the near future.

Links:

http://oldmeadecounty.com/hideout.htm

http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/11498

http://www.meadechamber.com/dbp_rooms.htm

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