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Monday, July 15, 2013

The North Western Adventure!

"We have a great excuse to get excited about our collection again and again!"
-Karen Anderson

So, our trip to South West and South Central Kansas was postponed for a few weeks.  We rearranged our schedules so we could finish the Northern sections of the state, and I believe it worked swimmingly!  I hope you'll enjoy this blog post as much as we enjoyed our trips!!

The week before Rebecca and I went out by the Colorado border together, I went to Colby solo.  Why, I'm not sure, but I'm sure it's because I was itching for a mini road trip.  Oh!  And because Becky went out to Wakefield solo.  Had to even the score, right Becky?  :)
Once in Colby, I met with Mr. John Strecker, General Manager.  We had a great, yet not so great conversation about this years wheat harvest.  I told him that almost every co-op we've been to has had about only half the crop that they had the year before, and the year before wasn't even what you would consider a normal crop.  Darn drought!  It's really taken a toll on farmers and the co-ops.  What I found to be different about Colby, is that they have been out of the crop production business for 10+ years.  They found that it wasn't worth the dollar to keep it as part of their services.  Co-ops have to make certain sacrifices in order to be successful.  I had just never been to a co-op that didn't offer crop production services.  Kind of cool to see these differences!

A week later,  Becky and I met up in the big city of Hays, Kansas to begin our trip out to Goodland, Kansas.  After what felt like a long drive, a few cups of coffee, and lots of crazy tunes from my iPhone, we made it to the Frontier Ag Administrative Office in Goodland.  We spoke with Mr. Brad Cowan, the General Manager.  He gave us a great interview and let us in on some of the happenings around the co-op.  After leaving the co-op, we found a little museum in town and thought we'd stop in.  We love museums and historical landmarks in Kansas!  Turns out, we met the wonderful Karen Anderson, who is the museum director.  We explained what we were after, and she provided us with more photos than we could ever ask for, as well as a mini history!  We had a blast looking around the museum as well!

That night we camped out at a Comfort Inn in Goodland, where we enjoyed a pool and a hot tub, and Becky used the ironing board for her desk.  After working on write-ups and enjoying a swim, we fell asleep with the Golden Girls playing on the television.  That's why Becky and I are friends!  :)

The next morning, we left for St. Francis, Kansas.  We were literally about 10 minutes from the Colorado border, which absolutely fascinated me, since I haven't been out-of-state in years!  Once we walked into the St. Francis Mercantile Equity Exchange, we were greeted by Mrs. Karol Lohman.  I tell you what.  She was the kindest soul, and was very helpful.  She even gave us a driven tour around not only the co-op, but parts of the town!  She showed us many of the changes they had to make to be up to code with the government.  As pricey as it all was, it was pretty fancy, and gave the 100-year-old co-op a great look!  After an officer worker loaded Becky and I down with Twizzlers from the old office, we drove back to the new office with Karol where she sent us off with big hugs.  I was just overwhelmed with the awesome hospitality and cooperation the staff offered us.  It made the trip absolutely amazing.  Thank you all.  :)

Becky and I both made it back to our respective homesteads that same evening.  It's been about a week, and here I am now, sitting in the home of my second mom, Teresa Reimer.  I AM on my next trip, and Becky is waiting for me in Wichita at her sister's home so we can go to our next stops, but you'll have to wait until a later date for that post!  PS-  Teresa makes GREAT goulash!  Thanks for dinner, T!

Thank you, also, to John, Brad, Karen, Karol, and the Comfort Inn for putting up with us, and providing us with everything thing we needed!  It was a great trip and we hope to return again!  More photographs to come!  Until next time...

-Go State!


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