Sunday, June 6, 2021

The Keeper of the Plains - Sunday, June, 6, 2021

[I'm still "catching up" on my blog. This was written 7/22/21 for June 6.]

And, we're off to Kansas. We arrived early enough in the afternoon to check in at All Seasons RV Park in Goddard, Kansas. The park looks like it used to be a KOA. We were not impressed with the sites. They are too close together. Our slide-out was almost into our neighbor's grill. It is about a 15-minute drive into downtown Wichita from the campground, so at least it's convenient to get to our walk.

Packed in like sardines!

The roses were lovely!

All Seasons RV Park office.

A carved eagle in front.

Too close for comfort.

We got as close to the
tree as we could to 
give us more space.

This evening, we will do the 10k downtown Wichita Volksmarch. In order to understand the history and art you see in Wichita, it is necessary to understand the "Keeper of the Plains."

In 1974, Kiowa-Comanche artist Blackbear Bosin donated a towering weathered steel sculpture called "The Keeper of the Plains" to the citizens of Wichita. The Keeper stands at the confluence of the rivers where his ancestors camped. With his face raised to the sky, he extends his arms in supplication to the Great Spirit. "All living creatures are Indians' brothers," Blackbear Bosin said. "The Indian lives in complete accord with nature. Everything around him is holy. All Indians feel this. And the sculpture has a way of appealing to all people with that message."

The Keeper has become a symbol for the city and was chosen as one of the official emblems of the 1976 American Bicentennial. Scattered around town are 8'-tall, painted Keeper sculptures.

Bob and I started our walk at 6:30 p.m. in Old Town Wichita. The first place our walk took us was to the Douglas Design District. Here, we found many murals. This area of town includes over 300 locally owned businesses, including 40 home-design businesses.

One of the painted "Keeper
of the Plains" sculptures.

A mural depicting the "Keeper of
the Plains."

Another mural with all kinds of 
places on it...even a slot canyon. 

The Spice Merchant & Company looks
like a location in Morocco!

A bird mural.

And a bison mural.

"Acts 2," by Nancy Bole.

We wandered back into Old Town, much of which is being or has been restored. 

Heroes Sports Bar

Hotel at OldTown.

Museum of World Treasures.

Old Wichita Union Station.

We took a detour from Old Town to walk around the Intrust Bank Arena. What a gorgeous building!

Intrust Bank Arena.

Keeper of the Plains sculpture
on the side of the arena.

Notice the lion's face on the 
back of this sculpture!

Intrust Bank Arena.

We headed back into the old part of downtown Wichita. There are many cool buildings and small sculptures to be found here. The main street was the Chisolm Trail back in the days of getting cattle to market.
The old Kress building. 

Sculpture of coyote carrying its prey.

Wichita-Sedgwick County
Historical Museum.

The old Carnegie Library Building 
(now says Wichita Bank).

The Joan of Arc sculpture below was a gift from their sister city of Orleans, France, in 1970. The rock of the original sculpture was deteriorating. In 1996, a bronze copy was cast in Rome at Alessandro del Monte factory. In 1998, the copy was dedicated in front of the Wichita Public Library.

Joan of Arc sculpture in 
front of Wichita Public Library.

The next section of our walk is all about the water. We headed toward the Arkansas River and came to the Waltzing Waters fountain.

The Waltzing Waters fountain.

The dramatic evening sky today.

We walked up into a waterfall court.

We could even go behind the falls!

Another fountain at the top of the 
waterfall court.

I covered a lot of this walk in my blog dated May 27, 2021, when Susan Medlin and I walked it. Our next portion of the walk was along the Arkansas River on our way to see the 44' tall "Keeper of the Plains" sculpture in its place at the confluence of the rivers.

"The Keeper of the Plains" and 
the pedestrian bridge.

Bob on the pedestrian bridge.

I am on the pedestrian bridge.

Info about the Plains Indians.

A pretty bronze turtle.

"The Keeper of the Plains"
in the evening light.

From "The Keeper of the Plains," we continued along the river until we passed multiple Veterans and War Memorials. We turned and walked through the displays to get to the next part of our walk which would take us past the old county courthouse, the Scottish Rite Temple, and Old Town Square with its neon trees, and then back to our truck.

A huge sculpture of wheat
silhouetted against a tall building.

Lady Justice atop the old county

The old County Courthouse.

This is probably the tower of a
church peeking through.

The Scottish Rite Temple.

Old Town Square with neon trees.

Old Town Square with neon trees.

Close up of the neon "tree."

Inside the pumphouse.

We did stop to grab dinner at The Pumphouse. It was already 9 p.m. and thankfully this place was still open on a Sunday night!

Yesterday, Sunnie had thrown up more of the orangish-greenish foam. Poor kitty! He definitely does not feel well. When we returned to the 5th wheel, there was more of the foamy vomit. We will get him into a vet tomorrow.

Tomorrow, we are heading to the Riverside COE Park in Marquette, Kansas. On Tuesday, June 8, we plan to do the 10k Lindsborg, Kansas, Volksmarch, and then do an 80-mile driving tour in the afternoon.

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