April 20, 2022
Temperature 91 Degrees, Abundant Sunshine
National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum
Talk about climate change and crazy weather. Yesterday the temperature was 63 degrees and today it is 91 degrees! That’s quite a shift in just one day. It will remain like this up to and including the day we leave which is Friday. Then we move further north and the temperatures go back down once again.
One of the wonderful joys of traveling around this great country of ours is the opportunity we have to visit some magnificent museums that we never knew existed. Such is the museum we visited the other day.
I discovered this museum by accident while surfing the web one day. I then spent some time looking at its web site and decided well why not. I literally had no idea what we were in for nor what to expect. But boy oh boy am I ever glad we decided to put it on our list of places to visit.
First of all this museum is huge. Like I mean enormous. According to their literature the museum has more than 28,000 Western and American Indian art works and artifacts. I believe it. And that’s not counting the numerous outside exhibits. They recommend 2 to 4 hours for a visit. Well, we spent 3 hours and finally had to call it a day and we still had not viewed all the exhibits. We really should have taken a two day pass.
Second, this is a museum that deserves a visit from one and all. Per their web page:
The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum preserves and interprets the evolving history and cultures of the American West for the education and enrichment of its diverse audiences of adults and children
They also state that over 10 million visitors from around the world have already visited the museum since it opened in 1995.
Let me now try and highlight some of the exhibits that were on display. Truthfully, I know I’m not going to do it justice but I do hope I wet your appetite enough for you to put it on your bucket list.
Entitled The End of the Trail this sculpture was meant to reflect Native Americans as part of a vanishing race with no place in the twentieth century. It portrays an Indian warrior defeated and bound for oblivion – frozen in time. Yet far from going quietly into the night the Native American population from a low of only 250,000 in 1890 now numbers slightly over two million.
Throughout the year they rotate display exhibits. This is one of the current exhibits.
No air bags on this baby. Not even a leaf spring or two.
I wonder if they had CAT Scales back then? Or worried about four corner weight distribution? The one thing that stood out to me was the fact that the wagon was usually so loaded there was no room inside for the family. Rather, they had to walk alongside the wagon from start to finish.
Should I ever get to complaining about rough roads, high winds, and rainy weather while traveling all I need to do is refer back to this. Then I’ll truly know how good I have it.
Another current exhibit.
A sampling of some of the exhibits both inside and outside.
I can’t imagine climbing the ladder every night to go to bed. And what about a potty break in the middle of the night!
The above is just a sampling of what the museum has to offer. Other exhibits that we saw just a bit of dealt with Western Performers, the Rodeo, native American dwellings, and an early western town. The interesting thing is I knew of the West, but didn’t really know all that much about Western culture. I came away with a new understanding and new insights into a way of life that was far removed from the culture I grew up in. And any day that I can learn something new I consider it a good day.
Yup, back to collecting T-shirts again.
Life on The Road of Retirement is ever so good. One more day of sightseeing – this time I’ll go solo – and then Friday we’re back on the road. Stick with us, we have miles to go and so many more more interesting places to share with you in the future.