Believe it or not it was quite easy for us to spend a whole day in this of the lesser known of the “Abilenes.”
We filled our day by visiting the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum, made a stop in the Greyhound Hall of Fame, had lunch in the historic downtown, and paid a tasty visit to the Russell Stover Candies factory outlet. So there, you really can spend a whole day bopping around the little town of Abilene. You could actually spend longer if you linger in candy outlet scamming the free samples undetected. Not that we tried that.
Presidential libraries and museums are on our lists of must-see attractions. No political affiliations are of concern to us. We figure if these guys can generate enough money and support to construct a library based on their years in office, we are there.
Eisenhower’s life was filled with grandiose accomplishments including his leadership guiding the Allied ground invasion on D-Day, president for two terms, and president of three universities. But in a homecoming speech he declared, “The proudest thing I can claim is that I am from Abilene." During his presidency he fought for civil rights and an end to segregation, initiated construction of the federal highway system, ensured that polio vaccinations were available to all, established NASA and the first manned space program, increased the National Wildlife Refuge System by 11 million acres, and established the Wilderness Act. Those are just a few of his accomplishments in office.
Recently, we were introduced to the gentle giants that are greyhounds (the dogs not the buses). Abilene happens to be home to the Greyhound Hall of Fame so we popped in for a look. When you walk into the building you are immediately greeted by two four-legged representatives who nudge you for a pet and then saunter back to their beds unimpressed that you are there. The Hall of Fame is a tribute to both man and canine that have contributed to the sport of greyhound racing. Exhibits present the history of these majestic dogs from ancient time to the present through multi-media displays. The museum is free with donations appreciated.
As we were leaving Abilene and driving back to the RV which was parked in nearby Salina, Kansas, we did an abrupt U-turn when Betsy spotted the Russell Stover Candies factory outlet. After all, it was her birthday and a treat was in order since I neglected to bake her a cake. Whoops, what was I thinking not stocking the RV with cake pans? Turns out I was forgiven when she laid eyes on and then her teeth into a delicious red velvet cupcake.
Even though it was a fun day, I don't think we will be spending Betsy's next birthday in Abilene, Kansas. Wonder where another year will take us?