Get the Heck into Dodge City, Kansas by Karen Padilla

 

Photograph courtesy of the Dodge City Convention and Visitors Bureau
Photograph courtesy of the Dodge City Convention and Visitors Bureau

During my childhood, watching Gunsmoke on television was an every Saturday night event. My father would not go out on Saturday nights because in those days if you missed it, you missed it. There were no DVR’s or VCR’s.  And reruns were not heard of yet.  Gunsmoke represented the real Old West when Marshall Dillon had to sometimes take up a weapon to keep the peace. While there was no real Marshall Dillion, there was a real Marshall Bat Masterson and Marshall Wyatt Earp. They brought the law and order to Dodge City which was a wild town back then.   Today, Dodge City, Kansas is a town that celebrates their history. The Long Branch Saloon exists as a replica of the original where you can see Miss Kitty and her girls put on a musical review every night. During the annual 10-day Dodge City Days celebration, visitors can get a real taste of what life was like back in the wild, wild west.

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Why I Travel

Why I Like Writing About Travel

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Several months ago I read a comment that an obviously angry reader left on a popular photography website. It left me wondering about why I write about my travels and share my photos. The writer felt that people who write about their travels are braggarts and only want to impress other people with the fact that they have money and can go anywhere in the world. This comment has been on my mind for some time so I decided to address it. Do I brag about my travels?  Do I share my travels and photos with friends and family who want to know more about what I saw and did while I was gone? Do I think I’m better than others because I travel?  I like to think that I am sharing with people who are interested in my work.  I don’t think I brag. I don’t have a lot of money and I can’t go everywhere in the world.  I have to save my money and plan my trips to fit within my budget.  I write because I hope that people will be interested in reading about my travels.  Of course, I also hope that a magazine or newspaper will be interested enough to publish my story and photos.  It doesn’t just happen.  You have to work at it.  You have to do research on your location and on what magazine your story would fit in. You have to send out queries to editors and try to make your story look like the best story about Paris, Fiji, Arizona or wherever. Then you have to wait to hear from the editors.  It may be weeks, months or maybe just days while you wonder if it’s gone into the editor’s spam or trash file. That is not the fun part of travel writing.

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