From the little white house to the big White House (5 June)

On our rest day in Abilene, Emil and I spent the day cycling around the town and visiting the sites. Abilene's most famous son is Dwight David Eisenhower, who was president of the United States from 1953 to 1961. Although I wasn't following politics at the age of 7, Eisenhower certainly influenced my formative years. He was responsible for keeping the Cold War "cold", although he was also very much against the hate campaigns of the McCarthy anti-communist era. He was instrumental in making civil rights a reality, allowing the first African Americans to attend a "white" school, and ensuring that act by ordering U.S. Army troops to enforce  the integration. He initiated the construction of the Interstate Highway System (on which the Cross Roads riders have been gathering experience and flat tires!)
Aside from visiting Ike's (as the Americans affectionately call him) boyhood home and the Presidential Library, we also visited the extensive park dedicated to him. This consisted of beautiful flower gardens and a fountain, playing fields and shady picnic areas and a rodeo arena for the Abilene Stampede in August.

While searching for a place to have coffee we stumbled on Historic Abilene complete with a little wild west ghost town which is livened up on weekends with gunfights and other theatrical performances

 Finally, we paid a visit to the Greyhound Museum. It seems that greyhound racing in the States had its origin here and there are still numerous breeders active in the Abilene area. Here I am saying hello to Ginger.

Ginger, a successful racing greyhound, now a pet.

And here is a photo of Greg, who had only planned to go for a week and then really regretted the decision. He fit in so well with the group and was just a very pleasant guy. We will certainly miss him.


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