612. Topeka, Shawnee County (KS065)

Not bad.  Not great, but not bad at all.  It’s quite a serious place and has a sort of 60’s panache to it.  That said, I could never expect it to be a great thing, the center of political gravity, when it exists next to this…

this being the State Capitol.  Also, contrary to popular opinion, it was not hot.

Of course, I needed to find a cache and one was relatively close and called out to me.  The Ritchie House, now a museum, was the former home of John Ritchie, a man who rode with our favorite fighting abolitionist, John Brown.  Not only that, but he and his wife, Mary, made their home a stop on the Underground Railroad.  He gave land to Blacks fleeing the South after the war and the school built on that land eventually became the center of Brown vs. the Board.  I didn’t even cover his feminist cred, either. According to one of the plaques at the site, he was eulogized as “a staunch friend to the Negro” and it was also noted that he conducted “no less than $100,000 worth of runaway slaves” to safety.  To whomever wrote that eulogy, I wish I could tell him (because it was undoubtedly a man) that it’s a little crappy to describe people based on the monetary value they were bought and sold for, even if your intentions are good.  It focuses on the people who were harmed by loss of financial investment rather than the people who were, you know, deprived of their humanity and the attendant horrors derived therefrom (though, considering the times, I can also only expect so much enlightenment).  That person is long dead so I leave that as an exercise for the reader to ponder.  To Ritchie himself though, nothing but kudos.  He most certainly earned a place on this year’s Dia De Los Muertos altar.  I claimed the virtual without hesitation.  I was also going to take the opportunity to grab a cache at the state Boy Scout Headquarters around the corner, primarily because I had a Boy Scout related trackable traveling to Boy Scout related caches.  However, the cache was inside the building which was closed on a Sunday evening.  Why would Scouting, and organization widely known for its affinity for the outdoors, put a geocache inside a building?  The world may never know.  This was originally going to be my last stop of the day, but despite all the mistakes and screwing around I did (and there were mistakes made and screwing around done), I got here quite a bit earlier than expected.  This left more than enough time to call an audible.  I was close to something and I’ve taken longer digressions for dumber things, so I decided “what the heck?  Let’s take a little side trip!”  I shot off west to…

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