Sunday, August 21, 2016

Taking A Sunday Drive #42

We used to get kidded about living in Lapland - "you know, where Missouri laps over into Iowa" - because we lived so close to the Missouri State Line. It always made me mad because I was a loyal Iowan; I loved my state. Of course there was The Honey War and The Sullivan Line - that whole dispute over the Iowa-Missouri border, which Iowa won. But even if 'we' had lost, where I was raised would still have been in Iowa.
Which brings me back to Missouri, our closest and most visited state from the time I was a child when our family did go on Sunday drives. But this series has been about the trips Bud and I together have taken and we have taken many to the 'Show Me' state.....

....including our first to Powell Gardens. We had taken Mom to Warrensburg for the weekend to visit my brother Les and his family. Many years later Les and I would again visit this Kansas City Botanical garden and I would be amazed by how much it had grown. Definitely an interesting and beautiful place about 50 miles east of Kansas City near Kingsville.

There was a 3-day weekend trip where we stayed in Platte City, using it as a base and touring the area including Weston and Weston Bend State Park. When we spotted this old, original Bud's 66 Service station, I had to have a photo of Bud posing there. When we showed the picture to my cousin Bob, with whom Bud did once work at Johnston Texaco, Bob kept it and put it on his bulletin board at Corning Tire and Exhaust. Someone came in, saw the photo and said, "I didn't know Bud bought a gas station." I also remember visiting several antique stores in the Platte City area.

Other trips in Northwest Missouri included the Amish town of Jamesport, Jesse James birthplace farm near Kearney and Watkins Mill State Park in that same area.

We spent a weekend in Independence where we toured the beautiful and unusual Community of Christ Temple. (Formerly known as the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.)

Inside we admired the stained glass, the massive pipe organ, art collection, and the interior nautilus shell-like view up the spiral spire.

Side view of the Vaile Mansion I toured; don't know what happened to the photo of me in front of the Victorian, Gothic/Italianate style, mere 31 rooms, home.

We saw the trail swales (wagon wheel ruts) made by thousands of pioneers' wagons as they left Independence on the trek west. Above is the carriage house and other buildings on the grounds of the National Frontier Trails Museum.

We've walked around Westport and lunched at Kelly's Westport Inn, in the oldest building in Kansas City.

In Southeast Missouri, we've visited Ste. Genevieve, the first organized European settlement west of the Mississippi, founded by French Canadian colonists in 1735. And after tent camping in one of the many state parks in the area, toured Bollinger Mill State Historical Site on the Whitewater River near Cape Girardeau.

We've been to Table Rock Lake, Truman Lake and Branson.

We've toured Wilson's Creek National Battlefield (Civil War) near Springfield. The Ray House, pictured above, was used as a hospital during the battle.

Further north, at Lexington, MO, the Anderson house was the one used as a hospital during the Civil War Battle of Lexington. Mom and my children and I visited this site when my kids were little. By the time Bud and I went there, a visitor center had been built which better explained the battle there.

I cannot remember exactly where this beautiful bridge was, except that I took the photo somewhere in southern Missouri. The bridge had been closed to vehicles.

And it was in the same area as this spring, where, of course, I had to sample the water. Never met a spring I didn't like.

On one trip we followed the Missouri River across the state stopping at areas of interest along the way. Here I am at the Lower Springs area in Boone's Lick State Historical Site just before, you guessed it, I sampled the water. Bud said, "You're not going to taste that, are you?" To which I replied, "How else am I going to know if it tastes salty?" It did. I found it fascinating to see how Daniel's sons developed a salt business here.

Not far from Boone's Lick is the historic village of Arrow Rock. Bud got tired of all the quaint shops and antique stores and sat down on this old bench to wait for me.

Walking was much more to his liking, so I left him a few miles from Rocheport so he could walk part of the KATY trail. The hiking/biking trail follows the right-of-way of the former Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad. It is the longest (240 miles) rails-to-trails project in the country. (It must also be the longest state park!)

On this particular trip we went as far as the picturesque town of Hermann. So we must have been there in October because I remember that they were celebrating the area's German heritage with Oktoberfest.

Bothwell Lodge along Hwy 65 north of Sedalia was one of those serendipitous finds for us - we saw the sign, we stopped. Built for Sedalia attorney and state legislator, John Bothwell, the 31-room, castle-like mansion sets atop a high bluff. Construction was begun in 1897 and completed in 1928. There were many examples of the latest technology, but the one which most impressed me was the 'natural' air conditioning - cool air from a cave below the house was vented up a stairwell into the house. I was also impressed by the beautiful grounds. We were the only ones there the day we stopped so we had our own private tour.

There are many more areas of Missouri we have enjoyed, these are but a few.


  1. I remember the Anderson House! Actually, I remember getting creeped out on the stair landing and not wanting to go the rest of the way upstairs. Oh, and something about bullet holes in the side of the house from the battle, is that the right place?

    1. Yes, the right place. You weren't very old when we went there. Remember the blood stains in the upstairs bedroom where amputations were performed? And they said they through the limbs out the window? I also remember walking out and looking over to the Missouri River below. The visitor center adds a lot to understanding the battle.