Sunday, September 26, 2010

Chicago Trip (3) 2010

Today was a driving day. We left Longmont, Colorado at 6:15 AM and arrived at Camp Wal Mart in Hays, Kansas, at 3:30 PM. Driving through Denver was no fun.
We chose Wal Mart because I wanted to see the Volga German Haus in Hays, and we were short of time. The History Museum closes at 5:00 PM.
Many Germans, from Russia, moved to Kansas in the 1870’s. They had moved to Russia in the 1700’s.

Unfortunately the house was not open.
At Wal Mart we are parked on the side of the parking lot. There is a hedge, and in the hedge was a large garbage bag, filled to the top. I picked it up and put it in the car.
There are some lazy idiots spoiling it for everybody. We stay very seldom at Wal Mart, it is nice though to have Wal Mart when needed.

Our first stop today was at the Cathedral of the Plains in Victoria. The church was built in 1909 by the German settlers who came to America in the late 1800’s. The stained glass windows are very beautiful and inspiring.

Our friends, Helga and Reiner, in Salina, had invited us to stay in their drive way. When we arrived we noticed that their driveway is not long enough. So we parked at the Wal Mart not very far from their house. Helga fixed a wonderful lunch, and after lunch Doreen and I drove to Abilene, to the Eisenhower
Presidential Library and Museum.
The weather is perfect now, only the wind picked up late afternoon.

We had lunch with Helga and Reiner. After lunch the four of us went to the Rolling Hills Wildlife Adventure.
It is a zoo with real animals and another section of the park is stuffed animals in a lifelike setting. The trees and other plants look real.
It was real interesting to see this.

It was also fun to be with Reiner and Helga. Reiner and I were stationed together at the 97th General Hospital in Frankfurt, Germany, from 1961 to 1963. We stayed in touch all those years.

At 7:00 AM we were on the road to Wamego, Kansas. We parked the motorhome and car in one of the side streets in town and visited the OZ museum.
The museum has the largest privately owned collection of Oz memorabilia in the world.

We continued on to Kansas City, Kansas, where we are staying at the Moose Lodge. The Lodge is not easy to find. We ended up twice on the Freeway before we found the entrance to the lodge.
The GPS was correct, but I did not trust it.

In the morning we went to Harry Truman’s house in Independence, Missouri. We had a fantastic guide. The National Park Ranger knew his stuff and he was funny.

From the house we drove to the museum. There we spent a lot of time. The museum was very interesting and I learned a lot.

In the afternoon we visited Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. It is the oldest continuously active Fort west of the Appalachian Mountains.
Anybody who spent time in the Army knows about Fort Leavenworth. Court marshaled soldiers usually end up there.
Besides the history of the Fort, there is also a small section about the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

To get through the two Kansas Cities, without delays, we left early, at 5:30 AM, and arrived in Jefferson City at about 9:00 AM.
We are alone at the Elks Lodge. This happens most of the time.
After lunch we went to the Missouri State Capitol and Missouri State Museum. The Capitol building is located next to the Missouri River.

We took the tour of the building.

The House Lounge contains one of the most popular and best known pieces of art in the Capitol, the mural, “A Social History of Missouri” by Thomas Hart Benton.

Across the street are statues of Lewis and Clark and some of their crew.

A bronze relief, depicting the signing of the Louisiana Purchase, is located to the north of the Capitol.

On the way to St. Louis we stopped at the National Churchill Museum in Fulton, Missouri.
It is located in the basement of a church which was brought over from England. They put numbers on the stones and were able to reassemble the church in Fulton.
The museum is a must for history lovers.

Doreen is sitting on a replica of Churchill’s desk.

The museum also has part of the Berlin Wall. Churchill’s daughter, who is an artist, had a man’s and
Woman’s figure cut in the section of the wall.

We are staying at the Elks Lodge in O’Fallon, Missouri, about 30 miles west of St. Louis.
In the afternoon we drove to St. Charles. We had dinner in Old Town, at the same place where we had dinner in 1996.

We have the best travel weather, during the day the temperature is about 70 degrees F.
This morning we spent at Grant’s Farm in St. Louis.
The park is owned by the Busch family, from the Anheuser- Busch brewery. General Ulysses Grant was one of the previous owners, he had received the land from his father in law, and his log cabin is on the grounds.
There is a typical 19th century German farm, the Bauernhof, and a Tiergarten, where all the animals are.
Besides domestic animals, there are animals from all the continents.

On the way home we visited the Lewis and Clark Boathouse and Nature Center in St Charles.
First we watched the movie and then looked at the displays. They have a replica of the keel boat and other items.