Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Dud....Dud..or why is Harry mad?.

Lee's Summit, Missouri
Longview Campground
Site #73

We've had so many great days exploring, once in a while you need to have a not so great one to appreciate the good ones.  Today was one of those.

Our first stop today was the barber shop that Jim Collins recommended.  This was the best part of our day.  Jim told Bill to get chair number one or two and Bill was happy when he sat down in number one.  I should back up here and say he was very happy this barber shop had a pole outside.  The barber took his time and gave Bill a great cut.  This is the longest time between haircuts in Bill's life.  

While Bill was getting a haircut I walked into the Dollar General so I didn't have to wait in the truck.  And it begins...  There was a sign on the door that said they were closing early to repair the air conditioning.  I went back and waited in the truck as the temperatures were about the same.  

I programmed the GPS for Missouri Town 1855.  I have no idea what happened to the GPS because once we were in the park  I think we saw all of their 4,000 acres.  I finally asked my phone to navigate and we managed to find the place.  I'm glad we weren't towing.

We paid $3.00 a piece (senior rate) and I must say we over paid.  We were given a sticker, so "they" would know we paid.  There was no one to show it to.
 It turned out to be a walking tour of old buildings that were moved to that site.  You had to walk down a dirt uneven road about a block to the start of the "town".  Bill was worried about my foot in the loose gravel.  At least the weather was pleasant.
The only thing I found of interest were the sheep running around the town.

Here's a quote from the brochure "Dressed in 1850's attire, our staff and volunteers engage in activities to complement their period surroundings."  

We never saw anyone other than one man mowing grass.  

When we were purchasing our tickets to enter, I made a comment to the fellow running the gift shop that the guest book asked for comments and I said you can't comment until you've been through the town.  He said to feel free and come back when we were done and make a comment.  Big mistake!

Guess who's going back to add his comment.  I didn't ask what Bill wrote.  

We did pass a bison ranch but all we saw were elk.
No problem, I'm sure our second place will be much better because it's a National Historic Site.  How can you go wrong with that?  

We pulled into the parking lot which had weeds growing out of the concrete of the Harry S Truman Family Farm.  The parking lines were worn off and there was no one there except a lawn mowing company. 

 There was this sign which was covered in bird poop.
Here's the outside of the farm house.
A second sign with bird poop.
And a padlock on the door.  What did we ever do to Harry?  I don't think he likes us.  

About all that we came away with today were these two brochures

I must say while we weren't on the high we had yesterday from seeing the Arabia Steamboat Museum, we laughed all the way home.  Some days you just shouldn't crawl out of bed

Turtle Safely.......

Monday, June 29, 2015

I think Harry Truman doesn't like us.

Lee's Summit
Longview Campground
Site 73

Yesterday I drove and it was a very nice day but windy.  Since check in time was 3 pm at the campground,  we weren't in a hurry and decided to visit the Truman Presidential Museum & Library.  I did have to drive through downtown Kansas City and there was a lot of traffic and pot holes, but we arrived at the Museum unscathed.  I did my homework before we left and checked the museum  on google earth to make sure there was RV parking.  As we arrived I circled the museum twice.  Once looking for the RV parking, which when I found it, was roped off.  I circled again and figured I could park in the car lot as there was only one other car there.  The reason there was only one car was because it was closed for mechanical repairs.  

Last year when we came through the area, it was Sunday and they didn't open until 12 pm.  We were pulling the coach and were afraid it would be too late to arrive at our next destination. That's why we made such a point in coming this way again.  I really think Harry Truman doesn't want us to visit.  

I gave Bill the drivers seat when we checked in.  It was a back in and I just didn't want to attempt it.  We are at a county park with full hook ups (50 amp).  Not bad for $26 with our senior discount.  

This morning we left for sightseeing in Kansas City.  Traffic seemed to be better today than yesterday.  Our first stop was definitely the best.    If you are a regular blog reader you know how much we love visiting museums.  This one has to be one of the top ones.  We arrived just in time for the 10 am tour.  Our tour guide for the Arabia Steamboat Museum was very knowledgeable and enthusiastic. 

The steamboat sank in 1856 in 15 feet of water with 200 tons of cargo.  Five men found the Arabi and recovered the cargo in a corn field using personal financing in 1988.  It was buried four stories deep.   
Bill and Matt Hawley

We watched a video and when it was over the grandson, Matt Hawley, came in to answer questions.  I can't imagine how exciting it would be to uncover these treasures daily.  
Matt told us that the exhibits have never been appraised but when Antique Roadshows was there, they asked if they could estimate a value.  They told them that the collections are priceless.  These are unused items in perfect condition from 1856.  
I'm sure most readers will remember seeing a program or two on this treasure find, but I must say being here is nothing like watching it on TV.  It is displayed so well and one section is the size of the steamboat.  

This lady demonstrated how they have to clean the objects and then freeze dry them. One third of the cargo is still in the "freezer" awaiting to be cleaned.

The objects in the left of this case are a piles of nails awaiting to be cleaned separately.

These are pickles that one of the men tasted and are as good and sweet as any today.  I don't know about you, but I've been guilty of eating food past the date stamp, but I don't know about trying something 132 years old.  

They also had samples of perfume to try but I also declined, Bill is wearing some.

Here's the original anchor and the wood flooring.  

I could go on and on about this place, but I don't want to spoil your visit.  This has to be at the top of your bucket list places to see.  

The Arabia Steamboat Museum is located in the historic City Market established in 1857.  
The City Market wasn't on our agenda, but what the heck, we were here weren't we?
Another good timing for us.  We were out of all fruits and veggies at home except for lettuce.  We both walked out with bags in both hands.  

Since we were in the vicinity of the Hallmark Visitor Center I wanted to tour it.  I was pleasantly surprised to find out that it was free.  
We enjoyed the monitor that took our picture and it kept changing your crowns.  I've noticed all of a sudden most attractions now take a photo that is e-mailed to you.  

I'm disappointed this photo doesn't show this tree very well.
Everyone loves Maxine.

They also had a machine that tied bows and you received a complimentary bow as a souvenir.  

I must say we were very impressed with the Hallmark Visitor Center.  

We still had a little daylight left and the Money Museum was just down the street at the Federal Reserve Bank.  I was glad this was a free museum as we were both disappointed.  There was a glassed section where you could watch employees shred money and watch the robot.  The vault doors were open but other than the end of the hallway glassed section that was all you could see.  We've been to Fort Worth and seen the Bureau of Engraving and they really give a great tour.  We had to supply a photo ID, go through the metal detectors and wear your badge they gave us to enter.  I think it took longer to enter, than to see the exhibits.  

They did have an e-mail photo kiosk that put your picture on a bill and you designated the amount and background but the camera didn't work.  

At the exit they had bags of shredded money.  I can't believe the number of people that grabbed a bag.  I said to Bill I wonder what they'll do with that when they get home.  He said they'd probably start a fire and then they could say they have money to burn.  Now I wish I would have grabbed a bag for the next campfire.  

We headed for home, but checked out every business looking for a barber for Bill.  I won't say Bill is feeling desperate but I saw a Walmart and said he could probably get a haircut there. Can you believe he'd stop at one without a barber pole?  He was a little nervous, but no need to be.  There wasn't a hair salon in this one.  

We stopped at the Corps of Engineers campground near here to see if maybe they had a cancellation over the weekend, but we couldn't find anyone to ask.  

I forgot to mention that yesterday morning I received two return phone calls regarding finding a park in northern West Virginia.  One park had no vacancies for August or October. The other park said "yes".  It's a mobile home park but much more convenient for visiting the kids than any other ones.  It's much better than the dump that wanted $40 a night and a long drive to visit the kids.  

Turtle Safely.....

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Slowing Down

Prairie Band Casino
Mayetta, Kansas
Site #33

After our whirlwind tour of Topeka, we decided to relax for awhile.  

Bill needed a haircut so we drove up north about 10 miles to Holton.  We did find a shop with a barber pole (Bill won't get his haircut in a styling salon) but it had a closed sign.  It was located in the town square.  I love these quaint towns, however a quick search showed that was the only "barber" shop.  

Driving back south, we decided to see what Mayetta looked like.  The center of town had less than 10 businesses.  There were about three "antique" shops or what I would call a resale shop.  One of which was opened.  The only other open store was a cafe and auto repair place.  One "antique" store had a sign that gave a phone number and said to call if you wanted to buy something.  Would you say this was a laid back town?

Bill decided to drive the 17 miles to Topeka and visit the Kansas History Museum.  I must say this was well worth the visit, even if you aren't a history nut.  Everything was well displayed and they even had a train inside.  The lighting was "museum dim".  

On Roadsideamerica.com I noticed that the Kansas History Museum was listed and it said they had the original program with blood from the Lincoln assassination.  

There was so much in the museum and little annexes here and there that I couldn't find it.  Finally, I asked the girl in the gift shop if she knew where it was displayed.  She gave me a quizzical look and went over to her computer.  She said "yes, it says we have it."  She then tried to call someone and only got a voice mail.  Next she tried calling someone else and they didn't know.  Finally, a guy came in and said he interrupt the meeting and find out for us.  He came back a little later and said, it was a travelling exhibit and wasn't there anymore.  Oh well, it least we know why we couldn't find it.  

Bill found this turtle for me in the gift shop.  Not sure where I'll put it.
I forgot to mention that we went into the casino and used up our $25 credit each on our player's card.  Happily, we walked out with cash in our hands and also $25 credit for our RV site. 

Today we're moving over to Lee's Summit but we can't check in until 3 pm.  We're thinking of stopping at the Truman library on the way.    

Looks like another gorgeous day.  Thank you again weather gods.

Turtle Safely.......

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

296 Steps to Top--I think not!

Mayetta, Kansas
Prairie Band Casino RV Park
Site #33

Yesterday was cool, but today was quite different.  It didn't matter to us that it was going to be in the 90's as we were going to be inside. Bill drove the 17 miles to Topeka so we could tour the state capitol.  I guess it worked out okay as we've been through here many times, but just never stopped to tour Topeka state capitol.  As it turned out this was the perfect year to see it.  They had been renovating it from 1999 until 2014.  

We parked on one side of the capitol and walked through the farmer's market on the grounds.  The visitor entrance was on the opposite side.
Our timing was great as they were just starting a tour when we walked in.  Of course, maybe our timing wasn't that great as there were a bunch of kids in the tour from 3rd graders to 7th graders.  As it turned out, they were very good and asked some good questions that the tour guide couldn't answer.  

We walked up to the fifth floor where the tour started.  
This was the senate chamber.  The ceiling has 22 karat gold in it.  Many years ago, they painted over the smoke covered ceiling and when they renovated found the gold.  
That's a long way up.
These are the glass floors in the library.  We walked up a very narrow staircase and back down on the other side.  
I must say I was disappointed in the paintings that were not historically accurate.
These paintings were also uncovered during the renovation.  
I thought I'd see what it was like to sit in the Governor's chair.
There were two tours, one a historic and then one to the dome.  We did the historic and planned to do the dome afterwards.  Have you counted how many times we've walked up and down the stairs?

We walked back up to the fifth floor where the dome tour began.  I noticed the sign with a warning for the dome tour.  It was 296 steep narrow steps to the top.  We had been up and down the steps and I wasn't sure I had that in me.

That's when I noticed the staircase to the dome.  It was a very narrow one.  Steps are really hard on my recovering shattered heel.  I decided I would forget the dome tour.

As we left the capitol, we decided to walk to the National Historic Site Brown v. Board of Education.  We walked a few blocks and I wimped out and said "let's go back and get the truck."  After we arrived at the historic site I realized it was a lot further than I thought.  

I'm usually very impressed with the National Park Service but I have to say, I wouldn't recommend this site.  There were at least 3 park rangers in this tiny school but not one of them offered any input.  

The good thing was that the ac was working well when we watched the video.

We drove over to the Great Overland Station but I think we were so disappointed with the historic site, decided not to do the station.

Instead we drove to the Combat Air Museum.  I think Bill might have inherited some of his nephews love of airplanes.  
Even though it was not air conditioned this was a great museum.  
They had huge fans running and the first hangar wasn't bad at all.  Maybe it was because it was so interesting.
Bill had me stand beside this training rifle that was used in Vietnam to show the size of it.
Now that's a big helicopter.

There were two hangars full of planes and we started to leave when the docent showed us the other displays they had on the other side of the gift shop.

This would have been representative of a prisoner of war camp.

They had some interesting letters to family regarding MIA's.  I did notice a couple of the bracelets that were worn with the names of the MIA's.  I still have mine that I wore all the time during the Vietnam war era. 

It was a very busy day, but we tend to cram a lot in when we go someplace we're not sure we'll return to.  

I have my $25.00 on my player's card I need to use up.  I think we'll just crash the next few days.  We decided to extend our time here until we go to Lee's Summit on Sunday.  I know we'll be very busy when we get over there. 

I'm sure tomorrow will be a laundry day.  Washers are a dollar and 75 cents to dry.  

If I don't blog tomorrow, I didn't win in the casino.

Turtle Safely...........