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You are on 2013 Travel America, PAGE 1
|TABLE OF CONTENTS
Page 1 - You are on Page 1, scroll down: Day 1-2-3
(June 27-29) Metropolis IL, Cape Girardeau MO, Steelville MO, Amish Bakery, Leavenworth
& Atchison KS, Nebraska
Day 4-5 (June 30-July 1) - Omaha NE (Union Station/Durham Museum - Sue the
T-Rex, Corn Palace & other sights in NE and SD
June 27 through September 1, 2013
67 days, 15,501 miles
How did this even happen?
Glenn made the drive from South Carolina to Alaska 18 years ago in a
big motor home with his first wife before her death from MS. He
wanted to drive this route again with Heidi, by car. THIS turned out
to be the year, and we actually exceeded the miles he drove back then
So, we started out the day after our 12th wedding anniversary,
thinking we would be gone a month. Little did we know it would be 67
memorable days, a real life-changing trip for both of us. Thanks to
our confidence in newly-trained Kathy to handle the business while we were
gone, we were able to make this trip without worries.
the map showing the route we took to Alaska (orange), and the return route
to SC (green). You will see we put the U.S. and Canada maps together
to show the whole trip. When we looked at it, even WE thought we
were crazy to do it!
of the U.S. map close up to show the trip up, through the States, exited
the U.S. through Montana, then Canada (Alberta, British Columbia and the
Yukon provinces) to reach Alaska (orange)
the trip back (green) entering into WA State. We were already at a
month being gone when we hit Washington State. That's when we
realized the trip would take much longer.
We drove a long day from Myrtle Beach SC to
reach Metropolis IL as we were driving familiar territory and wanted to
make good time. Plus, we were so burned out from too much work and
no play, we, had little curiosity to find new sights along this leg of the
trip. Instead, we stuck to the freeway, what we call the
"corridor of trees" right to Metropolis. We apologize to
all the folks living in SC, NC and TN for overlooking these great States
on this leg of the trip, though we have numerous travel segments on the
Latest Travels pages of destinations in these States.
We did note, however, that Al Gore's father
(Albert) sponsored the famous Highway Bill in 1954 which was responsible
for the highway system we enjoy across America. We saw the tribute
to him in Eisenhower, TN. Here is more info about it:
Metropolis is known for being the "Home
of Superman". We have done a photo tour of the town on the
Latest Travels pages but it's always a novel stop. We spent the
night here at Harrah's (free).
2, June 28
leaving METROPOLIS IL
Here is a gigantic cemetery headstone Monument for
"Kimball" in the Metropolis IL cemetery
CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO
Just over the bridge is this lovely, historic, quaint town.
Our natural curiosity has come back in full force. We are realizing
we really are on vacation and it's time to have fun. Here is a
beautiful red brick church near town, and a view of just one of the
MISSISSIPPI RIVER TALES
The 1100 foot flood wall downtown, between the Mississippi River and
Cape Girardeau here, is painted with scenes of Missouri's history called
Mississippi River Tales - from Native American history to Spanish
conquistadors to missionaries, Lewis & Clark, early settlers,
African-American history, etc.
WALL OF FAME
A 500 foot mural wall also on the Mississippi, of 45 famous people
who came from the State of Missouri is called the Wall of Fame - such as
Dale Carnegie, Harry Truman, Mark Twain, Dred Scott, George Washington
Carver, Walter Cronkite, Calamity Jane, Jean Harlow, Vincent Price, Laura
Ingalls Wilder, Tennessee Williams and Jesse James. It was a great
tribute to them and very educational as well. Painted by Margaret
Randol Dement. Full list here:
FLOOD WALL & DOORS
Info on the flood wall, compliments of the Army Corps of
Engineers. Note the size & thickness of the flood gate
|A barge under the bridge,
and in open water
|a train chugging by at
the flood wall
|Okay, this is right up
our alley. A deer wearing a bridal dress riding a bicycle in a store
|The courthouse, a
prominent view on top of a hill downtown
ANDY'S FROZEN CUSTARD
A bright spot was finding Andy's Frozen Custard stand just outside
of town. Heidi, being a Wisconsin girl where these stands are
everywhere, has missed having frozen custard since moving to South
Carolina except when we travel further north. We did not realize how
far south the frozen custard has now traveled. A pleasant surprise!
We played at the pleasant Isle of Capri casino (free buffet lunch).
|IRON MOUNTAIN RAILWAY
"Saturday, 1pm, Train Robbery" caught our attention.
This is a 1946 steam engine, now a tourist attraction. It used to
transport iron ore from Iron Mountain to St. Louis. They sponsor
Murder Mystery trips and a re-enactment of a train robbery with the
"James Gang". More info on this here:
|An "Uncle Sam"
scarecrow on a fence, between Jackson & Farmington MO. We missed
the storm showing in the ominous clouds
||A great Pink Elephant
above the Blackwell Motors business in Farmington MO. We do love
|"Missouri Hick BBQ
South" Restaurant, hilarious
Canoes as Art
As we have found in different cities across the country, the Art
Council creates a particular item and challenges artists in their city to
decorate them as they wish. We have seen fish, bears, pigs, moose
that we have showcased in our Latest Travels Pages. This
town's specialty was canoes. And we were ready to document them to
share the fun with you.
(Peace Sign); "Paddle for Peace"
"Welcome to Steelville" with map
Native American look
"St Francis pray for us", monk holding a cat theme
Tubing down the river theme, called "Summer Fun at Eagle
Dogs vs. Cats theme
"Steelville High School", cardinal bird theme
"From Mountain to Cup" theme
"The Trail of Tears", also called the "Journey of
Injustice"; a horrifying Native American history of the Indian
Removal Act signed by President Andrew Jackson in May of 1830. This
is worth reading about in more detail. 645 wagons provided for
16,000 Indians for example; over 60,000 Cherokees alone died in the forced
trek to their "new homes" in eastern Oklahoma. We came
across Historical signs that we were on the Trail of Tears quite often in
"Steelville Honors Indigenous Ancestors", Phoenix or
Christian Cross theme
Steelville 8th Grade; a boat sinking, and a waterfall wish I knew
the rest of the story!
"Stream dreamin' "- dot painting similar to Aboriginal
Australian art and Dream Time; one of Heidi's favorites
"Thank you Troops" and "America the Beautiful"
A tribute to Vincent Van Gogh's "Starry Night"
"Crafted for the Great Outdoors", an ad for Blue Moon beer
"The Beginning"; this may be a reference to a Scavenger
Hunt held each year that deals with clues to finding particular canoes,
this may be the starting point.
Beautiful floral design
Steelville Preschool "Where Learning is Fun"
"In God We Trust", Steelville High School, class of '64
Steelville High School Cardinals, Class of '64
"Battle at Huzzah Valley", this battle is re-enacted each
year at the resort of this name. Reference to the dramatic running
fight following the Battle at Pilot Knob, for you war buffs.
"Music in the Valley", at a music store on the edge of
|I know we
didn't catch them all, but you can just picture Heidi scampering across
traffic from one side of the road to the other, Glenn driving down to the
next parking lot to pick her up to find the next canoe to
photograph. It was great fun.
|We spent the
night in Jefferson City MO
3 (JUNE 29)
roadside Weirdnesses in
Dickneite Oil Co. using
an old Sinclair dinosaur, decorated with 4th of July hat & fireworks
Ghetto Superstar Cycle
I don't know about you, but that's a weird name for a cycle place
A strange turkey carved
out of stone at the Koechner Turkey Coops place.
Little did I know till we got home and researched this place, that
this is the home of comedian & actor David Koechner. Best known
for playing Champ Kind in the Anchorman films, and Todd Packer on
NBC's The Office.
His family runs a business of making turkey coops. As he
states "if you see a truck carrying turkey coops, they have likely
been made in Tipton". Who knew?
BAKERY & BULK FOOD STORE (AMISH)
We see "bakery", and know it's an Amish store, we
stop! This was a refreshing stop, to see all the bulk foods &
spices (even a candy devilled egg). We ordered a monster ham
sandwich from a fresh-faced young man who cut the home made bread, meat
& cheeses & fresh vegetables, ate half at a picnic table outside,
and munched on the rest down the road. We also bought ears of corn
that pop into popcorn in the microwave (awesome), applesauce (yum), Sioux
City orange cream soda (we love weird soda flavors & brands), and
individually sealed chocolates.
We were respectful to not photograph
any of the employees. A pleasant experience. We have related
fondly about that great sandwich and the young hands that prepared
it. It doesn't take a gourmet meal to impress us. Great
customer service and tasty food is enough.
OUT OF SILO
South of Knob Noster, MO
Glenn did a rare turnaround when he realized this huge tree was
growing right out of the silo. How long has this been growing there,
|MO BRIDGE over Platte
River at Farley MO
|WROUGHT IRON FENCE
Near a railroad tracks, a property for sale had this gorgeous set of
wrought iron gates in a branch style, and ornate lamp
|THE TRACTOR SHED
Up on this high limestone cliff stood an army of tractors for sale
or repair. Impressive.
Help! Train collision imminent! (Kidding, this train was
going extremely slowly. Just one of Glenn's jokes).
Missouri River to Kansas
the night in Harrah's in North Kansas City, MO
4, June 30
downtown at 6th St.
you will find, we love historical buildings too.
|"Fish Shack and
Critters" .. really?
what critters? We didn't peek in to find out...wish we had!
|"The Queen will NOT
be Accepting an Audience" - in a shop window downtown
||Abraham Lincoln statue
Commemorating the date 12/3/1859 First Campaign Speech for
the Presidency given at Stockton Hall, 4th & Delaware, Leavenworth, KS
|Boy Scouts of America
gifted this replica of the Statue of Liberty to Leavenworth KS
eye, ad for military discounts for eyewear
& Spa, lovely door and ivy growing on the building.
Unexpected effect - the windows beside the door reflects a mosaic of
our car and the Abraham Lincoln statue
EVERYONE knows about Leavenworth -
the Federal Penitentiary is there. It
happened to be visiting day.
Buffalo in a field, heads buried in the sweet grass, like so many
cows. Little did we know that up in the Yukon we would encounter a
herd of 200 free-ranging buffalo that would be a huge highlight of
our trip. Buffalo are one of Glenn's favorite critters.
|A double bridge near
Leavenworth & Atchison KS (railroad & vehicle)
Birthplace Museum (born 1897, house dates to 1860)
Yup, sure looks crooked to us too
you! Historic building, downtown
|Beautiful bronze elk in
front of the Elk's Club
|Strong Body Shop, Inc.
is a historic Ford building
|Soldiers & sailors
Touch of Class" Styling Salon. Great snow igloo look
Rail Museum, adjacent to the Santa Fe Depot, operated by the Northeast
Look at the cow catcher on this! And the huge railroad
(Sorry, we forgot to grow up). We saw this "Lazarus come
out" "stone rolled away from the tomb" on the Mount Calvary
Cemetery sign in Atchison County, KS, and Glenn couldn't resist playing Lazarus.
This cemetery is between Atchison and Bendena, Kansas, also known as Saint
Benedicts Cemetery, GPS coordinates: Latitude: 39.59720, Longitude:
|OTHER SMALL TOWNS ALONG
|RICKLEFS TEXAS LONGHORNS
Not only was it fun to see Longhorn cows again, but there's a
buffalo happy to mingle with them as well.
|Tree house any kid would
love, in Fairview, KS
|Ken & Velma Albin
have a creative dinosaur statue in their front yard made of farm equipment
disks and other parts. Just our kind of Roadside Americana.
(Hwy 75 North of the Nebraska state line). I'll bet that's Velma in
Someone likes to make storage space out of old truck pickup beds. This may be on the edge of Auburn
Interesting design on the Time Warner Cable building
Hetzel's Block Building, dated 1890
Historic 1890 building housing the Union Bank & Trust and Esser Flooring businesses
Here's a humorous Hamburger Man statue at the Dairy Sweet. Looks like an older (bald) version of the Big Boy from years ago (I remember it as "Marc's Big Boy", Glenn remembers it as "Shoney's Big Boy". There is a surprising background to the Big Boy's restaurant & statue. A young fan of the new hamburger created by Bob Wian of Bob's Pantry was a chubby 6 year old that wore droopy overalls. This child would sweep the floors for a hamburger. He is the model for the original Big Boy's statue. Who knew?
WOSTREL FAMILY'S UNION ORCHARD
Union, NE (9 miles N of Nebraska City)
FIVE GENERATIONS OF NEBRASKA FARMERS
Here's a layout of the farm, and a Palmer Filter Press for cider,
outside the store with its history. We bought apple cider donuts and
cherry juice here (yum!)
Its history starting out as the University Fruit Farm is
AIR FORCE BASE
outside of Omaha NE
Impressive plane & flags at the entry to
the AFB & VA Center
Veteran's Memorial Bridge
originally the South Omaha Bridge, but renamed
the Veterans Memorial Bridge in 1995) was a continuous warren through
truss bridge over the Missouri River from Omaha NE to Council Bluffs, IA
on Hwy 275
Well, that's ONE name for them. $3
million for four abstract art - jagged sculptures on the Interstate
29/80 in Council Bluffs IA on each corner of a highway overpass.
Created by international sculptor Albert Paley, it's intended to
represent the "transformation of the land through machinery and
agriculture". Many locals have other names for it,
"Nightmare on 24th Street", "a pile of junk"; one man
rear-ended another car while he craned his neck to look at them; other
opinions of locals cannot be printed. Roadsideamerica.com dubbed
them "Iowa's Spiky Towers". We love whatever's weird.
|We stayed at Harrah's in Council Bluffs, IA this night
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