Sunday, July 11, 2010

Road Trippin'

Buckle up, this a long post. I headed out of Wichita on Thurs, July 1 on a 5 day road trip that took me through 5 states - Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, and Tennessee. I had beautiful weather the entire time and some fantastic scenery. Roadside flowers and lots and lots of corn fields.
I decided to check out before I left to find out if there were any quirky attractions along my route to make a more interesting trip. My first 5 mile detour was near West Mineral, Kansas to see Big Brutus - the world's second largest electric shovel.
On my way to Springfield, Missouri, I drove through Webb City and happened upon this set of praying hands. Not as large as the ones at Oral Roberts University campus in Tulsa, but they do stand out on the side of the road.
I spent the first evening in Springfield with Joy & Alan. We were friends in college many moons ago and hadn't seen each other in years, but reconnected about 2 years ago on Facebook. It was awesome to spend time with them and their four kids, but I am remiss that I didn't take a picture of them.
Friday I started out again east across Missouri. I made a quick stop in Rolla (my college town) at A Slice of Pie. It is a little hole in the wall place but has The Best Pie Ever. I bought two pies to distribute at my next destinations - an American apple pie and a Dutch apple pie.
Another roadside attraction - a small replica of Stonehenge on UMR's campus.
I love the drive between Rolla and Marquand. Two lane, twisty highways with little traffic and great scenery.
Spent the afternoon at Aunt Marilyn & Uncle Tom's. It had been about 2 years since I had seen them and it was great to visit. I wish I had had a longer time to stay. They are such a blessing.
I made it to the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers at sunset. This is a scenic lookout near Wickcliffe, Kentucky called Fort Jefferson Cross at the Confluence. You can look back at Missouri and Illinois and the rivers and bridges that you just travelled over.
I made it to Hannah & Jonathan's in Tennessee that night. Saturday I got to spend some good time with my sweet nephews. Jack is growing up so fast. He is so sweet and laid-back. So adorable. I can't chose just one picture, I have to share them all.
And his big brother, Marshall. Silly, precocious, a bundle of energy and words. He kept asking if I could sleep with him (which I did every night) and if I could stay a long, long time.
I had a great time getting "aunt time" with them.
How can you resist that face??!!
Hannah and her boys
It is very hard to get a good picture with both boys. It took 5 tries, but we got one that's pretty good of me with them.
Jack's adorable baby pudge.
Marshall and his "favorite dog", Pepper. (They only have one dog.)
Hanging out in the birthday chairs Grandma got them.
Alas, I had to leave Tennessee and head home on Monday. I stopped at Laura Ingalls Wilder's historic home in Mansfield, Missouri. I was giddy as a school girl to be at the place where she wrote her books. There was a small museum that was packed with artifacts. Pa's fiddle was the thing that really stuck out to me. There was a quilt Mary had made, lace Laura had made, Ma's mother of pearl handled pen. Laura's handwritten manuscripts were on display. And there were lots of family pictures, letters, name cards.
This is the home Laura and Almanzo built and lived in. There was furniture Almanzo had made in there, and the desk Laura wrote at. Amazing to be standing in the place where they lived.
The view out their front porch.
Their daughter Rose was an accomplished writer. She bought a property down the road and built them "the rock house" with all the modern amenities like electricity & plumbing. It has pretty amazing views too.
Laura and Almanzo lived in the rock house for 8 years. During that time Rose lived in the farm house and fixed it up with electricity and a bathroom. As soon as Rose moved away, they immediately moved back into the farm house and lived there the rest of their days. It was home to them.

It was a great road trip. Lots of interesting attractions along the way and a great time with Marshall and Jack.


Lacy said...

Love it. If you're going to travel by land, you gotta hit the quirky spots. We went to Big Brutus just last month. I hadn't been there in over 20 years.
I so love your posts.

Jennifer said...

Thanks, Lacy! It was fun.
Since I don't run, I decided to not post on your contest, but that's great you got a lot of your readers commenting.