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Author Topic: Missouri & Iowa with the Stocks  (Read 34056 times)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Missouri & Iowa with the Stocks
« Reply #30 on: October 04, 2011, 01:36:34 AM »

October 2, 2011      Day 12      North Kansas City, MO

Today we re-supplied and caught up on tasks—Costco run, etc.  KC has every store you could possibly want—even the ultra-expensive, exclusive “boutiques”.

Boondocking at Harrah’s in North Kansas City, MO      Weather—low 80s

October 3, 2011      Day 13      North Kansas City, MO

Today we drove over an hour to Topeka, the capitol of Kansas.  The exterior was covered with scaffolding, part of a remodeling project started in 1999.  The first thing they built was a 2-story garage UNDER the capitol.

The first capitol was completed in 1903, and they are currently restoring it to the way it looked back then, but with new plumbing and electrical systems.  They built it one wing at a time—east wing, west wing, north wing, south wing, then the central core connecting all the wings, and the dome—over a period of 36 years.  It took them the next 99 years to decide what to put on top of the dome—an finally decided on an “Indian”, Adastra, who is holding an arrow pointing to the North Star.

In 1953, on the 50th anniversary, they has paintings that tell the history of Kansas painted around the rotunda.  They showed Coronado looking for the City of Gold.  Then came a picture of the one battle in the Civil War that was fought in Kansas (The Yankees won.)  Then we saw pioneers building sod houses, which were great because there were no trees, and the sod kept the homes cool in the summer and warm in the winter.  Our guide’s mother was born in a sod house.  She told a story of a lady driven crazy one winter by the whitewash that was applied to the interior walls to create the illusion of plaster walls.  Between the all white inside and the snow creating an all white outside, it was just too depressing.  The next picture was of Lewis and Clark, whose exploration was very important to the development of Kansas.  Following that, we saw pioneers coming on the Oregon/California trail; over 300,000 people came through Kansas.  That continued even after the railroad (which was the next mural) because railroad fare was too expensive, so pioneers kept using oxen and wagons.  The last mural was of the Chisholm Trail and the importance of the cattle who came to the wonderful Kansas pastureland to fatten before being sold.

We went to the third floor on this wonderful elevator that was built in the 1920s (Picture 1).  It is driven by a person with a lever, and she had to line up the elevator with the floor.  By law it will never be automated and will always have a live operator.

As we entered the Senate, I was amazed at its grandeur (Picture 2).  There is 22K gold trimming the edges of the walls and ledges (Picture 3).  The chandeliers are replicas of the original gas lights, and there are 34 stars on each globe because Kansas was the 34th state admitted to the Union.  The columns were totally black with soot from the gas lamps and the senators smoking tobacco products.  They are copper mixed with bronze and silver so they don’t tarnish.  The senate has the 3rd highest dome in the U. S. (Pict. 4)  Then Dean looked back to the entrance and noted its beauty. (Pict. 5)  The desks are the original, 126 year old desks.  However, the chairs are new, but made to the same specifications as the original chairs.  Above the entry is the state seal (Pict. 6)   The Latin words mean, “To the stars through difficulty.” The leaders of Kansas realized that they were not perceived as being as cultured as the people in the East, so they wanted to have a very grand capitol to show that they were equals.

At the age of 12, children can become a page for a day.  They get a day off from school, their picture taken with the senator from their district, and a paycheck of $3.  Each senator represents 36,000 people.  They meet for 90 days each year, and receive $27,000 plus retirement and health insurance benefits.  They vote by voice vote on 10 bills at once, and the clerk records the votes on her computer.  They can vote a mix of yeas and nays.  The Senate is much more traditional than the House.  They may only speak to the Chair, not each other (except by telephone).  Their office assistant is only paid to work while the senate is in session.  Committees meet after the session is over, but the senators have no help.  The state is a balanced budget on a cash basis, according to the state’s constitution.

As we went over to the House, the glistening of the copper stairs caught my eye. (Pict. 7)  Sunflowers (the state flower) and scrolls were inscribed on the balustrade.

Going into the House was like entering a different world—though it was also pretty.  They vote electronically (Pict. 9); their names appear on the wall, they push their yes or no button, and their vote is recorded.   They can’t speak from their seats—they have to go up to the speaker’s stand.  There is no dome, but there are pretty murals depicting the dawn of liberty, justice, and law.  There are pretty pink “marble” pillars (actually made of a composite).  Pict. 10  Around the perimeter are 10 names of important founding fathers, including John Brown, who appears in places of honor throughout the capitol.  However, in every picture, he looks like a lunatic with a flying beard and wild, long hair.  He was a famous abolitionist, and while I don’t like his methods—he had a reverend send him rifles labeled as “Bibles”, he took hostages, and he was a violent person—I do agree with his objective.  I hope my “take” on his pictures doesn’t offend anyone.  Above the House is an impressive public gallery (Pict. 11)

In 1976, they installed two stained glass windows honoring today’s servicemen (Pict. 8) and the soldiers from the Revolutionary War (Pict. 12).

We went to the governor’s ceremonial office (Pict. 13)  The companion desk has kneeholes on each side of the desk so two people can work at the same time and was made by the students at the State School for the Deaf.  The buffalo over the desk represents the state mammal.  A picture shows the Flint Hills, one of the most massive mountain ranges on Earth, but the mountains are underground.  It is the only place in Kansas where there could be an earthquake.  Our guide told us that Kansas used to extend to Denver, Colorado.  However, they decided to separate because “mountain people had to be governed differently from prairie people.”

Outside the governor’s office was a circular area with a big history mural.  It began with another picture of Coronado and Padre Padillo.  The padre was very popular with the Indians.  In fact, they like him so well that they killed him because they didn’t want him to ever leave.  This blends into a prairie fire, and John Brown  with the crazy beard and hair.  At the end of the mural is a tornado. 

There are 4 plaster statues, one of which is of Eisenhower.  The interstate highway system was started here by Ike because he wanted to be able to get from Ft. Riley to the airport (according to the guide).  Dean says it was because he wanted to be able to transport military goods and people easily about the United States.

Dean was hungry, so we went to Bobo’s Drive-In, a popular burger place here.  We wanted to see the Kansas Museum of History, which is highly rated.  We drove out there, only to find it closed.  But, it looks interesting, so we postponed tomorrow’s RV reservation by one day.  I’ll have to check days/hours more carefully.

We drove by Hollywood 14 Movie Theatre, and “Moneyball” with Brad Pitt was just ready to start.  We really enjoyed it and thought Pitt was very convincing in his role.

Boondocking at Harrah’s in North Kansas City, MO      Weather—high 80s
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Missouri & Iowa with the Stocks
« Reply #31 on: October 04, 2011, 01:39:56 AM »
More pictures--my numbers in the verbage are off by 1--sorry.
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Chet18013

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Re: Missouri & Iowa with the Stocks
« Reply #32 on: October 04, 2011, 09:02:18 AM »
Hi Linda & Dean,

As always your posts are great. I'm originally from Nebraska and I've sure learned a lot about my home state from you.You have given me a list of places for us to visit next time we're there. If you get near the south east part of NE, be sure and stop in Brownville and visit the old Corps of Engineer's side wheeler river dredge they have there. My uncle was the last working captain on it.  Also a stop at the Brownville Milling Co store. They have an exhibit of indian chefs photos that is really great, however the last two times we were there, it wasn't open - don't know why. Also in Nebraska City they have a great display of turn of the century life at the Morton estate, called Arbor Lodge (Morton Salt Mortons and founder of Arbor Day).

Chet
Chet18013
Full time in a 45' '04 Monaco Signature
towing a 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel

Betty Brewer

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Re: Missouri & Iowa with the Stocks
« Reply #33 on: October 04, 2011, 10:39:45 AM »

As always your posts are great. I'm originally from Nebraska and I've sure learned a lot about my home state from you.

Me too,
Betty

Born in Silver Creek,NE
Betty Brewer

see where we are

ArdraF

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Re: Missouri & Iowa with the Stocks
« Reply #34 on: October 04, 2011, 02:21:45 PM »
Quote
Eisenhower.  The interstate highway system was started here by Ike because he wanted to be able to get from Ft. Riley to the airport (according to the guide)

Methinks the guide was putting a modern "spin" on this story.  What I've heard is that in Eisenhower's early military days, he had to move goods and people across the country.  The logistics were a nightmare because the lack of roads made it a horrendous task.  When he got to a position where he could do something about it (as President) he made having the Interstate Highway System one of his causes.  Lucky for us he did!!

ArdraF
ArdraF
:D :D

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Missouri & Iowa with the Stocks
« Reply #35 on: October 05, 2011, 02:28:46 AM »
October 4, 2011      Day 14      North Kansas City, MO

Today we drove over an hour to Topeka to see the Kansas State Museum.  Admission was $12.  We had chosen to wait an extra day because we thought this would be a premium site.  It is an excellent AAA gem-rated museum, and we learned a lot of individual facts.  The layout was confusing to both of us, and I think we may have missed some of it.  Some of the things I learned
•   The ring was put into pigs’ snouts to prevent them from digging with their noses.
•   Buffalo were used as beasts of burden to pull plows and wagons.  I’ve always heard how dangerous they are, and I wonder how they got them to be compliant.
•   There was a concerted effort by the U. S. Army to kill all the buffalo so that it would be easier to get the Indians to move to Oklahoma.
•   The bar that Carrie Nation hacked up was re-opened just one hour later, and the owner sold pieces of the wood that was hacked for 5 -10 cents as historic momentos.
•   2/3 of the eligible males in Kansas signed up to fight for the North in the Civil War, the highest of any of the states.
•   John Brown cleans up really well.  Instead of the crazy looking man we saw yesterday in the capitol, the photos today showed a clean-shaven man with his hair slicked back.
•   Ad Astra, which translates from Latin to “from the stars” is the name of the fictitious Indian at the top of the capitol’s dome—he symbolizes all the tribes in Kansas (My parents would be so pleased that I finally used my 3 years of Latin for something!)
•   Kansas is not PC—we never saw the term “Native Americans”—they were all “Indians”
•   In rain storms, sod houses did sometimes fall down when they got saturated.  I asked that question at the capitol, and I was told it never happened.
•   I didn’t realize that they had grass houses (Picture 1) built from bundles of grass tied together.  It also said they buried dried vegetables.  I wonder how they got the vegetables to dry without rotting.
•   Kansas was the 9th state to give women the right to vote, before the  US even drafted the first bill.  They decided women should no longer be in the same category as disenfranchised Negroes, crazy people, convicts, and “idiots” (again, not very PC)  However, the only elected position they could run for at the beginning was school board member.

There was a lot of interesting reading, but after a few hours, it got a bit dreary.  There also is a nature trail with labeled native plants, but it was too rugged for my scooter.

The man at the information desk highly recommended the Brown vs. Board of Education site. He said it was really excellent and told the history of civil rights, not just that one decision.   I wanted to see it, but Dean was not interested, so we came back to Harrah’s and gambled a bit.  I won what Dean lost, so we broke even at their slots, and we had some fun.  We saved money by boondocking here, and they have security cameras, so I felt safe.

I came across this picture (2) of the Topeka capitol when I was downloading the grass hut.  Our guide there wasn’t very knowledgeable, but she had great notes to read to us.  I wanted to know how the Kansas economy is doing, but she had no clue.

I apologize for not proofing this.  We used up our gas boondocking, and the generator quit.  We had already figured out where we'd gas tomorrow (actually...this) morning, so we drove up there.  The credit card company, Chase, rejected our card.  We've done all the travel notifications and have a zero balance, so I called and got that straightened out.  But things got complicated.  Anyway, we had other cards which Dean had used meanwhile, but gassing took forever and included 2 refunds. The station was screwed up also.  I really appreciate the comments, and I'll respond when I write next time.

Boondocking at Harrah’s in North Kansas City, MO      Weather—high 80s
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Wendy

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Re: Missouri & Iowa with the Stocks
« Reply #36 on: October 05, 2011, 10:28:42 AM »
Quote
Kansas is not PC—we never saw the term “Native Americans”—they were all “Indians”

Kansas also has Haskell Indian Nations University so the state and the tribes don't care to be PC. And I say good for them.
 
Enjoying your travelogue. Glad to see you're finding places to visit.
 
Wendy
 
Wendy
Wendy, Mike, and Gordon
~We can't be lost because we don't care where we're going~
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Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Missouri & Iowa with the Stocks
« Reply #37 on: October 05, 2011, 10:41:07 AM »

Kansas also has Haskell Indian Nations University so the state and the tribes don't care to be PC. And I say good for them.
 
Enjoying your travelogue. Glad to see you're finding places to visit.
 
Wendy
 
Wendy

You know so much!  And on so many different subjects.

 I say good for them, too.  It's kind of like people...however they say their names is what I'll call them (except when I had students who came in with nicknames like "Stinky" and "Scooter".  I really like the area and the people.  Many of the places we've found are from RV Forumers.  We're headed to Binder Park Campground in Jefferson City today.
Linda
Linda
Linda(I enjoy having fun with you!)
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Wendy

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Re: Missouri & Iowa with the Stocks
« Reply #38 on: October 05, 2011, 10:45:44 AM »
You know so much!  And on so many different subjects.

Actually, we have a friend who works at Haskell. He's Choctaw and he thinks the whole PC "native american" vs. "indian" thing is a hoot.
 
Happy travels.
Wendy
Wendy, Mike, and Gordon
~We can't be lost because we don't care where we're going~
Here's where we are http://map.datastormusers.com/user2.cfm?user=2276
2015 Allegro Ooen Road
1973 Sunshine Yellow VW Bug

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Missouri & Iowa with the Stocks
« Reply #39 on: October 05, 2011, 10:48:05 AM »
Methinks the guide was putting a modern "spin" on this story.  What I've heard is that in Eisenhower's early military days, he had to move goods and people across the country.  The logistics were a nightmare because the lack of roads made it a horrendous task.  When he got to a position where he could do something about it (as President) he made having the Interstate Highway System one of his causes.  Lucky for us he did!!

ArdraF

I agree with you. Your version is the way I've heard it before.  The guide was a sweet volunteer, but probably the worst guide we've had in any of the capitols.  Topeka was very ornate, but I loved Lincoln so much more--it was so well thought out.  I know my views on capitols are heavily influenced by the guides' presentations, and we try to make sure that we get there at the appropriate time for the tours.  On our self-guided tours, a lot is lost in the translation.  In many of the capitols, you can feel the love and pride that the guides feel.
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Wendy

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Re: Missouri & Iowa with the Stocks
« Reply #40 on: October 05, 2011, 10:51:59 AM »
Hope you get a good guide in Jefferson City with lots of useful info. Looking forward to hearing about what's interesting to see there. My cousin lives there but all she showed us when we were there was Walmart :) (which, BTW, is where stayed overnight).
 
Wendy
Wendy, Mike, and Gordon
~We can't be lost because we don't care where we're going~
Here's where we are http://map.datastormusers.com/user2.cfm?user=2276
2015 Allegro Ooen Road
1973 Sunshine Yellow VW Bug

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Missouri & Iowa with the Stocks
« Reply #41 on: October 05, 2011, 11:04:03 AM »
Hi Linda & Dean,

As always your posts are great. I'm originally from Nebraska and I've sure learned a lot about my home state from you.You have given me a list of places for us to visit next time we're there. If you get near the south east part of NE, be sure and stop in Brownville and visit the old Corps of Engineer's side wheeler river dredge they have there. My uncle was the last working captain on it.  Also a stop at the Brownville Milling Co store. They have an exhibit of indian chefs photos that is really great, however the last two times we were there, it wasn't open - don't know why. Also in Nebraska City they have a great display of turn of the century life at the Morton estate, called Arbor Lodge (Morton Salt Mortons and founder of Arbor Day).

Chet

Thanks for the kind words, Chet & Betty.  You guys made my day!  There are 2 primary reasons I write.  The first is to share to help guide others, especially since RVForumers have given me such great guidance.  The other is self-centered.  As we go along, it triggers people's responses, and they give me good tips on where to go/not go and what to see.  It takes me a while to get back in the groove, and for the first time today I remembered to add the "Preview".  Unfortunately, we are past Nebraska now and not returning on this trip, but I have added your info to my Nebraska file for the next time.
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Lorna

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Re: Missouri & Iowa with the Stocks
« Reply #42 on: October 05, 2011, 12:46:46 PM »
Hi Linda,

You have done a much better job of describing the state capitols than I did and have enjoyed them very much.  In Jefferson City I think there is an Elk's Club there that we stayed at.  If you are a member Elk's Clubs are always an option. 

In Kansas you missed an excellent space museum in Hutchinson.  We have been there twice.
Lorna
Better to drive thy closet than pack thy suitcase
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Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Missouri & Iowa with the Stocks
« Reply #43 on: October 06, 2011, 01:27:27 AM »
October 5, 2011      Day 15      Jefferson City, MO

We were all very relaxed this morning (Picture 1) and got out a little before noon.  I am still working on getting my 200+ e-mails sorted out, and Dean had some paperwork.  We drove 160 miles and missed the campground road, called the wrong RV park (my second choice) for directions, which they gave us, discovered that we were at the wrong place, drove back across town to the right area, called the right phone number, and breathed a sigh of relief when we finally arrived.  Binder Park is just beautiful—trees (but we have great TV and Motosat reception), birds, and we stumbled into an Airstream (our brand of motorhome) group from our area of California.  What luck!  We are going to have a great time here.

Binder Park Campground—FHU with 50 amps, $15 (Can you believe that???) 

Weather—88°, beautiful day, a nice little breeze  My arthritis loves this weather.
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Missouri & Iowa with the Stocks
« Reply #44 on: October 06, 2011, 01:33:20 AM »
Hi Linda,

You have done a much better job of describing the state capitols than I did and have enjoyed them very much.  In Jefferson City I think there is an Elk's Club there that we stayed at.  If you are a member Elk's Clubs are always an option. 

In Kansas you missed an excellent space museum in Hutchinson.  We have been there twice.

Thanks for the kind words.  I didn't get a chance to read your reports.  I wish I had.  I guess I still don't know how to get everything from the Forum.  I would highly recommend that if you come this way again that you try Binder Park Campground.  It is wonderful, and so cheap!

We didn't really go to Kansas.  It was just a side trip from Kansas City to Topeka to see the capitol.  Then I discovered the State Museum, and Dean wasn't excited about making the 2+ hour roundtrip again, but he did it.  He's a good guy!  Kansas will be a future trip, and we'll add that space museum to my state files.  I really appreciate your tips and your knowledge of history.

Hope you are getting some gentle rain and the drought is easing up.

Linda
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Missouri & Iowa with the Stocks
« Reply #45 on: October 06, 2011, 11:16:49 PM »

October 6, 2011      Day 16      Jefferson City, MO

We wakened to beautifully colored leaves blowing past our windshield.  We called the capitol and decided to go on their 2:00 tour (lots of kids on field trips before that).  We had previously driven by the capitol.  It stands out because it is on top of a hill and has a high dome.  I was unimpressed because it was made of limestone and had aged.  Was I wrong!

Our very knowledgeable guide, Ann, was a teacher/librarian before she retired, and she used those skills to good advantage.  We chatted at the desk while waiting for others, and we learned that Missouri’s population (6 million) is less than LA’s (7 million without including any of its suburbs).  Car registration—any year, any make—is $28/year.  The St. Louis Zoo and a state-run farm are free.  A reasonable house here costs $80,000.

Our first stop was an awesome 3-story rotunda, with interesting sayings all around the perimeter of the 1st floor top.  They have relevance today, especially “Party honesty is party expediency,” and “Ideas control the world,”  (RIP, Steve Jobs).

Above the rotunda is a dome, and an 8600 pound chandelier with a 90’ cable hangs overhead.  Once a year, they lower it to clean it and check the cable, but they keep the date a secret.  It is called The Whispering Gallery because it was designed to allow the tiniest whisper to be heard to the opposite side of the dome.

 In the center of the rotunda floor was a bronze state seal (Picture 1).  There was lots of  symbolism:
o   The grizzly bears stand for strength and courage.  There are no grizzlies in Missouri or Louisiana.
o   The baby bear stands for the hardiness of the pioneers on the plains and their hope to grow their fortunes.
o   The crescent moon stands for the hope of a good future and it becoming full.
o   I think the 1822 is the year the seal was designed.  In 1821, it was admitted to the Union as a slave state.  At the same time, Maine came in as a free state.
o   The eagle stands for might.
o   The Latin translates as, “Let the welfare of the people be the supreme law.”
o   The knight’s helmet stands for the military and honoring Missouri’s servicemen.
o   The one large star in the middle stands for Missouri, and the 24 small stars stand for the states that entered the Union before them.  However, since Missouri was the 24th state, there should have been only 23 small stars.  Oops!  But, it was already made, expensive, costly to replace, so it has stayed.  Maybe it is symbolic of the fact that everyone makes mistakes.

The entire first and second floors of the rotunda are covered with beautiful murals (Pictures 2 & 3) depicting the elements of nature—water, earth, fire, and air, the people of Missouri, and the history.  These are exquisite, and the artist painted all of them in London.  He never came here before he painted them, and they are all on curved surfaces.  He didn’t even come over here to supervise their installation, but they all fit perfectly.  How did he paint a canvas for a curved wall?  Two of the paintings glow when the sunlight is reflected onto them .  How could he have known?

The first permanent capital was in St. Charles from 1821-1826.  They decided to move the capital to the center of the state so it would be more equidistant for people to get to and so they could use the Osage River and Missouri River for transportation.  Those 2 rivers converge just 12 miles from here.  That second capital burned down in 1837 because of an accident with a fireplace.  The next capital burned down in 1911 after being hit by lightning. 

In a special election, Missourians voted to build a new capitol for $3.5 million. They had to raise money, so they sold bonds.  The people bought $4.5 million worth, so a committee with no politicians on it, picked artists to decorate their new building and the grounds.  This million paid for fountains, statues, and murals.  41 half-moon shaped paintings called lunettes about Missouri’s resources and history decorate the capitol, the Senate and the House. We took the bronze elevator to the 2nd floor.  I liked the bears on top and the use of Roman numerals for the floors’ numbers.  (Picture 4)

There are 16 lunettes in the 2nd floor hallway—all have 3-point perspective.  They seem to change size, shape, or they move with you as you walk along.  You really need the guide to be able to see it.  Dean tried to capture it on film.  Look at the bridge opening in Picture 5 when we were on the left, and that same bridge opening in Picture 6.  I loved the picture of the beautiful fall colors of Ha-Ha-Tanka, and I am going to plot it into our itinerary so I can see them in person.  High on one wall was this bronze sculpture.  The big star representing Missouri is obscured, but the 6 little stars represent 6 of the states that the pioneers settled in—Missouri was a “passing-through” state. (Picture 7)

Jefferson was president when the Louisiana Purchase was made, and Missouri was part of it, so he is honored everywhere.  There are 500,000 square feet in the capitol, and it is all made of Missouri stone, except the columns in the Senate and the House, which are made of solid granite from Vermont and New Hampshire.

Each year they have a golf tournament, which raises money for statues in The Hall of Famous Missourians on the 3rd floor.  So far they have Stan “The Man” Musial, Walt Disney, Sacajawea, Walter Cronkite, Harry S. Truman, Mark Twain, and J. C. Penney, who I recognized, and 31 others.

We came to the Grand Staircase, and it is amazingly steep and 30’ wide.  It is 79 steps long, goes from the first floor to the third floor and the entrance to the governor’s office, which we didn’t get to see.  It is the largest indoor to outdoor staircase in the world.  It is made of limestone, and there are no handrails.  I stayed FAR away from it, although it was magnificent.  I had the same feeling as when I looked down into the Grand Canyon.  Bronze front doors—each 13’ x 18’, are the largest cast since the Roman era. 

We enjoyed the House Lounge.  It is a room that would seat about 50, and it has gorgeous walls which tell the history of Missouri until 1931 when it was painted.  It cost $16,000, and the people were enraged that politicians would spend this hard-earned tax money during the Depression.  And the theme of the whole timeline is How the Work of the People Has Changed.  I would have been irate, too!  Under the major paintings are small sub-paintings.  The one depicting the Eradication Order of 1838 was most surprising to me.  The Mormons befriended the Negroes, so the people burned their homes and beat them up.  The politicians didn’t want this violence to continue, SO THEY KICKED THE MORMONS OUT OF MISSOURI!  They went to Illinois, where they were subsequently kicked out of there, too.  This “Eradication Order” stood in Missouri until 1976, and the one in Illinois was law until 2004!   I asked about one picture, and it is of a Mormon being tarred and feathered. 

I had to ask about women’s rights.  Women first got to vote for President here in 1920.  There has never been a woman candidate for governor.

Benton was considered  the most talented muralist in the United States, but he irritated almost everyone with what he painted.  There is a picture of a baby, Harold Brown, Jr., whose mother is cleaning his bare bottom.  This was just not proper!  He depicted the fighting of the Civil War because Missouri had the 3rd highest number of engagements.  Missourians didn’t want to be reminded of losing the Civil War!  How could he paint a lynching and the destruction done by both sides during the Civil War.  Both sides stole grain, food, and clothing or burned those items if they couldn’t take them with them because they didn’t want them to fall into enemy hands.

We got to see the House of Representatives,, but not the Senate.  Usually, visitors only get to go to the visitors’ gallery, but because of my scooter, we got to go into the actual room.  Beautiful stained glass windows surround it.

A bell sounds when it is time for the 163 representatives to come vote electronically.  In the Senate, the 34 senators vote by voice vote.  Representatives may serve 4 2-year terms; senators may serve 2 4-year terms; governors may serve 2 4-year terms.  They earn $38,000 per year + per diem + mileage + medical benefits + retirement.  Usually they meet from January-May, and they have a 1-day session in September to override the governor’s vetoes.  However, they are now in the 5th week of a special session which has dealt with economic issues and teacher-student electronic communications.  They elected a Democratic governor, republican Senate, and a republican Assembly.  The other state officers are split about 50-50.

Inside the House is the largest single canvas mural in the world, and it depicts the glory of Missouri.

We had to go outside and see the statues that $16 million bought.  Ceres, Roman goddess of grain, is on top of the capitol dome.  The statues outside were pleasing and full of symbols.  My favorite of the 13 was the Fountain of the Centaurs.  It had 2 centaurs, one wrestling with a serpent, and the other wrestling with a giant fish, which represent the wildness of the West.  There are two boys on each side of each centaur, spraying water on the centaurs to help them, and the fish represent the playfulness of the many small animals in the West. 

I’m not even a novice art critic, but I really liked the art in this capitol.  Of all the capitols we’ve seen (about 30), this is the one which most requires a guide to even begin to realize what you are seeing.  If you go, be sure to get a pamphlet from the Visitors’ Desk and see all the statues.

Another pretty day—high 80’s—the wind picked up some today

Binder Park Campground—FHU with 50 amps, $15 (Can you believe that???)
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

ArdraF

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Re: Missouri & Iowa with the Stocks
« Reply #46 on: October 07, 2011, 05:10:36 PM »
We sure have a lot of neat state capitols!  Thanks for helping bring some of them to life for us.  You amaze me with the details!

ArdraF
ArdraF
:D :D

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Missouri & Iowa with the Stocks
« Reply #47 on: October 07, 2011, 10:24:44 PM »
October 6, 2011      Day 16      Jefferson City, MO

We got up early – again – because I wanted to see the wildlife at Runge Conservation Nature Center, which opens at 8:00.  They have a wonderful museum/visitor center with many exhibits from the area—both dead (big guys like bobcats and many birds) and live (little guys like snakes and fish).  They have a wonderful observation window that looks out on many bird feeders.  I saw 2 cardinals (picture 1), 1 hummingbird who stayed in the shadows, 1 red-headed woodpecker, 6 squirrels, 1 bluebird, and numerous LBBs (little baby birds).  Their staff was knowledgeable and eager to help.

We took the long outside loop trail (they have several paved trails) and immediately met a runner.  I asked him what he’d seen, and he replied, “About 6 wild turkeys in a tree.  You always see lots of wildlife, usually deer and turkeys.”  Well, we saw about a dozen different species of butterflies, a couple of squirrels, and heard dragonflies. 

The people at the museum said the bluebirds are here year-round.  The trail had two ponds, lots of trees, and the day was gorgeous, and we were there EARLY.   So, where was the wildlife????  Bummer!  I really think we must have just mistimed our visit.

We decided to drive around Binder Lake and look for wood ducks, which are supposed to be here.  We found lots of pretty homes, a dozen Canadian geese, and 1 big white goose. 

I really liked Doorly Zoo, but I am yearning for animals in their native habitat.  It’s looking more and more likely that we will save Iowa for another trip and head south—maybe Mississippi, Louisiana, or Texas.  When we were in Iowa, they told us they usually get their first snow in mid-October, and I am snow-averse.

We then came back and cleaned, as we will be seeing good friends tomorrow.  We got a lot done, which feels good.

Binder Park Campground—FHU with 50 amps, $15 (Can you believe that???)
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Missouri & Iowa with the Stocks
« Reply #48 on: October 07, 2011, 10:31:01 PM »
We sure have a lot of neat state capitols!  Thanks for helping bring some of them to life for us.  You amaze me with the details!

ArdraF

I am glad you are enjoying.  I'm doing this as a record for me to help me remember what we saw, also.  This last guide was so knowledgeable that I reverted to my shorthand (from 2 years of classes in '60 and '61--50 years ago).  I was amazed that it all came back and it was so easy to write down what she was saying.  But....then I had to transcribe it--not nearly as easy, but I figured out every scribble.  I try to only write down what is interesting, but the problem is that it is almost all very interesting to me.
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

ArdraF

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Re: Missouri & Iowa with the Stocks
« Reply #49 on: October 08, 2011, 03:58:21 PM »
So that's how you do it!  I take notes so I can write about things to the family, but nothing like you.  Never learned shorthand.   Guess that's my problem.  The other day I was looking at some wills from the 1800s and Jerry was trying to help me decipher some of the words in that beautiful flowing cursive they used to write when penmanship was important.  I can't imagine how these kids today who aren't learning cursive are going to take notes when they get to college.  Printing is soooo much slower!  Anyway, Linda, you do a really good job and we're all enjoying both the narratives and the photos.

ArdraF
ArdraF
:D :D

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Missouri & Iowa with the Stocks
« Reply #50 on: October 09, 2011, 09:04:32 AM »
October 7, 2011      Day 17      Lebanon, MO

Today as Dean hooked up the Jeep, a pretty bluebird flew from limb to limb in front of me, and I knew it was going to be a happy day!  Not just for me—for any spelunkers or geology aficionados out there.  We drove about 3 hours to Jacob’s Cave in Versailles (they pronounce it ver—sales, and it just sounded so wrong—and I heard 3 people say it).  It not only is amazing, but it is fully handicapped-accessible! Jacob was a lead miner, and he saw a small animal dart into a hole.  He followed where it had disappeared and discovered 1/8 miles of tunnels by crawling on his belly through a small opening.  Imagine if he had run into a room with a wild animal in it or it rock had fallen behind him, blocking his path back out!

The cave is mainly bauxite with galena, with some calcite.  If the galena content is sufficient, it could be melted down, and then it would be lead, which could be used to make bullets. If not, the rock could be crushed and become the base for lead-based paint.  However, there was not a sufficient percentage of galena (Picture 1) to be worthwhile.  Jacob found lots of iron ore (Picture 2), but it was such a low grade that it doesn’t even react to a magnet, so the cave couldn’t be mined (Thank you, God!)  He died when he was 51, and he donated it to a boys’ orphanage.  In 1950 the cave was dug out further and commercialized.

There are 3 springs which collect into 2 pools (Picture 3).  When it rains, the water flows in through the entrance into the pools, but they are always being fed by the springs, even in drought.  These pools reflect the ceiling, and it looks like there’s a Grand Canyon below.  Rivers of water formed all of the cave’s tunnels.

It’s something you have to see.  If you come, be sure to ask for the guide, Shakola Makalake (blond woman with a drop of Cherokee blood).  She showed us the fossils they have found—peccary bones, elk antlers, bison teeth and bones, a horse’s tooth, and a mastodon tooth and piece of his tusk. (Picture 4)  So this cave has to be ancient.  From right outside the cave, they found Indian artifacts--two sledgehammer heads and a stone ball used for an Indian game similar to lacrosse.

Three earthquakes have affected the cave.  The most recent occurred in December, 1811 and January, 1812.  Both were huge, and the second, called the New Madrid Earthquake, was the largest recorded earthquake on the North American continent.  There was no Richter Scale then, but the Mississippi River ran backwards for 2 days, and it rang church bells all the way on the East Coast.  An earthquake like this is due every 200 years, so as we walked into the cave, we knew it was overdue.  Scary!

As we entered the cave, she showed us two areas that geologists think may have been bear dens.  They are very certain that they have found claw scraping marks and pawprints.  There are two bears on the Missouri flag, and our Capitol guide said there are no bears here and never have been.  But…there is evidence of bears living in this cave.  And…this guide says that black bears are still spotted around here occasionally.  Who is right?

We saw six layers of stalactites which geologists say is evidence of 6 Ice Ages.  We saw cave bacon (Picture 5), streams of calcite.  There are many forms that resemble real-life animals, like this elephant head (Pict. 6), an eagle, and an owl.

Over the years we’ve been in several caves, including most of the well-known ones, but I’ve never seen “stalacflats” before.  These were the floor of the cave before a flood caused a big river of water to rush down deeper and create new tunnels (Pictures 7 & 8).  The Whale Tail is the largest stalacflat we saw.

We saw the cutest little 2”-3” white fuzzy ball with teeny ears, called a pipistrelle bat.  Yesterday was the first time our guide had seen one in the cave.  We took 2 pictures of him, one with flash, and one without.  That should have made him easy to find.  Not!  Dean and I have each spent an hour trying to find him—I’m almost positive that I know what 2 pictures he is in, and Dean always centers his pics, but we can’t find him. As it gets colder, the Ozark Brown Bat comes into the cave. 

Next, we came to the Cave Garden—formations that looked like corn, pepper, a head of lettuce, pecan, and a walnut.  The formations in the Children’s Zoo (Pict. 9) resembled Snow White & the 7 Dwarfs, a frog, a bunny, Mickey Mouse, Dumbo, and a zookeeper with a dinner bell.

Then we saw evidence of the first earthquake, many centuries ago (Pict. 10).  These fractured stalactites have been there so long, they have had time to heal and re-connect. 

This is an unusual situation. (Pict. 11  & 12)  Every 2 seconds a drop of water hits this stalactite.  This happens whether it rains a lot or if there is a drought.  The water comes from an underground spring.

Sometimes water shoots out of soda straws, making these weird branch-like things.(Pict. 13)

The “rhinestone dam” made of calcite continues “cave pearls”.  (Pict. 14) These are calcite and are round.  They continue to grow, but they never fuse together.  They are extremely rare in caving, and these are 40 years old. 

At the end of part of the cave that has been excavated, there is another room that they have crawled back into.  There is an 8’ waterfall that runs until the second week of June, and the guide has to yell to be heard because of its roar.  At this point we were 50’ underground.

As we made the return trip, we saw a salamander, and this tiny frog (Pict.15)  He sat and posed for the picture, then hopped off.  This has been my favorite day of this trip!

The temperature was a steady 52°.  Admission was $15 each, and it was so worth it!  If RVers want to come in, if you call they will let you boondock at the Swap Meet, which is at the entry of Jacob Cave’s driveway.  They say they have electricity, but Dean isn’t sure if it would work for RVs.

 There is a large Mennonite/Amish community in Versailles.  We passed a horse and buggy.  Mennonites drive cars and SUVs, but they are all black.  Lehman’s was recommended as a great place to eat Amish.

Stayed at Walmart in Lebanon.  Reservations in state parks need to be made 2 days ahead, and we aren’t allowed to go in until 3:00.  Check-out time is 2:00.

Weather:  High of  85°, but with the gentle breeze, it is just perfect.
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Missouri & Iowa with the Stocks
« Reply #51 on: October 09, 2011, 09:11:34 AM »
More cave pictures
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Wendy

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Re: Missouri & Iowa with the Stocks
« Reply #52 on: October 09, 2011, 10:57:06 AM »
I'll have to put this cave on my list of places to visit. We love caves even tho I'm claustrophobic. If you enjoy caves, be sure to put Jewel Cave in S.D. on your list to visit some day.
 
Wendy
Farmington NM, Rocky Mountain Ramble
Wendy, Mike, and Gordon
~We can't be lost because we don't care where we're going~
Here's where we are http://map.datastormusers.com/user2.cfm?user=2276
2015 Allegro Ooen Road
1973 Sunshine Yellow VW Bug

Tom and Margi

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Re: Missouri & Iowa with the Stocks
« Reply #53 on: October 09, 2011, 11:06:47 AM »
You must have been one heck of a good teacher, Linda!  I've learned so much just reading your travel posts.  Thank you so much for the time and effort you put into sharing your travels with us.
 
Margi

Betty Brewer

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Re: Missouri & Iowa with the Stocks
« Reply #54 on: October 09, 2011, 05:32:12 PM »
You must have been one heck of a good teacher, Linda! 

Yup, she was! 
Betty

(Linda's former boss)
Betty Brewer

see where we are

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Missouri & Iowa with the Stocks
« Reply #55 on: October 10, 2011, 12:13:18 AM »
October 8, 2011      Day 18      Lebanon, MO

We were supposed to wait until 3:00 to come into the new campground, but Dean decided to try to get in an hour-and-a-half early.  The family in our space was all ready to leave, but there was a domino chain—they had to move to the space next door, and he wasn’t ready to move—in fact, he wanted to stay late.  So the guy in our future space told him that if he had wanted to stay late, he should have paid for another day.  Oops!  We started a problem by not following the rules.  Eventually we got settled in.

We were anxious to go to Conroy, where our best friends have bought a lovely 3-bedroom home with 31-acres and a fishing lake.  We enjoyed being in the Ozark forest and listening to the wildlife.  We had the BEST barbecued chicken that my friend, Carol, had bought at the local grocery store.  Twice a year a man with a smoker comes and sells barbecued meats there.

Life in this part of Missouri is different.  We had the noisiest night in a Wal-Mart parking lot that we’ve ever had.  Most of the customers have pick-ups, and they haven’t heard of the latest invention—mufflers.  In California, it’s not unusual to see a crucifix hanging from the rear view mirror.  Here, they sport full-sized handcuffs!  Most of the  people smoke—a lot.  They won’t let me change lanes on the highway, no matter how long my blinker is on and it’s obvious I’m trying to move over.  However, when you meet them one-on-one, they are really nice.  Churches here are huge—both in size and importance.  But, I saw a pickup truck (which I guessed was a Chevy) with a bunch of profanity on its back window saying how it was so much more powerful that it could do awful things to a Ford (I cleaned that one up a lot!). Then they make me smile, when I see one guy who apparently doesn’t like raking up the leaves.  He put his ingenuity to work and put a sign in his yard saying, “Free leaves.  Bag your own.”   We had lunch at a Burger King, and as we exited, we saw a machine that dispenses numbers, like at a Baskin-Robbins, only this one was to take information to apply for a job at Burger King. They’re having an Apple Fair this Saturday.  I hope we are still near enough to come.

I’m waiting until tomorrow to tell the story of Red, a red-boned hounddog because the conclusion of the story should happen tomorrow.

Weather:  High of  80°, but with a very gentle breeze.  When we came home at 9:30, it was 55°.

Staying at Bennett Spring State Park Campground, FHU, 50 amps, perimeter surrounded by beautiful trees, great Direct TV and Internet reception, $30
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Missouri & Iowa with the Stocks
« Reply #56 on: October 10, 2011, 12:22:12 AM »
I'll have to put this cave on my list of places to visit. We love caves even tho I'm claustrophobic. If you enjoy caves, be sure to put Jewel Cave in S.D. on your list to visit some day.
 
Wendy
Farmington NM, Rocky Mountain Ramble

I do love caves.  I hope you get to visit Jacob's Cave, both for you and for them.  They say they usually have a lot more customers, but there was one family exiting as we entered.  This was on the Saturday of Columbus Day weekend, which should have been a busy time.  Our campground at Bennett Springs is completely full, and there are about 160 sites.  The guide spent about 2 hours with us, and we were the only ones in our group.  I enjoyed our guide so much, and I didn't figure she'd have many opportunities to earn a good tip, so I gave her a very generous tip.  That's when she gave me the info on parking--I think she wanted us to come back soon.

Is Jewel Cave handicapped-accessible?  I am trying to talk Dean into doing one LONG trip next year instead of two 3-monthers.  It is still in very primitive planning stages, but I'm thinking about going to Alaska and piggy-backing a fall trip to Michigan for the fall colors.  This would take us through South Dakota, and we could see Jewel Cave.  Thanks for the tip!
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Missouri & Iowa with the Stocks
« Reply #57 on: October 10, 2011, 12:28:22 AM »
You must have been one heck of a good teacher, Linda!  I've learned so much just reading your travel posts.  Thank you so much for the time and effort you put into sharing your travels with us.
 
Margi

Margi and Betty, you make me blush.  I loved teaching, and I really enjoy writing the travel posts and reading others' posts.  They enable me to enjoy places I wouldn't have otherwise discovered, like the Jewel Cave Wendy told me about today.  Thanks! 
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Wendy

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Re: Missouri & Iowa with the Stocks
« Reply #58 on: October 10, 2011, 08:35:45 PM »
I believe Jewel Cave has one tour that is handicapped accessible. We did a tour that definitely was not H/C, lots of stairs. But even without the cave, the Black Hills is a beautiful place to visit.
 
Wendy
Farmington NM, Rocky Mountain Ramble
 
Wendy, Mike, and Gordon
~We can't be lost because we don't care where we're going~
Here's where we are http://map.datastormusers.com/user2.cfm?user=2276
2015 Allegro Ooen Road
1973 Sunshine Yellow VW Bug

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Missouri & Iowa with the Stocks
« Reply #59 on: October 10, 2011, 11:26:08 PM »
October 10, 2011 (somehow, I wrote Oct. 6 logs twice)   Day 20      Lebanon, MO

The story of Red, a female, 1-year-old red-boned hounddog, starts 3 weeks ago when my friends Rick & Carol moved into their vacation home in Conway, MO.  They saw Red here and there, and noticed how skinny she was.  They asked their neighbor about her. They said that they don’t have money for extra food, so they fed her whenever they had scraps, and they believed she was a stray.  Rick and Carol knew they would only be here for a month, and they didn’t want her to depend on them for food.  They were hopeful she’d go home.

 Fast forward to last Wednesday when Carol heard whimpers in the “pasture” (the grass area beyond her huge garden).  She found 9 newborn puppies laying on dirt that the mother had cleared of all the grass.  Rick and Carol brought the pups into the barn/shed and put them on a blanket.  They started feeding Red good quality dog food 4-5 times a day.  Red is a wonderful mother, even though she is young.  She nurses her pups and bathes them often.  Her tail wags vigorously non-stop.  She loves to be stroked. 

Rick and Carol have 2 dogs already, and they knew they couldn’t care for 10 new dogs.  So, they feverishly started looking for a no-kill shelter. They talked to neighbors and shopkeepers—anyone who might give them a lead.   On Friday, they found a rescue group, and the lady came out and saw the dogs.  She says that Red is a purebred, and they will find homes for all of them in New York.  She said she would return on Monday to pick them up.

 We met Red on Sunday, and I fell in love with her.  She is so gentle, loving, and would be a perfect companion.  If she didn’t have puppies, I would have tried her out with Sherlock to see if they would get along together.  I haven’t ever been so attracted to a dog before.  It wasn’t her beauty; it was her personality, her total joy, that captured me.  I couldn’t believe I was so totally in love with a dog! 

The rescue lady came today and picked up her 9 puppies, and she gently followed them into the crate.  Tears streamed down Rick’s face, and he is a man’s man.  But, we know that she will have a good home.  She is going to St. Louis where a foster family awaits her and the puppies.  We all know it is for the best, but we all miss her.

We spent the day socializing with our friends and eating bar-b-q from the smoker at the local store.  It only comes to town twice a year, and the meat is wonderful.  Carol’s brother came in tonight from their summer home in Canada, heading to their winter home in Arizona, so now we are 6.  We were elated to see them as it’s been a couple of years, and we will start our adventures together tomorrow.

Weather: WIERD!  High of  70°, with clouds. We were outside, apparently sitting  at the edge of a cloud.  Raindrops fell in a 3 foot  swath from the house, and we stayed perfectly dry.  It only lasted a couple of minutes.  The men had gone to the store 2 miles away, and they said it had really poured on them.  We came home about 10:00, and the heavens opened up for about 5 minutes.  Low tonight is supposed to be a balmy 59°.

Staying at Bennett Spring State Park Campground, FHU, 50 amps, perimeter surrounded by beautiful trees, great Direct TV and Internet reception, $30
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

 

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