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Author Topic: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012  (Read 35213 times)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #210 on: October 31, 2012, 11:53:12 PM »
October 27      Day 66      Indianapolis, IN

55,000 attractive teenager dressed in blue jackets and pants (boys) or skirts (girls) are everywhere in Indianapolis.  They are members of an organization formerly known as the Future Farmers of America and are here for their annual convention.   Do you know what their new name is and why?  Answer will be at the end.  They have come here the last 3 years, and they will come to Louisville, KY, for the next 4 years.  Quite an economic boost! 

Our Capitol (State House) tour group included 2 female conventioneers from Minnesota--the only girls we saw with any sense--they were wearing long pants.  The weather is low 40's with strong winds.

Settlers came to Indiana to farm along the Ohio River.  They built a temporary capitol in Corydon in 1816.  It was a 40' (yes, forty!) square limestone building.  It housed both houses and the supreme court!

This Capitol (Picture 1) was built in Indianapolis in 1888. It stood in the middle of a forest.  They named their new city Indianapolis because "polis" means city, so it was "city of Indiana."   Indiana meant "land of Indians."  They figured that with a name like that, no one would have to ask where it is.  It is the longest capital name--6-syllables.  The land was given to the state by the federal government in 1877.  It took 10 years to build.  Its location was chosen because it was in the exact middle of the state--more centered than any other state capitol.  Apologies--Our tour was short, so pictures aren't as good and people interfered with focus often.

The capitol is built of Indiana limestone, as is the Empire State Building, the Pentagon, and 1/2 of the college buildings in the United States.  It has marble from Vermont and granite from Maine.

The legislature is composed of the House of Representatives and Senate.  We only got to see the House (Picture 2).  Legislators worked from January-April this year.  There are 100 seats.  Currently there are 60 Republicans and 40 Democrats. They receive $23,000 per year + benefits. They vote electronically.   The governor has the weakest veto in the U.S.  Only a simple majority is needed to over-ride his veto! 54% of their budget is spent on education.

Our guide, Jim, was a volunteer, and he was very interesting. (Picture 3)  He explained that the state seal was important and  is situated above the Speaker's chair, as well as being on every doorknob in the building and on every legislator's chair.  The seal honors the "forest buffalo" who created the first roads through the woods.  Indiana was 85% forest before settlers chopped down all the white oak and Indiana walnut trees to create farms.  The Ohio River was the liquid interstate.

There is a mural, "The Spirit of Indiana," above the chair, also; it was added in the 1950's.  It shows Miss Indiana stepping into statehood with the Governor Wm. Henry Harrison helping her.  She is surrounded by goddesses, including Ceres, the goddess of agriculture.

Indiana has the oldest Supreme Court in the United States (Picture 4) still operating at their original capitol.  Everything is original to 1888, as well as the 23K gold-leaf.  Hearings are streamed on-line.  The appellate has 20 minutes to present their case, as does the appellee. They have 3 hearings before lunch.  The pretty stained glass windows have owl eyes looking down to help the Supreme Court make wise decisions (Picture 5).  The governor appoints the justices for 2 years.  Then the voters get to vote aye or nay on giving the justice an additional 10 years.  They have to stand for election every 10 years thereafter.  Voters have never voted "nay" on any supreme court justice.

The outer dome is 235' high.  The stained glass "crown" of the inner dome is 105' up.  In the rotunda, there are 8 white Carrera marble 9-foot tall columns showing the values of Indiana. The whole capitol is all about natural light.  In addition to the light from the dome, there are lots of large skylights, and the offices have huge windows.

There are 20 bronze busts, but I liked the one of Col. Richard Owen.  Most busts are just a head and neck, but his has a collar, a jacket, and a cape.  He ran a POW camp during the Civil War.  Camp Morton held 3,000-4,000 prisoners.  Col. Owen was a true humanitarian.  He let clergy come in and visit with the prisoners.  He made sure they had good food and warm clothes.  Then he was re-assigned and sent into battle.  He was captured.  The captain of the POW camp found out who he was, and he gave him a horse and a gun to be able to go home.  He became a professor of geology at Indiana University.  He became the first president of Purdue.  Forty years after the Civil War, Confederate soldiers decided to collect donations to erect a plaque.  They got so much money, they decided to buy a whole bust.  That bust cost $5000 a hundred years ago!

The bust is right outside the office of the current governor, Mitch Daniels.  He has served two 4-year terms.  He is going to be president of Purdue University when he leaves, just like Col. Owen. His legacy is that he set aside land for forests and wetlands.

The lieutenant governor is in charge of economic development, agriculture, and tourism.  Outside her office is this big pig (Picture 7) symbolizing the pork industry.

The flag (Picture 8)  has a central torch of enlightenment which stands for education and 19 stars showing that Indiana is the 19th state admitted to the Union.

Answer:  They are now known as the National FFA Organization.  Why?  They now encompass all activities that involve the land.  Two girls we met had been at a forestry seminar earlier.  They also had exhibitors teaching about equine dentistry, greenhouses, and aquaculture.

This is a very pretty capitol.  I'm sorry we didn't capture more of it with our camera.'

Staying at Lake Haven Retreat-
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: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #211 on: November 01, 2012, 10:52:14 PM »
October 31       Day 70      Springfield, IL

We've titled the Capitol in Springfield, "The Most Decorative Capitol."  When we entered the lobby, I had a feeling of awe as I looked up at the beautiful dome.  I had high expectations.  We got there about 5 minutes before the tour.  The tour guide was a few minutes late, which matters when the whole tour is only 30 minutes, and she has to be back to cover the Information Desk promptly at 12:00.  She was a walking tape recorder spitting out facts.  We can always tell when the guide is a paid state employee instead of a docent.  She repeatedly told us that all the information was on the brochure we'd receive.  However, it was just a one-page foldout which was primarily a map and a list of offices on each floor, one of the worst we've received.  The information I have comes from several other sources, too, including a teacher on a field trip, a Capitol electrician, and a Capitol restorer.

Illinois has had six Capitol Buildings--one in Kaskaskia, three in Vandalia, and two in Springfield.  The  current Capitol was built in 1868 and cost $4.3 million.  The design is in the shape of a Greek cross.  The 17-foot-thick outer walls are limestone from Illinois.  French artisans were brought in to do the work because they worked so cheaply.

The legislature is composed of the House of Representatives and Senate.  They work 65 days each year.  They start work at the beginning of January and earn $75,000-$100,000 + $135 per diem.  Sometimes a "day" may only be from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM.

We saw the House from the gallery.  There are 118 members of the House.  Currently, 64 members are Democrats, and 54 members are republican.  The replica chandeliers (Picture 1) were exquisite.  Five years ago they motorized the chandeliers so they n (Picture 2) o longer have to hand crank them down to clean them.  The ceiling was really ornate.  The letters in this part of the ceiling said "U" and "upside down S".  The guide kept telling us that the capitol was full of symbolism, but she didn't seem to know what the symbols were or what they meant.

The Senate (Picture 3) has 59 members, 35 Democrats and 24 republican.  Both houses use voting boards.  However, the Senate board (Picture 4)  has a feature we haven't seen in any other capitols.  When the senator speaks, his name appears electronically on the board, as does his picture in real time.  The ceilings were very fancy. (Picture 5)  The replica chandeliers (Picture 6) were gorgeous and are hand-cranked.  The desks are new.

The legislature was having big problems with plaster falling off the ceiling.  They had hung nets across the ceiling to catch the falling plaster, lest it hit the legislators.  In 1980, they completely gutted both chambers--even the floor was torn out.  They basically kept to the original plan, but they added flourishes and ideas that they had gleaned from other capitols.  They have totally closed the West Wing for remodeling.  It is where all the legislators' offices were.  They have slowed down the pace because of budgetary concerns.

The inner dome (Picture 7), composed of  9,000 mosaic tiles, has an eagle in the center and the state seal..  Springfield is the tallest domed capitol.  When the Capitol first opened, the dome was lit with 144 gas jets.  The carbon emitted from that and people smoking cigars turned the dome black and the pictures were invisible.  It was cleaned in a 2-year restoration in 1985-1986, and is sparkling now.  There is a border relief made of plaster to look like bronze (Pictures 8 & 9).  The scenes represented the important industries of Illinois and historical events.  The rotunda has 8 statues of important people (Picture 10).  I was surprised to see how short Stephen Douglas was. (Picture 11)

There is a Hall of Governors, with a portrait of each governor except Rod Blagojevich.  After he was impeached, the state refused to pay for his portrait, and he didn't choose to pay for it, either.

The Supreme Court has a beautiful ceiling and lights (Picture 12).  Lady Justice is trampling coins to show that justice can't be bought (Picture 13).  Slavery was a frequent issue in the Supreme Court.  They had to decide whether enslaved blacks that were brought to Illinois to raise crops were still slaves, or did they become free by their resident in a "free" state?  They tried to make their rulings harmonize state law with federal law.  During the Civil War, they had two important cases that rose from the battle between abolitionist Governor Richard Yates and the General Assembly, who didn't want to support the soldiers that Illinois had sent to the Union.

The Supreme Court room is currently used as a committee room.  They have overflow crowds when Bo Derek appears annually to protest horse slaughtering.

The state seal appears on all the doorknobs and on the governor's ceremonial office where he signs bills into law (Picture 13).  His real working office is in Chicago.

Memorabilia that was actually on the Challenger when it exploded was displayed. (Picture 14)

We followed a "special" tour group into an off-limits Committee Room.  It is the only example we've seen of a half-room.  (Picture 15) Many of the capitols doubled their floor space as their states grew by splitting rooms in half height-wise.  Then, when they have remodeled in the 1980's, they have taken out these extra floors to get back the feeling of grandeur.  The best way to see it is by the half-window on the right side of the picture.  The lower half is the office below.

This capitol is very large.  It is really glitzy and bright.  It deserves to have an enthusiastic, energetic tour guide, or a good pamphlet.

Staying at Springfield State Fair Campground, $20, 50 amps & water
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: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #212 on: November 01, 2012, 10:55:24 PM »
More pics
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

ArdraF

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Re: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #213 on: November 02, 2012, 03:46:50 PM »
What beautiful detail in the Illinois State Capitol.  I'm with you, Linda, I always regret it when I'm led by someone who is less than enthusiastic.  We encountered someone like that at a cave.  It wasn't a spectacular cave, but there were some very nice parts and they deserved a better explanation than the teenager who was bored out of his mind in "just a job."

ArdraF
ArdraF
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Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #214 on: November 03, 2012, 05:52:57 PM »
October 31 continued

We had a busy day.  We parked near the "Old Capitol" and found ourselves right in front of the Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices Historic Site. (Picture 1) It's the front half of the original 40-foot-long building that they have furnished with period pieces that Lincoln might have had.  They know the flooring is original or nearly so because it has wooden square-headed nails.  Our guide was excellent.

Lincoln started as a junior partner with Logan.  Lincoln worked and studied on his own, had no college, and passed the Bar exam.  Logan got elected as a U. S. representative after one year. Herndon, his junior law clerk, partnered with him for 16 years, and he said he would never have any other partner as long as Lincoln was alive.  They got paid in cash for each case and split everything evenly.  Mary hated Herndon.  Abe used to take his boys to the office and they really ran amok--spilling ink, tossing around papers, etc.

They practiced all kinds of law, including federal cases but they weren't at all famous.   The federal court was one floor below them in the same building.  They worked for whoever paid them.  He handled primarily bankruptcy and interstate commerce cases.  They argued 250 cases in the state supreme court.  Abe argued one case in the U S Supreme Court and lost it. Lincoln represented slave-owners and helped send slaves back to the South.  He represented slaves and helped them win their freedom   He represented Illinois Central Railroad, and he won a very valuable right-of-way for them.  He sued them when they refused to pay the $2000 tab.  The court ruled they had to pay him $5000.  If a couple divorced, all the woman would ever get was the dowry she brought into the marriage.  If the husband died, the couple's estate all went to the children.

Any man in Illinois could say, "My wife is crazy," and without any investigation, they would lock her up in an insane asylum.  Mary really did go crazy.  She suffered through the deaths of 3 of her 4 children, as well as her husband.  She endured horrible ridicule as a country bumpkin from the socialites when she was in Washington, D. C.  Her son, Robert, went through a required hearing because he was only her son, not her husband, and had her committed.  In Kentucky, it required no hearing at all.

He pled a case where ranchers sent hogs to be butchered and they yielded 100,000 pounds of bacon, and the packing house wouldn't pay them.  He worked for 6 months on that case and got paid $25!  His rent on his office was $4 per month.

There was a tiny post office on the bottom floor.  Postage depended on how far the mail had to go (Picture 2).  People wrote on both sides of the paper and both vertically and horizontally because 4 pieces of paper would cost quadruple. (Picture 3)

When Lincoln ran for office, candidates couldn't campaign for themselves--it was considered improper.  His friends and supporters had to do the campaigning because the office should seek the man rather than the man seeking the office.  He just did his regular work from this office, argued in debates, and shook hands.

When Abe was assassinated, he spent 2 weeks on a train, being off-loaded at 10 stops where he lay in state for people to pay their respects and being viewed on the train at two others.  Lincoln was very well thought of in Springfield.  When he had his final funeral in Springfield, there were 100,000 people waiting outside in a town whose population was only 16,000.

We went across a parkway to the "Old State Capitol."  When the capitol was moved to the new site, it became the Sagamon County Courthouse.  When they moved, it went through a series of governmental and private ownerships before it was bought and restored.

The furniture, lamps, wallpaper, and decorations were long gone.  They re-constructed the stairs (Picture 4) and rooms based on historical records and pictures.  It has been furnished with period pieces from the 1840's and 1850's that are similar to what would have likely been there.

The House of Representatives would have been really crowded (Picture 5).  Lincoln launched his 1858 Senate campaign against Stephen Douglas with his famous "House Divided" speech in Representatives Hall.  Lincoln's remains were displayed in this exact chamber as 75,000 mourners (some say 100,000) passed by to pay respects.

The secretary of state's office had an antiquated filing system. (Picture 6)  Each little box had several records, and each record was wrapped on a red ribbon or red tape (Picture 7).  That's where we get the saying, "cutting governmental red tape."  The state seal was sitting there, and we talked our guide into stamping a piece of paper from my notebook (Picture 8).  Imagine her embarrassment when it came out with a stamp for a fraternal order with clasped hands from MISSISSIPPI! 

The governor's office (Picture 9) was about the size of my kids' bedrooms.  The Superintendent of Public Instruction had a similar office next door.  The governor would come to work and find a huge pile of commissions for army officers waiting for his signature. (He was really encouraging Illinois citizens to sign up for service in the Civil War.)  When each one was signed, he would lay it on the floor to dry.  Sometimes the entire floor would be covered with the parchments.  He used a quill pen and put on plenty of ink, making his signature a striking one.  The superintendent of instruction gave the governor his office so he'd have more room to lay out the commissions to dry.

The Senate had slightly more room. (Picture 10)

Seeing both capitols in the same day was amazing because the first capitol was so small and bare, and the new capitol is huge (just the part we saw--the whole West Wing is shut down for reconstruction).  However, I felt the "people's work" was done more effectively in the smaller, older capitol building.

Staying at Springfield State Fair Campground, $20, 50 amps & water
« Last Edit: November 03, 2012, 08:59:05 PM by Dean & Linda Stock »
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: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #215 on: November 03, 2012, 08:56:01 PM »

Nov. 1         Day 71      Springfield, IL

I had heard that Lincoln's Presidential Museum was spectacular so I saved it for our last experience in Springfield.  We had to park a block away at a parking garage and pay 75 cents per HALF-HOUR up to $9.75 total.

We paid $18 admission fee.  We were only allowed to take pictures in the foyer. (Picture 1 in front of the White House.)  In the background you can see some of the spectacular dresses worn by "society ladies" of that time, including General McClellan's wife, Lincoln's VP's wife, and Mary Todd Lincoln.

We went to the two 3-D presentations first, avoiding field trip students who would be arriving in an hour.

First we visited a replica of Lincoln's boyhood home (Picture 2).  Lincoln only had one year of formal schooling.  His mother died when he was nine, leaving a tremendous void in his life.  His father re-married, and his step-mother adored him.  His first girlfriend died, probably of typhoid.  His second love, Mary, broke their engagement.

Lincoln kept studying, passed the bar, and partnered with a man named Stuart.  After one year, Stuart won a Congressional seat.  His rival was Stephen Douglas.  In those days, they didn't put addresses on homes.  Everyone knew where everyone lived, and they merely put up nameplates.  After establishing himself, he met and married a Southern lady, Mary Todd.  She was terrified of gas lighting and insisted on only using candles until they went to Washington, D. C. in 1861.  Over a 20-year period, he made bi-annual 2.5 month trips around the 8th Judicial Circuit, covering 14 counties and 10,000 square miles by horse, later buggy, and even later by trains.

Stephen Douglas authored the Kansas-Nebraska Act which permitted slavery to expand into future territories.  The Dred Scott decision by the U. S. Supreme Court ruled that Negroes were mere property, without rights as a human being under the Constitution.  Lincoln saw "no intelligible reason" for the Dred Scott decision.  Lincoln ran against Stephen Douglas.  Lincoln believed that slavery was wrong and should be put on a road to gradual extinction.  Douglas was for "popular sovereignty," letting each territory decide for themselves by voting.  Lincoln lost the election to the Senate to Douglas, but he became a dark horse candidate for the presidency in 1860.

Records here show that Lincoln argued 9 state supreme court cases.  Lincoln and Herndon argued 330 state supreme court cases, among the most of any firm. (They said 250 at the Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices Historic Site.)  The lady at the Law Offices stressed that Lincoln was so fair, in sharing all fees 50-50.  It seems to me that Herndon did a lot more work, and it wasn't fair at all!

Lincoln served in the state House of Representatives in 1836, 1838, and 1840.  Lincoln was a Whig, and in 1843, he lost the Whig nomination for the race for U. S. Representative.  In 1846, he won a seat in the U. S. House of Representatives.  In 1855, he lost his bid for a Senate seat.  In 1856, he helped launch the republican party and los the nomination for U. S. vice-president. In 1858, he lost the Senate race to Stephen Douglas.  In 1859, he toured the Midwest giving speeches.  Lincoln was clean-shaven until November, 1860.  He was the United State's first bearded president.

An excellent video with my idol, Tim Russert, as its moderator, showed the presidential election as if they had TV in 1860.  There was a 4-way presidential race.  The Republicans were kept off the ballot in the South.  Lincoln's theme was "Union."   He said, "A house divided by itself cannot stand."  John Breckenridge, the states' rights advocate, said slaves were property and split the Democratic party with Steven Douglas.  Stephen   Douglas  continued his theme of popular sovereignty--let the people vote their conscience regarding slavery.  John Bell, the pro-slavery Democrat, wanted to split the electoral college vote so no one would have a majority and the vote would go to the House of Representatives, where had many friends.  Lincoln got only 40% of the popular vote, but he won the electoral college by a large margin: 180 votes for Lincoln, 72 for Breckenridge, 39 for Bell, and 12 for Douglas, who got the most popular votes.

The museum had a room where they displayed all the cruel political cartoons. They depicted Lincoln as various animals, the devil, a child, and a joker. People's voices on tape were played saying what people said back then.  The personal attacks on both Abe and Mary were viscious.  Abe was criticized for being too Western and not refined.  A group formed the CSA, not the Confederate States of America, but the Can't Stand Abe.  In his first year of presidency, Lincoln was criticized as a "crude, country lawyer" and "That face alone could get him hanged."  They called him names, like the "original gorilla."  He was criticized as "stumbling around as a drunken man under intoxication of his new position."  Mary was criticized for her appearance and dress.  Mary was criticized for redecorating the White House and buying new china.  They started rumors that she was sneaking around with the gardener.  Lincoln had included his enemies in his cabinet, so these mean people and their snooty wives were their constant companions.  Mary was actually a strong-minded and educated woman who often flew in the face of the expected womanly norm.  There was such animosity that Lincoln entered D. C. without pomp.  They went on and on about how he "sneaked" into D.C.  I was very upset when I left that room.  Mary's only real friend was the black woman who helped her in the house. 

Willie, their son, died just two weeks after the presidential ball.  It hit Abe hard, but Mary was even  more devastated.  She gave away his clothes and toys.  She banished all his playmates from the White House.  She cancelled public concerts by the Marine Corps Band.  Mary stayed in bed for 3 weeks.  She attended seances and said she saw him every night.  Abe threatened her with being sent to an asylum if she didn't improve.  Willie died on a Thursday.  After that, Lincoln shut himself up every Thursday and vented his grief.

Two months later, Mary's half-brother was killed, fighting for the CSA.  She was accused of being a Confederate sympathizer throughout Abe's presidency, even though she often visited Union military hospitals, wrote letters to wounded soldiers, read to hospitalized soldiers, and brought them flowers and special meals.

During that summer, both depressed and sad, Abe wrote the Emancipation Proclamation freeing slaves in enemy territory.  Seward told him to wait until there was a Union victory.  He actually announced it after the Battle of Antietam.  He wanted to compensate slave-owners.  Chase, a long time abolitionist and member of his Cabinet, didn't think it went far enough.  He wanted to be president.  Attorney General Bates was against black equality.  He thought all Negroes would leave the United States and colonize Central America.  Secretary of the Interior Smith thought Negroes would all leave.  The Postmaster, a member of the Cabinet, didn't like the  Proclamation because he thought it was too radical and would drive border states like Kentucky into the CSA.  The Secretary of the Navy said Lincoln had the constitutional authority to free slaves in rebellious states.  Secretary of War Stanton was the only one to urge him to issue the Proclamation ASAP.  He wanted to use the Negro troops in the war.  Lincoln said his paramount objective was to save the Union and was not either to save or destroy slavery.  "If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it.  And if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone, i would also do that."  However, he said, "It is my oft-expressed personal wish that all men everywhere could be free."  At the moment it was issued, it didn't free a single slave since it only applied to slaves behind enemy lines.

The museum had two hands-on replica bronze castings of Lincoln's face, one done in 1860 and another in 1865.  You could see how tired and aged he had become after so many years of conflict.  As the casualty figures mounted, he felt the full weight of war on his shoulders.  Every day, he went to the War Department Telegraph Office to get the casualty figures.  Grant's troops marching into Vicksburg simultaneously with the win at Gettysburg, PA crushed the Confederacy's hopes for foreign recognition.

Andrew Johnson of Tennessee was chosen by the republican party as Lincoln's running mate in 1864 because he was the only Southern senator to remain loyal to the Union when the war began.

Lincoln signed the 13th amendment on February 1, 1965, giving slaves their freedom.  It was ratified by the required 3/4 states in December, 1865, after he was assassinated.

After his death, there was a funeral tour covering 1700 miles, with 12 major funeral processions.  The body was taken off the train, presented for viewing, and then loaded back onto the train over a period of 15 days.  He was seen by more people as a dead president than as a living candidate.

The National Lincoln Monument Association was formed to give him a great monument.  They built a monument.  In 1876, there was a bizarre body-snatching scheme to kidnap the corpse, hide it, and ransom it for money and the freedom of a master engraver who was residing at Joliet Penitentiary.  Providing security and maintenance was a pain, so in 1895 they turned the tomb over to the state.

After he died, his favorite son, Tad, died at around age 18.  Another son, Elliot, died as a child, so the only son who reached adulthood was Robert, who lived into his 70's.

My mood was somber as we left.  I felt like there was a lot of hard, righteous work in Lincoln's life, but little joy.

We went out to Oak Ridge Cemetery (free parking) to see Lincoln's Tomb (Picture 3).  Within a granite monument lie the remains of Abraham Lincoln, his wife Mary, and three of their sons.  The fourth son, Robert, is buried at Arlington.  It is the second most-visited cemetery in the U. S. Before we entered a small museum inside the tomb, Dean rubbed Lincoln's nose for good luck (Picture 4).  Inside the tomb's foyer is a miniature statue of the Lincoln Memorial (Picture 5).  There are several more miniatures of Lincoln statues  that are placed throughout the United States.  A docent was in the museum to answer questions.

Staying at Springfield State Fair Campground, ONLY $10 because our hosts have left and there is no guarantee of water, 50 amps & water
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: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #216 on: November 03, 2012, 09:04:18 PM »
Nov.2      Day 72      Kansas City, MO   

We had a long day.  I had called Harrah's St. Louis two days ago to see if we could boondock there.  They said it was OK and gave me directions about where the RV lot was.  As we entered the drive, we saw the letters for HOLLYWOOD  being put up.  I called Harrah's, and the number was disconnected.  We'd eaten at a Hollywood Buffet before and it was not good.   We had no interest in playing in their casino, so we decided to push on another 260 miles to Kansas City.   The roads were good, so they were easy miles.  We ate at Harrah's Buffet, $22 each and it was good, but not worth $22.

Staying at Harrah's boondocking--good lighting, great security.
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: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #217 on: November 03, 2012, 09:10:19 PM »
Nov. 3      Day 73      Topeka, KS

Today was a fiasco.  Dean had set our GPS to "AVOID TOLL ROADS".  We cost ourselves lots of time, miles, and gas, as well as going through a stressful ten miles of one-lane traffic on what should b e a 4-lane freeway.   Dean has faith in the GPS and always takes its advice over mine, so I've quit worrying about navigating.  I'm going to start mapping again and at least advise him.  He turned what should have been a one-hour drive into a 4.5 hour drive.

We'll see sights tomorrow.

Staying at Wal-mart.  Good parking.
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Ken & Sheila

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Re: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #218 on: November 04, 2012, 09:26:01 AM »
Linda

If you get a chance go to the Brown versus board of Education exhibit while in Topeka.  It is well worth the trip.  We stayed at a wonderful county park while there with Terry and Betty (Lake Shawnee).  Hopefully the repairs are done at the capital, we did not get to see much of it when we were there in September.

Sheila
« Last Edit: November 04, 2012, 09:57:12 AM by Ken & Sheila »
Ken & Sheila
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therealsimpsons

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Re: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #219 on: November 04, 2012, 04:51:08 PM »
Linda,

As Illinois residents, we concur in your assessment regarding the toil of our 16th president, and the work that got done in those little office buildings in the 1800s. A long history of corruption controlled by the Chicago political machine has been our legacy since Lincoln. The buildings are bigger and so are the shady deals made in the back rooms.

We took our old coach, a 40 foot HR to Springfield, and parked right downtown, a block from the Lincoln museum. It was before we had the toad. We took up 3 parking spots, but it was a Sunday with little traffic, so we were undisturbed.

I'm looking forward to your narrative on Kansas City.

Stan
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Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #220 on: November 04, 2012, 05:14:16 PM »

I'm looking forward to your narrative on Kansas City.

Stan

Stan, I'm so sorry, but we did Kansas City last year, so this year we only used it as a free overnight stop.  We did spend several days there, and we especially enjoyed eating BBQ at a different place each night--so sorry we didn't do a repeat instead of going to Harrah's buffet.

We are headed to Abilene, KS, and Oklahoma City.  We live in CA, and our kids insist that we must be home by Thanksgiving.  We spent Thanksgiving on the road in Florida, and it was the loneliest I've ever been, so I'll never do that again. 
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
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2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

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Re: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #221 on: November 08, 2012, 10:49:03 PM »

Nov. 7      Day 77         Oklahoma City, OK

We drove into downtown OKC to the Myriad Botanical Gardens & Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory.  The grounds looked brown and un-watered.  There was construction on the grounds, and I thought they were taking down the sign since we couldn't find a sign anywhere.  I called the phone number listed on their website, and it was disconnected with no new number.  I called the OKC Visitors Bureau, which said they were thriving (definitely an exaggeration), and gave me a new number.   We found street parking easily once we knew where to find the entrance.  However, there was only one handicapped spot, and that was occupied.  The spot we used had a curb, and the only way to get to the garden entrance was by traveling the wrong way in a traffic lane for several spaces until I could get to the intersection's curb cut--definitely not very safe.

We paid a $6 admission to two lovely un-informed information clerks.  It was after noon, so we asked for directions to the cafe.  She pointed to the building that will be used as a cafe when they get someone to rent it.  No food was OK, but we were both thirsty.  She directed us to the basement coin-operated drink machine.  $1.25--no problem, in fact Dean was glad to unload his pocket of change.  But the machine doesn't take change. (Why does it have a change slot?)  We came up with 4 one-dollar bills, and Dean added 6 quarters to his bulging pocket.

We entered the tropical conservatory.  We strolled through it in 10 minutes.  We found a few interesting signs, but most plants weren't labeled.  Their orchids were beautiful. (Pictures 1 & 2)  They repeated many plants and we were curious about what this was, but no one knew. (Picture 3)  The golden trumpet vine was labeled (Picture 4).  They did have interesting architectural features--bridges, bamboo fences along walkways.

There were a few plants on the second floor.

We went up to the third floor and walked on a bridge above the canopy of the plants we had just seen.  It gives an interesting perspective.  There was a mini-garden of about 6 cactus at the end.

We went outside to search for any "gardens".  We found a group of people going through a nice children's play area and garden.  There was a tour of people who looked like firemen/cop-types, so I asked what the tour was.  It turned out that it was a group of middle management city employees there to familiarize them with the improvements that have been made recently.  Among the participants was Jennifer Lindsey-McClintock, the Public Information & Marketing Manager.  She came over to us, and I gave her some constructive suggestions.  I was very positive, and I didn't address anything for which I didn't have a solution.  She responded well, and she told us she'd check out the parking, phone, etc.  She suggested her two favorite sites, so we had a quick lunch and proceeded to the Centennial Land Run Monument.

Oh, my goodness!  There are actually 4 monument groupings now that represent the first Land Run.  (Pictures 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10).  It will not be completed until 2015, but it is already a 'DON'T MISS".  It is currently oddly situated--you have to drive to the back lot of the Pro Bass Shops and you'll see it on your right.

In 1890, Congress established the Unassigned Lands as Oklahoma Territory.   Lands iin the Indian Territory were swindled and opened (my words) and given in 40 acre sections to encourage people to settle.  If they worked the land for 5 years, they were the new owners.  At first there was Oklahoma Territory and Indian Territory, established by pact.  Then it was made all Oklahoma Territory, and in 1907, Oklahoma became the 46th state.

The statues are huge, and you can feel the power of the horses and hear the hoof beats. The details and expressions on the peoples' and horses' faces are amazingly realistic.  It is something you have to see to feel, but better than everything that we saw at Myriad was the suggestion that we come here.

We went to the new, nicely decorated, immaculate Harkins Theatre ($6/seniors).  They have all the latest movies, $6 popcorn for 2 people, and the employees are very nice.  In California, we're paying $9.75.

Staying at Council Road RV Park, $31.50, FHU, 50 amps, lots of potholes on interior roads, friendly manager
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

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Re: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #222 on: November 08, 2012, 10:53:16 PM »
Nov. 8      Day 78         Oklahoma City, OK

OKC's Public Information Officer, who we met at the gardens yesterday, told us that the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum was the best Western heritage museum and Western art museum in the United States.  So, we postponed our departure one day to go see it.  Wow! 

As we approached the entrance there was a huge impressive bronze statue of a cowboy.  Unfortunately, the sun too bright for good pictures.   (high of  79--YEAH!) Admission for 2 seniors was $19.50.   In the lobby the statue, "The End of the Trail," (Picture 1) reflects a 19th century Indian warrior defeated and bound for oblivion.  The museum displayed a plaque with a thumbnail history of the  Indians being confined to reservations, being ravaged by disease and starvation, the Indian children being forced to attend boarding schools that forbade them to speak their own language or celebrate their culture under threat of physical punishment, and their being denied citizenship.  During WWII, things changed.  Young men enlisted in the armed forces, and other Indians went into the cities to work for defense industries.  From a low of 250,000 in 1890, the Native American population in the U. S. is now over 2 million.  Today, Native Americans blend their culture with achievement in many areas, almost as if this warrior lifted his head and continued on the trail.

While we waited for a film, we admired the large John Wayne statue.  He presided over the opening day of the museum and gave his entire collection of Western memorabilia to the museum.  We went into the theater and saw the orientation film that was narrated by Tom Selleck.

There was wonderful art on the hallway walls, and at the end of the long corridor was a wonderful statue of a seated, pondering Lincoln.  We continued into the National Geographic photographic art display.  We had seen many of the photos at another art museum earlier on this trip.  The pictures were so good we went through the whole gallery again.

We walked down another long corridor to the main galleries.  We saw oils, pencils, watercolor, ink, wildlife bronzes, and a type of paper art that we've never seen before.  It's carved special paper that is sturdy and delicate simultaneously and is used to make beautiful Indian scenes.  At the end was an enormous  female cougar, "Canyon Princess," picture 2.  It was cut from a 31-ton block of Colorado yule marble and stands 15' tall and weighs more than eight tons.  It took the sculptor five months to complete.  While I appreciate the magnitude of the job, I saw so many others that I thought were better.  My favorite was a mama otter with her pup on her tummy.  At that point we saw a "NO PHOTOGRAPHY" sign, so we put away the camera.

But, our eyes saw super high-quality work everywhere.
   a large, superb, expensive gift shop
   a 1900 Western cattle town with full-size saloon, church, and school
   a hands-on children's cowboy corral where kids can dress up and pretend they are real cowboys/cowgirls in a bunkhouse
   a gallery of exquisite artwork.  They have a show of paintings priced from $8,000 to $90,000.  Each year for about 3 decades they have bought the grand prize.   winner.
   a gallery of Native American art
   a gallery of fine American firearms
   a gallery of Native American art on utensils, tools, and clothing
   a Western Performers gallery with  separate areas for each of the TV cowboy and movie stars I grew up with, as well as some before my time, like Tom Mix
   a Western theatre where they were screening old cowboy films
   an awesome American Rodeo Gallery, with full-size pens for the bulls, calves,    and horses and a TV playing a tape of past performances in each of the 6 rodeo    events.  It featured clothing, trophies, equipment, and history of the stars.
   outdoor gardens, statue, and art gallery
   a very good cafe with menu food or buffet

Staying at Council Road RV Park, $31.50, FHU, 50 amps, lots of potholes on interior roads, friendly manager
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

ArdraF

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Re: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #223 on: November 09, 2012, 04:55:16 PM »
Linda, I love the bronzes!  I seem to recall a Charles Russell art museum in OKC.  Did you see it?  Also, there was a Glenn Ford movie called Cimmaron about the race across the Cimmaron Strip in Oklahoma.  The bronzes reminded me of it.

ArdraF
ArdraF
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Re: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #224 on: November 09, 2012, 05:12:19 PM »

Nov. 9      Day 79      Amarillo, TX

It was an easy 270 mile drive.  There were lots of crosswinds.  I loved the 82 weather.

Staying at Oasis RV Park off I-40 Exit 60--$29.25, FHU with 50 amps, all pull-thrus, awesome for us now, but I wouldn't want to be here in the summer.  I think the total asphalt with concrete pads and rectangles of weed-free xeriscaping is perfect.  There are no trees for the strong winds to blow down.  Very well maintained.  It's all level and perfect for handicapped. 
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

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Re: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #225 on: November 09, 2012, 10:32:19 PM »
Linda, I love the bronzes!  I seem to recall a Charles Russell art museum in OKC.  Did you see it?  Also, there was a Glenn Ford movie called Cimmaron about the race across the Cimmaron Strip in Oklahoma.  The bronzes reminded me of it.

ArdraF

A year or two ago, Dean and I went to a Russell Museum in Great Falls, MT.  It was a good museum.  There were a lot of Remingtons on display there, also.  I was surprised to find that I enjoyed his oil paintings more than the bronzes.  I never got to see the movie "Cimmaron," but I do remember hearing the name.  Was something on TV with that name?

 We had to laugh at the fact that our GPS was intoxicated--really drunk-- in OKC, and it kept on taking us back to Reno Dr.  Several places we went to were on Reno, but our GPS would take us in circles and return us to where we had left 10 minutes earlier.  When we finally were able to navigate on our own, we left!
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

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Re: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #226 on: November 09, 2012, 11:41:17 PM »
Delayed post--we were too busy having fun and I just finished it.


Nov. 5      Day 75         Blackwell, KS (just a few miles N of OK border)

Today we were at The Eisenhower Presidential Library and Meditation Chapel when it opened. The first large area housed an extensive art exhibit related to historic martyrs through a variety of media.  His works were compelling.  His grandfather was a dissident in North Korea, jailed, and executed.  In Eisenhower later years, his number one objective was peace.  When asked what his proudest accomplishment was of his presidency, he said that it was that no American soldiers shed blood during his presidency.  The focus of the art was the courage people have shown in standing up for what is right.

Then we went to a theatre and saw Eisenhower's farewell speech when he left the presidency.

Most of the museum was focused on his war years, not his presidency.  Ike had an interest in the Civil War, and there were many artifacts that he had collected.  There were excellent portraits that Ike had painted of his heroes, Robert E. Lee and Abraham Lincoln.

Ike was a late applicant to college.  He really wanted to go to Annapolis, but he was too old.  He graduated 61st in his class at West Point, and he was 125th in demerits.  He injured his knee playing football and was only allowed to graduate if he promised not to apply for mounted service.  On his preference card for his post-graduate assignment, he listed, "infantry, infantry, infantry."

I learned a lot of history about WWII  They did not address his reported affair with his driver.  They did have a taped interview with Barbara Walters playing in a mini-TV.  Reporters in those days were so much more tactful.  She asked Mamie if she worried about Ike when he was in Europe in WWII.  She said that of course, she did.  Barbara then said, with being away from Mamie for so long, did she worry about him being tempted to stray.  And Mamie said, of course, not, no, no, no, nothing like that.  And Barbara never mentioned the other woman's name and changed the topic.

There were lots of relics of the 50's, a typical kitchen, gifts that they'd received, their clothes, and we got a good understanding of their lives and way of thinking.  Each of us independently were surprised that there wasn't more said about the accomplishments of his presidency.  We spent about 4 hours at the museum, his family's mausoleum, and at his boyhood home (The Eisenhower Museum bought the other homes in the neighborhood and then removed those houses.)

The house Ike grew up (Picture 1) in was really tiny for the mom, dad, grandpa, and 4 boys. Tours are given in 15 minute intervals.

 I think Ike and Mamie maintained their humble personas.  Mamie was critiqued for not buying dresses in Paris and wearing the same dress twice.  She replied that she was quite happy with her $16.95 dresses from an American department store.

We couldn't help but compare with the other presidential museums we've seen.  This museum reflects more modest times.

By the time we had a quick lunch in the RV, it was 3:30.  I thought we'd drive a couple hours.  We drove almost 300 miles--way past dark.  Crazy!  But, Dean's happy, it was easy driving, so I guess it's OK.  We're safely here.

Stayed at Blackwell, KS Walmart
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: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #227 on: November 11, 2012, 10:47:01 PM »
Delayed Nov. 6 Log   Day 76         Oklahoma City, OK

We liked Oklahoma's Capitol Building (Picture 1) so much we "accidentally" went for our second visit in the last couple of years. (Actually, Dean planned this trip, and I unthinkingly followed his itinerary.)  As soon as we pulled into the parking lot, I realized that we'd been here before, and I vividly remembered it.  Both times we went around in circles--literally--trying to find the entrance to the parking lot.  That triggered my memory, and when I saw Petunia #1, the oil well in front of the capitol, I knew for sure.  It was named because it was sunk 660' under the governor's petunias.  However, they found cracks in the Capitol's foundation and shut it down in 1956, despite the fact there is a huge pool of oil there, worth billions of dollars.

The flag (Picture 2) was flying straight out in the breeze, showing the Osage shield covered by a calumet (peace pipe) representing Native Americans, and the olive branch representing European Americans.  It has 6 brown crosses, which are the Native American symbols of stars, on the shield.  The large blue background represents the first official flag flown by any Native American Nation, the Choctaw flag of the American Civil War.

This was an opportunity to see how much I remembered.  Many of my memories were right on; some were absent; some were incorrect.  On the outside of the capitols are two lions (I remembered them as griffins) who stand for strength, peace, and integrity.  Atop the Capitol is the 3-ton statue, "The Guardian."  He represents all the Indians who walked the Trail of Tears and all the Indians in Oklahoma, the survivors of the Dust Bowl, floods, storms, and tornadoes and the Oklahomans who have died in the service of their country.  Oklahoma does the best job of any state at paying tribute to the Native Americans, whose land the Europeans stole through armed aggression and treaties that they never kept.  However, there are times when they, too, are insensitive and clueless, in my opinion.

Oklahoma was part of the Louisiana Purchase.  The U. S. paid 4 cents per acre. I think the original territorial capitol was in Guthrie.  The legislators noticed that the railroads were crossing in Oklahoma City.  They had an election to decide whether to move the capitol or not.  The state attorney general knew it was going to be a landslide for Oklahoma City, so he dispatched three men to get the Constitution.  They came dressed as laundrymen, stole it, and walked out with it in a laundry bag.  To this day, there is animosity over OKC "stealing" the state's Constitution.

When the Capitol was built, the legislature only allocated enough funds to build 3 floors because of budget constraints caused by WWI.  By eliminating the dome that the architect had planned, they saved $1,000,000 and were able to build all six floors.  They added the dome in 2001.  (Picture 3) It was supposed to be paid for entirely by contributions, and they had pledges for the total amount.  However, some of the pledgers suffered business reverses, and the state did pick up $2 million of the $21 million tab.

The state seal is the center part of the dome.  (Picture 4)   It was added in the lobby's floor in 1996. (Picture 5)  Each ray of the seal's five-pointed star represents one of the Five Civilized Tribes, the Chickasaw, Choctaw, Seminole, Creek, and Cherokee Nations.  All of them lived in Southeastern U. S. before their forced relocation. They were called "civilized" by white settlers because they lived in European style settlements as farmers.  How insensitive!  There were 61 other tribes residing in Oklahoma at the time the seal was adopted.  Were they "uncivilized?"  The state motto, "Labor Conquers All," is written in Latin with a green wreath. In the center of the star, figures symbolizing Oklahoma Territory and Indian Territory (Eastern Oklahoma) "joining" together to form the state of Oklahoma.  The Indian territorial governments of the "Civilized Tribes" had 3 branches and were modeled on ours.  They had good relations with the white settlers.   

In the Hall of Governors, (Picture 6) they have busts of all their governors and my favorite painting.  You "read" it like a timeline from left to right.  It starts with dust and storms and progresses to their nationally-famous medical center and the astronauts from Oklahoma to a prediction of what the future holds.  You can see it at the end of the row of statues, but not in sufficient clarity to enjoy all of its symbolism.

I think Oklahoma has perhaps the most striking Supreme Court courtroom in the nation (Picture 7).  It is spacious, full of meaning, and is beautiful.  It was repainted in 1997 for only $7,700.  I especially enjoyed the plaster-of-Paris rosettes in the ceiling and their original light (Picture 8).

There were 5 territorial justices originally.  They complained of being overworked so they added 4 more to equal 9, just like the U. S. Supreme Court.  They are APPOINTED BY THE GOVERNOR WITH NO NEED FOR RATIFICATION BY ANYONE!  They do have to be re-confirmed every 6 years, but that has never happened.  However, two have resigned after charges of bribery were laid.  Recently, they have moved across the street to the historic state offices.  They are unusual in that they only handle civil cases.  The Court of Criminal Appeals is the court of last resort in criminal matters.  On our next trip, I want to see their new digs.

In the Senate there are 32 Republicans and 16 Democrats.  In the House it is just as lopsided.  There are 70 Republicans and 31 Democrats.  The governor, Mary Fallin, is a republican.   Oklahoma is definitely a "red" state.

In 1993, a $1.5 million restoration (as much as the original construction of the whole building cost) of the Capitol was done.  They removed paneling, dropped ceiling, some doors, and such discoveries were made.  They found elegant architectural details. 
The House Chamber (Picture 9) is much more elaborate than the Senate (Picture 10).  Some of the restoration work involved adding features that were on the original plans but never happened because they were too costly.  They used 20 gallons of gold paint with gold leaf in it.  The old-fashioned fans along the wall are original and still work (there's a lot of hot air in there!)  Each fan has the state seal in the center of its grille.  Of course, they have AC.  All bills about budgets and taxes have to originate in the House of Representatives.

Three pieces of the stained glass skylight panels from the Senate were found in the attic, and the company which made them still had the 1917 work order and was able to replicate them. (Picture 11) Light now filters through windows which were sealed in the 30's.  A story says that an overeager reporter climbed onto the roof outside the Senate to eavesdrop, so they sealed them.

There are many wonderful works of art throughout the Capitol.  The oils, architecture, and statues would rival works in many excellent art museums.  "Flight of Spirit," painted by a Chickasaw celebrates five world-famous Oklahoma Indian prima ballerinas, and it is beautiful.  It demands your attention, even from far away across the rotunda.

Oklahoma City is a "Don't Miss" Capitol.

Staying at Council Road RV Park, $31.50, FHU, 50 amps, lots of potholes on interior roads, friendly manager
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: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #228 on: November 12, 2012, 12:49:22 AM »
Nov. 10   Day 80      Tucumcari, NM

I wrote yesterday's post in Amarillo before we left to eat dinner at Tyler's BBQ.  They were voted #1 Bar-B0Q in Amarillo by both critics at a contest and the people who ate samples.  His cafe is a family effort.   His mom and dad were out bussing tables and making sure everything had everything they wanted.  The food was wonderful, especially my tender, juicy kmm ribs and potato salad.  We have had other beans we preferred, but that's just a matter of taste.   He has a very different and delicious peach cobbler.  It has a spice cake type top, rather than a crust.  Really yummy!  We will stop there every time we are in Amarillo.   

When we started this morning, the winds were strong, and they did nothing but get stronger.  Tumbleweeds were crossing the interstate like they were being shot out of a machine gun.  Truckers were having trouble staying in their lanes, and so were we.

Soon we heard banging noise from our largest slide-out.  Dean pulled into an asphalt lot, used the RV to block the strong winds, got on a ladder, while I prayed.  Somehow he used rope to keep the slide top from banging.  He insisted on going 35 miles further to Tucumcari.  I wanted to stop at the little RV park just 1 mile away.

Cactus RV Park--$19.25, PA rate, level, FHU, 50 amps for part of the night--the whole park lost power sometime after we went to bed

Nov. 11   Day 81      Albuquerque, NM

What should have been a short 170 mile drive took us almost 6 hours.  We got up early. We were on the road by 8:00 to beat the winds, which were supposed to peak at 30 mph at 2:00, with gusts of 45-55 mph.  We figured to be in Albuquerque by about 11:00.  The best laid plans.... 

We noticed a dusting of snow and some patches at the sides of the road, but it didn't interfere with anyone's driving.  However, we came to a dead stop, and we could see miles of cars on the slight grade ahead of us.  A big semi-truck's front end was badly smashed up, and it was laying on its side, covering the 2 right lanes on I-40.  We were in the backed up traffic for about 10 miles.  For us it was a loss of time, but I hope that's all the trucker lost, too.

We pulled into the park at about 2:00, got hooked up, and Dean took off for the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History.  I wanted to stay at the RV and clean, preparatory for storage.  The GPS wouldn't take the museum address.  Dean tried a variety of ways to find it.  He came across some other businesses whose products we needed.  So, he did get something accomplished.  He now has good directions, and he'll see the museum tomorrow.

We wanted to eat Mexican in New Mexico, so we went to Sadie's, which was highly rated on Trip Advisor.  The food was good, but VERY spicy.

Staying at Enchanted Trails--$18.03, PA rate, FHU, 50 amps,
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

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Re: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #229 on: November 13, 2012, 08:54:23 PM »
Thanks to all who contributed ideas, encouragement, and help to make our trip enjoyable.  We've had a good time and are now looking forward to "home time."

Happy trails to all!
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Betty Brewer

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Re: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #230 on: November 13, 2012, 09:30:06 PM »
I'm always let down when  your travel journal end. It is like reading a travel brochure of places to put on bucket list. 
Please tell me you had been to the  Federal Building Memorial in Oklahoma City on a prior trip.  If not, you must return to see how moving this tribute is to the victims of that bombing!  It is worth the trip.Also  we visited the banjo Museum while there and had a blast.

 Linda  your travels are so much fun.  You guys are living the American Dream.  Glad to see you enjoy retirement.  You deserve it! Have a Happy Thanksgiving and please consider Quartzsite!  I know I know....
Betty Brewer

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Re: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #231 on: November 14, 2012, 08:10:53 AM »
Thanks once more for taking us along on your journey, Linda.  You write so beautifully and cover interesting places so thoroughly that I really feel like I've "seen" the places you describe.  And thank you, Dean, for the wonderful pictures.  Can hardly wait for your next adventure!
 
Margi
« Last Edit: November 14, 2012, 08:13:24 AM by Tom and Margi »

ArdraF

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Re: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #232 on: November 15, 2012, 06:59:42 PM »
Adios until next time.  I'm mentally preparing myself for Linda's travel reports withdrawal....  Safe home!

ArdraF
ArdraF
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