Thursday, May 1, 2014

37th Anniversary Day Trip, 4/30/14

 Somewhat chilly that day, but a perfect day for a Missouri Daytrip!
With an upcoming major trip Southwest and between busy weekends, we enjoyed a true day trip around west-central Missouri.  Back roads were the order of the day.  After a quick stop in Warrensburg for newspaper & Pepsi, we headed for the route I've nicknamed "the Houstonia cut-off."  It's actually the shortest way to get to I-70/US-65 (aka Marshall Junction), but definitely not the fastest.  We took MO-FF (county line road w/ Pettis County) north to Rt D, then east to KK, and thru the small town of Houstonia to K, then cutting off on CC to US-65 and north to Marshall Junction.

From there, we took a frontage road east, which crossed I-70 and joined what must have been the old US-40 along AE & Z to the road to Blackwater, MO-K in Cooper County.   We visited with friends at this very lively town of 199 (the Bucksnort Trading Post was not yet open for the day, but I saw some interesting 19th C hats thru the window).  We continued on parts of old US-40 to Boonville, known for its 19th century history & very modern Wal-Mart - not to mention a certain "boat-in-a-moat." After a brief visit with the one-armed bandits, we enjoyed a great buffet.

After lunch, it was time for more travel & more history.  We stopped at New Franklin, home of Missouri's monument to the start of the Santa Fe Trail (the true starting point was washed away in the 1820s), then on to another historic river town, Glasgow.  We shared a real old-fashioned cherry Coke made the real old-fashioned way at a real old-fashioned soda fountain at Henderson's Drugs, in the same family since 1841.  Bill expects to revisit Glasgow this fall for the 150th Anniversary reenactment of the Battle of Glasgow.

En route on MO-240 to Marshall, we did a quick drive-around of the town of Slater, boyhood home of Steve McQueen.  Marshall is home to the grave of Jim the Wonder Dog, who reputedly had almost supernatural abilities.  There's a nice small park dedicated to Jim just off the square, with a visitor center next door.  Marshall knows how to promote its dog, something Warrensburg has never quite gotten the knack of.

Finally had to get off the back roads, taking US-65 to Sedalia to pick up some BBQ at Little Big Horn cafe/BBQ/steak house.  We took it home and ate it later - the casino buffets leave us pretty full for a while.  The cats greeted our return with a sneer - "it's about time you got home and let us out!"  All in all, it was an enjoyable trip - we can recommend any of the towns mentioned except poor little Houstonia.

Now for Sandra's Tidbits, Observations, and Romance of  our trip

Houstonia does have one somewhat thriving business: a junky garage open for business.

Tradition for us is to kiss exactly at 2PM, April 30 (time of our wedding), wherever we are: Here are some of the places we have kissed to celebrate:  Here are some of places where we have kissed to celebrate anniversary: During a thunder storm in Owasso, Okla., on top of Capulin volcano in New Mex., over-looking Spider Rock at Canyon de Chelly in Arizona, overlooking Ship Rock in NM, on a bench at Pea Ridge National Military Park, Ark., skeet range at Ottawa, Canada, River Walk in San Antonio, Tex., by the Current River near Doniphan MO, and in a alley during the Slater, Mo., Steve McQueen festival. There's more places where we celebrated with kisses, but this paragraph would be too long if I wrote all of them.

During our travel this year we passed a country titled Pink Elephant Rd. on a side access road near I-70 going to Boonville. During the daytrip we started our anniversary adventures by going to Blackwater, my favorite little town of 199. We visited with friends and admired Blackwater as a town of folks who cherish the tourism groups and individuals who come to their town.

Also, drove to Fayette and saw really good murals of history and the town. The murals on the buildings were applied to the walls in sections. I really believe if Warrensburg tourism leaders want murals, the murals should be made, displayed, and inserted on down town walls. Imagine taking off a mural to repair it, removing a mural to replace one, and avoid that peeling paint problems from lack of enhancement on older murals.

Some of you know that Old Franklin has disappeared for years and years along the Missouri near river bottom lands at Booneville. Old Franklin became New Franklin (city moved to higher ground), and if one stands on the memorial to those who started the southwestern travels along the Santa Fe Trail. Bill took my picture at the (one of many) beginnings of the Santa Fe near the river location Old Franklin. I always stand by the monument of those who ventured far from Missouri. Did you know that you can stand at the monument, and find out that Santa Fe, New Mex. is only 825 miles from Missouri. 

"Pocket Parks" are very colorful now. Blackwater folks have created a wonderful pocket park, and Slater has a Veterans Memorial Park. These parks replace the vacant areas where buildings have been removed. If visiting Slater, know you are traveling on the Steve McQueen Memorial Hiway. McQueen's home is Slater, and every year there is a McQueen festival with vintage movies of Steve McQueen, and his wife is in attendance. A few years ago, we found ourselves walking thru a Slater alley to go to the festival, and suddenly  here comes a reporter from Daily Star Journal! Of course, she asked why we kissed each other in alley. Thank goodness she wasn't there to take our picture for DSJ; her hometown was Slater!

Our kiss came at the Glasgow famous down drug store soda fountain. At exactly 2PM, Bill and I sat in an old fashioned booth and sipped with two straws of real coke - made the old-fashioned way.  Glasgow residents have really improved in attracting tourism - they have one bakery, three restaurants, and of course a soda fountain in the Henderson Drug Store of a 5 generation business.  Yes, we had our 2PM anniversary right in the drug store so all could see!

Jim the Wonder Dog's statue is in Marshall. A beautiful memorial to the dog, and little fish are swimming in a small pond as part of the tribute. However, I soon was watching about 5 cats trying to fish for the fish. After watching the cats watch the fish, I began to read the bricks where dog names were placed. Names like Tippy, Molly, Ranger, Cocoa, Bow-wow, and one special brick. The name Mr. Kitty make me think that one tribute wasn't exactly a dog.

We traveled 200 miles in celebration of our anniversary. I suggest going to some of these towns listed. Walk around the downtown areas and learn how some small communities are struggling to survive while others have many vacant store fronts. Consider going on a daytrip to visit smaller communities which I call "Gems" of Missouri!  Keep a journal of where you go, too! 


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