Friday, July 23, 2021

The Pinnacles and gravel and more sculpture.

 (vacation has been over for almost two weeks and I realized I never posted our last day of adventuring [9 July 2021])

Pinnacles Youth Park.  I found this place listed on Atlas Obscura.  We started down what we thought was the correct trail.  We could see where we wanted to go but couldn't find a good place to cross the stream.

We were about to call it quits when Dennis spied another path so we ventured off.  We spied this interesting sight

and continued along the trail.  A sign for the old dam led us to a not dry but not so deep place to ford the stream.  And after a few more minutes of gentle climbing, we made it!

We're on the peak to the right of the ones you can see in the first picture.  I was too tired (and hot) to traverse my way along the narrow path to the big hole (plus there were some teenagers sitting over there).  Mission accomplished!  We made our way back down the trail and I opted to take off my boots and socks so I could wade in the cool water instead of trying to keep my boots dry.  The pants ended up wet but no worries I had dry shorts in the car.

And off we headed for St. Louis.  We meandered along some back roads since we were not in a hurry.  And found our destination of the Weldon Spring Site which is a reclaimed EPA site.  Unlike Fernald (near our home) which was turned into a nature preserve, Weldon is one big mound buried and topped with gravel.  And a convenient stairway to climb to the top.

It was getting late in the afternoon so we found two quick sculpture stops before finding a hotel.

The Awakening was a giant rising out of the ground and the butterflies are by the Butterfly house.

We also found the fish riding a bike in the pond near Clayton.

A walkabout in Clayton (where we stayed in the friendly Hampton Inn) revealed two more quirky sculptures (shoe of shoes and the Terminator cube)

We had many more places marked on our map for St. Louis but ending up skipping them.  We spent Saturday running errands for my Aunt Barbara, making her a pork chop dinner, snuggling in a twin bed (why pay for a hotel room when you can stay for free with family).  

Dennis and I did take a short walk around the block Saturday night and were entertained by a street band playing on the corner.  One of the locals said there are 2-3 bands that alternate playing on that corner.  The night we were there is was a group of 5 trombones and some percussion.  They were amazing.  And the youngest three appeared to be about 8, 12 and 16.   And on the same block was the chess hall of fame marked by the world's largest chess piece.

After making breakfast we hit the road for home and skipped all the quirky sights marked on our idea map.  I'm sure we'll make another trip or two to St. Louis so we can always pick up those sights later.

All in all it was a fun trip.  The total mileage when we pulled into the garage was 1,908.3 miles.  Eight days and no major blowups.  A mountain of laundry greeted us (seems our children forgot how to do laundry).

Friday, July 9, 2021

shower genius

Finally a shower that makes sense   

(Hampton Inn Columbia Missouri)

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Sculpture and cannon balls

 Today was art day.  We found a variety of sculpture in Kansas City.  The world's largest cap gun, a large button and needle, a bison skeleton and Mark Twain.

The library parking garage is painted with book titles.

And we found the giant shuttlecocks at the Donald J. Hall Sculpture park,

Back on the road east.  We stopped for our kitchzy stop of the day to see a Civil War cannon ball wedged in the courthouse column during the battle of Lexington.

A drive through the country to arrive in Columbia for the night.  A dinner at Broadway brewery and a stroll around the University of Missouri campus to see the famous columns, the original grave marker of Thomas Jefferson and the Beetle Baily statue.

Turning in early for hiking the Pinnacles tomorrow before it gets too hot.

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Wednesday is foggy

It rained over ight and the fkg is still hanging low in Omaha.  Good thing we are across the river in Council Bluffs.

We are headed to our ultimate destination.  The Bob Kerry Pedestrian Bridge.  After that we start our journey home.

We tried to find the end of the bridge in Council Bluffs but it appeared to be far away from the street (it wasn't) so we went to the Omaha side and walked over.  Starting from Omaha let us see the "marathon" sign so we had to go get our sticker and walk about Old Town in Omaha before crossing back to Council Bluffs to pick up some sculpture and head south.

The last exit in Iowa on I-29 led us to Hamburg and the Stoner Drug store. (the small brown building on the right - not the painted one I thought it would be)

We headed into Missouri and took a detour into Nebraska to go to Peru to try to see some sandstone carvings but the trail was closed so we headed back to the interstate but not before stopping to see the grounded steam wheeler.

And another side trip took us to see the controversial president for a day.  In 1849, the inaguration was moved from Sunday to Monday so some say the President Pro Temp of the Sentate was technically the U.S. President for a day.  His hometown put up a statue of him.

Our goal was to make it to Kansas City for the night.  When we looked for hotels, we decided that Leavenworth Kansas was close enough (plus it gets us another state for the trip!)

We had a nice dinner at Bailey's Irish Pub and a quick trip to Walmart to pick up a keyboard and some dish soap.

The day started out foggy and drizzly.  We found some rain here and there.  But the sun came out and ended our day nicely.

Tomorrow is art and sculpture in Kansas City Missouri!

the rest of tuesday

Des Moine's adventure included a sculpture park where we were reminded of our children (at home).  Doesn't matter what is going on, they will always be picking at each other.  This sculpture is supposed to be figures dancing but it reminded me of the constant "Stop touching me... I'm not touching you" battle.

A quick stroll around the block of sculpture plus a couple extra blocks to find the Giant Trowel.  And then we were off to find the cemetery in the middle of the road. 

Boo!  The development in the outskitrts of Des Moines had reached the cemetery and it is no longer in the middle of the road (they moved the road).

The next point of interest was the Roseman Covered Bridge. Who doesn't love a covered bridge?  

 We stopped through the town of Winterset (birthplace of John Wayne)

and found a Ben Franklin store so we had to go in.  (we found at least one Christmas present - yep, it's still 5 months til Christmas but when opportunity knocks, you answer)

This is the one from the novel "The Bridges of Madison County".  

And if the gravel roads to the bridge weren't enough, we drove 10 miles on gravel roads to find the tree in the middle of the intersection.

A few more miles on gravel to hit a state highway to take us to see Albert the bull.

It was starting to get late so we almost skipped the Tiny Church but it was at the same site as the authentic Danish windmill so we stopped for a quick visit.

Then on we went, we were determined to get close to Omaha before bed.  We stopped one last time to check air pressure  (dust must have been in the sensor) and see the 76 foot corn stalk

We rolled into Council Bluffs in time for bed.  

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

fossils and sights!

This is the one stop that might have been more fun with kids.  We walked about in the gorge looking for fossils and had a snack.

There is the world's largest wooden nickel on the road to the park 

And Dennis pointed out a trunk stump that had been carved into a peace sign (hand with two fingers up).

We finally found an Iowa rest stop to pickup a road map.  And check out the sculptures.  The cooler sculptures were on the eastbound side but the long lens let me snag a shot of the pen.

And we saw the stack of grain wagons.  It's in private corporate property so I could only get a partial shot from the Kum and Go across the road.   Look under the tree to see the top 3 grain wagons

Now we are on the road making time to Des Moines to check on out a sculpture park.

swinging bridge

Morning walk to see a long swinging bridge.  We took the possum hollow trail to switch back our way across the valley and up to the other side of the bridge.

We tested at the shelter and checked out the sculpture in the flower beds.

Deep breath and cross the bridge.  It swings quite a bit in the middle.

After a rest on the other side (which right by a city street - we could have bypassed the trail), we went back to the middle for kisscam

So if you find yourself in iowa with time for a detour, it's worth a stop.