Spring Vacation – 1

Here is an update on our travels:

Bernie and I left home early Monday morning and after nine hours of driving, checked into a motel near Kansas City, Mo. Tuesday morning we visited an historic cite, Missouri Town 1855, near Lee’s Summit, Mo. With a lot of hard work and vision, the Jackson County Parks and Rec brought a number of old structures from around the area by deconstructing them and then reconstrucing them on thirty acres of beautiful land. These buildings would have surely vanished from today’s world had this work not been done. There were a couple of men in the garb of the 1850’s who took us around the  village and esplained to us the way of life of the times. It was fascinating, and of course, it made us dream of simpler times as those kinds of experiences often do.

Driving down the west coast of Missouri, we stopped near Joplin at the George Washington Carver National Monument. I recall very little about Carver from my studies in history. I was touched by this man’s humility, simplicity and spirituality. I hope to learn more about him after I get home. I may add him to may list of heroes.

We ended the day as we entered Arkansas and hoped to have a similarly enjoyable day on Wednesday. However, we found very little to see in Arkansas.  We visited Fort Smith which was interesting, but lacked the variety of presentation and beauty of most National Monuments and Parks that we have visited. We did learn about the work of federal marshals which will inform all future cowboy movies that I watch. They really were gang-busters who tried to rid the Indian Territory of murderous, raping gangs. I also learned what “Indian Territory” meant. It was a temporary solution for what to do with the Indians that were driven off their lands in the east. I lasted only until white settlers decided they wanted that land, too.

There was no other place to visit the rest of the way through Arkansas so it meant 7-8 hours of driving (on mostly 2 lane highways) which wreaked havoc with my left hip. (Thank God for Ibuprophen and motels with jacuzzis). We were ecstatic to finally drive into Louisiana and are just now getting into our Thursday at the LaQuinta Hotel in Shreveport. We ate our first Cajun food last night.  We are only a couple of hours from our destination, Lafayette, where we will enjoy some sightseeing and their annual Cajun Festival.

The air is warm. It is expected be in the high 70’s today. Sorry, Minnesota. I will pray for you today.

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