Travels with Bentley

Travels with Bentley
Bentley - our Heartland Bighorn

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Monday - Wednesday, August 14-16, 2017 - Fleming Park, Blue Springs, MO

Monday - Wednesday, August 14-16, 2017 - Fleming Park, Blue Springs, MO

Well our time in Springfield came to an end before we could see everything we wanted but that leaves us something to do when we pass this way again.  We have a long travel day ahead of us this morning and we were ready to pull out of Lincoln New Salem Campground shortly after 8 a.m.  We are wanting to arrive early so we can beat the Kansas City, MO afternoon traffic and we are having guests meet up with us this evening - the sooner we get plugged into electric the cooler it will be for our visit.

I only have a few pictures to share - on our way to Kansas City from Springfield, IL we passed into Missouri at Hannibal.  We originally had planned to spend a couple of days in Hannibal, but we changed our mind as we wanted to visit some good friends in the KC area before heading home and we really have a lot of things to do when we return.  There will be another time to make a stop at Hannibal.



MISSISSIPPI RIVER - LOVE SEEING THE BARGES

MARK TWAIN - ALONG THE INTERSTATE OUTSIDE OF HANNIBAL

WELCOME TO HANNIBAL

I'M NOT SURE EXACTLY WHERE THIS WAS BUT IT WAS LOCATED AT A CAMPING WORLD.  I JUST COULD NOT PASS UP INCLUDING THIS PICTURE OF OUR NATION'S FLAG.  I LOVE TO SEE THESE LARGE FLAGS BILLOWING IN THE WIND!


We managed to arrive before the traffic got too bad and arrived at our site shortly before 3:00 p.m. but it was an interesting drive at best.  The address we used in the GPS was the office - not the campground so we had to drive around the entire loop and lake before we found the campground.  It wasn't too bad just frustrating because we were ready to be parked.  Over 6.5 hours driving time is just too much for both of us - we prefer no more than 4 hours in a day, and less is even better.

We made it and were met by very cheerful campground hosts that helped put a smile on our face.  Amazing what a smile can do for you when you are tired.  I had selected the site on line and it was a great site with some shade, however it was not very level and it took us a couple of tries to get enough extra height on the entrance side to get us level, but we did it.  Soon the A/C and the refrigerator was on and cooling down.  

We stayed in the KC area at Longview Campground in Lee's Summit,, MO last July where we met up with fellow blogger Mark and his wife Karen.  Mark writes the blog "Our Future in an RV".  When he retires in the near future they plan to purchase an RV and full-time. Mark and I have been corresponding for about a year and a half.  We really enjoyed their company last year so we invited them out to visit again.  We grilled some burgers and they brought some chips and dessert.  It was an easy meal and great company.  Karen and I enjoyed a walk around the campground while the guys talked RV's.  Of course time sped by and in no time it seemed they had to head back home.  Thank you Mark and Karen for taking the time to drive down and see us.  We look forward to when we can meet up in our RV's!  I was so disappointed later than evening that I failed to take a picture!  Here is the picture I took of them last year when we met up with them.


Once I had cleaned up the dishes, we watched a little TV and we had a great night's sleep.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The next morning we did some running around - Walmart and Sam's before heading to Raymore to visit my childhood best friend Cheryel.  She recently moved back to the KC area from Grove, OK.  We have not had the chance to visit her since the move so we were anxious to see her and her new home.  We enjoyed the tour of her beautiful home - even though we caught her in the middle of a kitchen renovation project - countertop, sink and faucet replacement.  She took us to lunch at her favorite Mexican restaurant in the area, Jose Pepper's.  I've heard her talk about it for quite some time so was glad to have the opportunity to see for myself how good it was.  I have to admit the meal we had was wonderful and I would not hesitate to return here again.  We all had the same time - their special for lunch - a chimichanga.  Cheryel recently purchased a beautiful yellow Corvette convertible.  Dean rode to the restaurant with her while I followed in Max - our Big White Dually!  I think she tried to lose me - but Max is bigger than most traffic on the road so I just nosed my way in and stayed right behind her!  😃  AND I forgot to take a picture of Cheryel and her car so I'm borrowing some of hers from Facebook.  

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Cheryel - my best friend since grade school

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Her yellow convertible Corvette she tried to lose me in!!!  😃

From Jose Pepper's we mapped out a lesiurely drive (as lesiurely as a drive through the KC area can be) towards Prairie Village where our good friends, Donnie & Janie, formerly from Oswego now live.  It took us a little while to make the drive but we stayed on roads with little to no traffic in comparison to the Interstates and enjoyed seeing the sites as we made our way to their home.  We arrived a little before 3:30 and had a great visit with Janie and her granddaughter Lily before Papa and the rest of Lily's family showed up about an hour or so later. Janie fixed us a wonderful dinner of spaghetti casserole that was DELICIOUS! Her daughter-in-law, Leigh made a wonderful salad and we topped it off with cake.  YUM!!  We had such a good time visiting with Donnie, Janie, their son Jeff, wife Leigh and their three children Lily, and twins Liam and Landry.  The kids were a hoot and it was good to see them.  They have grown so much since we saw them about a year ago. Lily wasn't too excited when we first showed up - we were taking her time with her Ninny - but she gave me a hug and kiss before they left so that sure made me feel good.  She's a doll, and those twin boys....so much fun!

I failed to get a picture of Donnie & Janie too!  So I borrowed one from their FB page too.  I must do better at taking pictures!!!  

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We finally left about 8:30 or so - it's always hard to part with good friends and that is how we felt about our trip to the KC area - it was great to see everyone but the time goes so quickly and we have to move on.  We hope to get back to the area where we can spend a week or more, as we have several other friends in the area we didn't get to spend time with due to our tight time restraints.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

We were not in a big hurry to leave this morning in order to give the morning traffic time to thin down a bit before we have to get on I-470 for a short distance to take some of those same lesser used highways we were on yesterday on our way out of the KC area.  We avoid busy traffic even if it takes us an extra hour when we can.  

Our drive home was pretty uneventful except we ran into some pretty heavy rain north of Pittsburg, Kansas.  We were pretty hungry as we neared Pittsburg, so we decided it would be a great place for lunch.  We happened to get just enough of a break in the rain and were able to make it from the Home Depot parking lot (where we could park Bentley and Max) to Rib Crib.  We no more than made it under the front awning and it began to pour again. We enjoyed our meal as we always do at Rib Crib and then made our way back to Oswego.  An end to another wonderful trip in our Bentley!

We already miss Matt, Megan, Josh and Sarah!  Thanks for making it a fun trip and it will have lots of memories we can share for many years to come!  Remember that tiny cabin you all had to stay in?  Lol!

We are here in Oswego until September 14 when we head toward Hutchinson, Kansas for the Kansas State Fair to watch our grandkids participate in the 4-H Horse Show there. From there we plan to attend two rallies back to back with our Escapees family, then our Heartland family.  





 

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Saturday & Sunday, August 12 & 13, 2017 - Lincoln's New Salem State Historic Site Campground, Petersburg, IL

Saturday & Sunday, August 12 & 13, 2017 - Lincoln's New Salem State Historic Site Campground, Petersburg, IL

August 21:  Note:  I posted two new blog posts prior to starting this post on (Aug 21) but I'm not sure that everyone received them, so if you want to see what we were doing prior to arriving in the Springfield area - take a look at the other posts before this one.

I really appreciate everyone who follows our blog.  I enjoy writing about our travels and sharing them with each of you, and I love reading back over where we have gone and the things we have seen.  This is a much better photo library than all of the pictures I've taken in the past.


We only had 150 miles to travel today but we are hoping to take in a lot of sightseeing in the 2 days we will spend in Springfield, IL, so we were on the road shortly after 8:30. It was a bit foggy when we first started out, 


but by the time we reached Montezuma, IN and this bridge construction the fog had cleared.  Always interesting when a bridge is undergoing construction with narrow lanes.



WABASH RIVER - THE WATER WAS SO PEACEFUL LOOKING

ANOTHER NARROW BRIDGE!

We arrived at Lincoln's New Salem State Historic Site Campground in Petersburg, IL a little before noon, 



NICE WELCOME TO SPRINGFIELD!

after driving right through the middle of downtown Springfield, IL.  Fortunately it was a Saturday morning and it wasn't too busy.  Springfield is not a really large city so it appears it will be easy for us to maneuver around when we return later to check out a few sites.

The New Salem Campground was really nice and while they had several open 50 amp spots, we chose a 30 amp so that we might be able to use our satellite if we chose.  (We never did put it out - but the temps were cool enough the 30 amp was just fine).

A lot of people were evidently taking advantage of the end of the season camping and the cooler temperatures because the campground had quite a few spots filled and many more came in after we left to do the tourist thing!

We quickly got set up, had a bite to eat and headed up to the Lincoln's New Salem State Historic Site to pick up some literature on things to do in the area and to check out the reconstruction of the village of New Salem where Abraham Lincoln spent his early adulthood.  He spent six years at New Salem, which formed a turning point in his career.   He engaged in a variety of activities while living in New Salem - including clerking in a store, splitting rails, enlisted in the Black Hawk War, served as postmaster and deputy surveyor, failed in a business and was elected to the Illinois General Assembly in 1834 and 1836 after an unsuccessful try in 1832.  In 1839 the county seat was established in nearby Petersburg, which hasted New Salem's decline.

The New Salem Village was reconstructed through the efforts of the Old Salem Chautauqua Association, who interested newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst in the site.  He agreed to purchase the site and convey it in trust to the association.  With appropriations from the state legislature in 1931 permanent improvements were made to the site by a contractor from Champaign, IL who constructed 12 log buildings.  The Civilian Conservation Camps (CCC) continued the reconstruction efforts and today 24 buildings are laid out in the New Salem Village for visitors to view.  There are several residences, a blacksmith shop (who had a working blacksmith the day we visited), 


schoolhouse and church, mill and wool house, stores, doctor's office, a tavern, and a saw and gristmill. 


SAW AND GRISTMILL

MORE PICTURES OF THE SAW AND GRISTMILL





We enjoyed walking through this nicely shaded village and taking a look at most of the buildings on display.  

There is also a museum on site displaying information on Lincoln and the area.  It along with a film were both worth taking the time to view.

Once we completed this visit we headed into Springfield to visit the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum.  

We had to park a few blocks away and it so happened it was right along side the first State Capitol Building of Illinois.  We did not take the time to visit, thinking we might take it in when we returned but it was too late to tour when we left the museum.


FIRST STATE CAPITOL OF ILLINOIS 


The Library was a bust - there was one item on display on the second floor and none on the first floor.  The research library was closed on Saturday and Sunday.


ABRAHAM LINCOLN PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY




THE ONLY ITEM ON DISPLAY WAS  THIS MODEL OF THE LINCOLN FUNERAL TRAIN.






It didn't take long for us to leave here and walk across the street to the Lincoln Presidential Museum which we stayed until it closed at 5:00 p.m. 


ABRAHAM LINCOLN PRESIDENTIAL MUSEUM

I have always been in awe of President Lincoln and all that he did for our country and how difficult a time it must have been for him to stand up for what he believed in.  As we walked through Journey 1:  Pre-Presidential Years and I saw the depiction of a slave auction it just gave me chills to think that people were treated this way and I'm thankful there was someone who was willing to speak up and say this is wrong and worked so hard to bring change to our country.

The first journey included Abraham in his boyhood home where he often read by the firelight in order to learn, 




as well as forensic views of Lincoln over the years from boyhood until he died.  You can see the heavy burden he bore during his short time as President in the way he aged.  




THESE ARE ACTUAL PHOTOS OR PAINTINGS - THERE WAS A FORENSIC CHART AS WELL WHICH I FAILED TO GET A PICTURE OF.

I cannot imagine the immense pressure he was under during the war, and losing a son during the time he and his wife were in the White House.  You can see how he aged in 5 years from the portraits shown in the two pictures above.

The next step of the Journey was living in the White House and showed Mrs. Lincoln in a gown for an event at the White House,


with dresses on display of various other women guests who often made unkind remarks about Mrs. Lincoln and the clothes she wore.  They felt she was backward and not up to their standards.  

Another step in the Journey was "Campaign 1860" which used 21st century technology to bring 19th century ideas to life, hosted by Tim Russert.  There are commercials for each of the four candidates – Abraham Lincoln, Stephen Douglas, John Breckinridge, and John Bell – with their actual campaign platforms spun into the political terminology and sound-bites of today. Politicians were skilled and calculating even back then.  This was very interesting and we enjoyed listening to Tim Russert as he provided information on each of the candidates.

The next Journey was the Civil War.  The following is printed from the Lincoln Library and Museum website:  To inform and illustrate the scale, scope and tragedy of the Civil War, the museum’s Civil War in Four Minutes was created. It is a large animated map which plays out the progress of the war with continuously shifting battle lines and flare-ups that mark specific major battles. The entire war is presented in this way in roughly 4 and one half minutes. Nothing like this has been done before on the Civil War.  This was a very interesting and informative display.  

The Next Journey:  The Whispering Gallery where a number of genuine quotes from newspapers were penned along with pictures of Lincoln and his family.  The Lincoln's were believed to be quite uncouth and were criticized and attacked from all sides – personally and politically.  It was interesting to me that it is similar to what is occurring with our current President.  

The Final Journey is his release of the Emancipation Proclamation.  There were also a couple of films and both were quite good.  We did not get to see everything in the Museum but did manage to get through most of it.  I could spend quite a bit more time in Springfield and hope to return some day.

We headed back to the campground since it was near dinner time.  By then we were hungry and after doing a little research we headed into Petersburg to eat dinner at a place that had great reviews on Trip Advisor - only to find out it was closed.  We were about to give up on finding anything else when we noticed a little diner on the corner.  I don't remember the name of it and it was not listed on Trip Advisor. Dean had a shrimp dinner and I chose fettucine alfredo with chicken.  Dean really enjoyed the shrimp and my meal was good but very, very rich and I could not begin to eat it all.  Afterwards we drove around Petersburg Lake, located just southwest of town.  It was a very developed area with beautiful homes and a very nice golf course on the southwest side.  We enjoyed the drive and returned in time to relax a little before heading to bed to rest up for another big day.


Sunday, August 13, 2017 - Springfield, IL - Touring the Illinois State Capitol and Lincoln's Home - a National Historic Site.

We've been wanting to make some pancakes from our recent purchase at the Bridgeton Mill, so this was the morning to try the mix out.  It had a different texture with so many types of flour but they were quite good and very filling.  With real butter and pure maple syrup they tasted even better, and we had bacon and sausage as well.  

Once breakfast was over, and dishes were done we headed into Springfield to visit the Illinois State Capitol.  We arrived at 11:30 just as the last tour before lunch was given.  We really enjoyed the tour and so glad it worked out for us.  Unfortunately it has been a few weeks and I mostly have pictures to share as I cannot remember enough of what the docent told us to share with you so I hope you enjoy these pictures.
ILLINOIS STATE CAPITOL

SUNDIAL IN FRONT OF THE CAPITOL BUILDING

UPPER PORTION OF THE CAPITOL BUILDING

VARIOUS PICTURES WITHIN THE CAPITOL BUILDING


LOOKING UP TO THE DOME IN THE CAPITOL

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES




SENATE CHAMBERS



STATUE OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN

GOVERNOR'S OFFICE (RECEPTION AREA)


SUPREME COURT CHAMBER

SUPREME COURT CHAMBER

ILLINOIS CAPITOL BUILDING

ILLINOIS CAPITOL BUILDING
One thing the docent shared with us was the Senate was meeting at 1:00 to discuss school finance and if any of us wanted to come back to listen in we were welcome to do so.  I would have enjoyed this but Dean just looked at me like I was crazy.  We didn't return.... but I have something to share later in this post about that.

Our next stop was at the "Lincoln Home National Historic Site".  We were able to look at some exhibits in the visitor's building before meeting outside for a tour of Lincoln's home - the only home he ever owned and where he lived while running and ultimately becoming our 16th President of the United States of America.

The docent looked pretty young but did an excellent job providing information and answering questions members of our tour group asked as we made our way through the Lincoln's home.


ONE OF THE THINGS THE DOCENT POINTED OUT WAS THAT LINCOLN HAD THE DOORS IN THE HOUSE MADE LARGER TO FIT HIS TALL FRAME.  OVER THE YEARS HE ENLARGED THE HOME TO ACCOMODATE THEIR FAMILY NEEDS.

PARLOR WHERE LINCOLN'S MET GUESTS AND DIGNATARIES


THE DOORS AND THE STAIR RAILINGS ARE ORIGINAL TO THE HOUSE.  WE WERE NOT PERMITTED TO TOUCH ANYTHING EXCEPT THE STAIR RAILING AS WE WALKED UP THE STAIRS.

THE PARLOR WAS QUITE LARGE - ALMOST THE FULL LENGTH OF THE HOUSE ON ONE SIDE


DINING ROOM

THIS WAS THE ROOM WHERE THE LINCOLN'S SPENT TIME WITH THEIR CHILDREN.

THE DOCENT STATED THAT LINCOLN LIKED TO SPRAWL OUT ON THE FLOOR TO PLAY WITH THE CHILDREN


LINCOLN'S WARDROBE

LINCOLN'S BED


MRS. LINCOLN'S ROOM - ADJOINING MR. LINCOLN'S


THE CHILDREN'S BEDROOM

ROOM FOR THE YOUNG LADY WHO ASSISTED WITH THE CHILDREN

KITCHEN STOVE - MRS. LINCOLN LOVED TO COOK AND DID ALL OF HER OWN MEALS

MORE KITCHEN AREA

BACK OF THE HOUSE

By the time we finished the tour of Lincoln's home it was late afternoon, so we stopped at a Kentucky Fried Chicken and had a late lunch.  I can't remember the last time we had KFC and we both really enjoyed it.  We returned to the campground and rested for the evening.

Tomorrow we will be moving on to Lee's Summit, MO for our last stop before heading back to Oswego.  Here's a picture I took the next morning while we were watching the local news.

I DIDN'T GET TO SEE THE SENATE IN PERSON, BUT THEY WERE ON TV THE NEXT MORNING!  

I hope to get the last post of our final stop on our return home, completed and posted in the next few days.  It won't be long and we'll be heading out on a new adventure soon.