We spent only one day in Columbia, MO, primarily to see the campus of Mizzou. The campus is beautiful and we learned the significance of the columns; they originally supported the first building on the campus, built around 1841. The building burned in 1892, leaving only the columns (see pic below) which remain on the campus to this day, on “Columns Drive.” We drove around campus and took pictures of the football stadium.
We traveled to Independence, MO, specifically to visit the Truman Library and toured the home he and Bess lived in before and after his presidency. This city still lives in the Harry Truman moment. With a population of 117,000, it is a nice town to visit, especially if you are a Truman fan, the downtown is devoted to Truman, with new development on the perimeter. They have covered wagon narrated history tours of the town.
The most unusual thing in this town steeped in history, is a totally modern monument, amid all the historical artifacts. It is the Temple of Community of Christ, World Headquarters, which is part of the Church of Latter Day Saints. They have several other very large buildings in the town.
From there we went to Kansas City, MO, where we were totally impressed with the city. A major attraction there is the World War I Memorial which we walked around, viewing in amazement. From the memorial, we saw a truly beautiful and modern building nearby so went over to have a closer look. That building is the Kansas City Symphony Hall. We had never seen anything quite like it. From far away, or close-up or front or rear, it is something to see.
The next attraction in that nice city was Union Station which had been totally renovated into a multi-use building and was teeming with people. Very nicely done!
Next stop – Abilene, KS, to visit the Eisenhower Library and his boyhood home just next door where he and his three brothers grew up.
Abilene is a tiny town of 6600 with nothing going on other than the Eisenhower Library. It was fun to see the “I Love Ike” memorabilia and to be reminded of Mamie, her famous bangs, and that she was a real fashionista of the day. How quickly we forget…
So now we have visited all the Presidential Libraries except Hoover’s in Iowa. We probably won’t see that one, but we added Lincoln’s which is not part of the National Parks System; we don’t know why.
Some things we noticed in this part of the country were the large number of windmills, the long, straight and boring highways (great place for autonomous cars), and an abundance of ground hogs and small deer. Ground hogs were also the most common road kill; we added one to the tally when it ran in front of us. Also, the first section of interstate highways is just outside Topeka, KS; remember Eisenhower started the interstate highway system.
We also noticed that daylight lasts much longer, 9 o’clock at night is still light. We must get use to this as we get closer to Alaska where we will find almost 24 hours of daylight. A negative is we have been following pollen season all the way, meaning I have been sneezing for a month now!
Heading up to Colorado, our first stop in that state was the town of Limon. Not much to say about Limon except that it snowed on us the night we were there on our way to Ft Collins. Ahhhh, Ft Collins, we loved that university town. It is so beautiful and we saw some awesome wildlife there.
Our RV Park in Ft Collins was located on a small lake where we did our morning walks enjoying the decorations in the trees; Teddy Bears and other stuffed animals all along the way. And, the park was loaded with bunnies. This is the second park we have visited that was heavily populated with bunnies. So cute.
Ft Collins, such a pretty, nicely kept town, filled with Colorado State students and Rams statues. See the pix below of statue on campus and the mobile statue that goes to away games.
Around the area of Ft Collins, we saw Pronghorns everywhere. It was like they had been sprinkled from a giant “pronghorn shaker!” Of course, we loved that. According to Wikipedia, “until recently, there were more Pronghorns in Wyoming and parts of Colorado than people.” Then we drove through Cache La Poudre (pronounced Pooter) Canyon, with the Cache La Poudre River running through it. Some French trappers discovered the canyon the 1820s and ended up having to store some of their ammunition in the canyon due to a snowstorm. They named the canyon Cache La Poudre, which in French, means “hiding place of the powder.”
We saw rafters, fly fishermen, and snow still on the ground. However, the most awesome site was just as we were leaving the canyon, we saw our FIRST DAYTIME MOOSE!, then we saw a couple of deer and next a large group of Big Horn Sheep. We were expecting to see the sheep as they had been advertised, but the moose was a total surprise. We were driving along admiring the beautiful, just blooming Aspen trees, when I saw what I thought must be a moose. Don stopped and backed up and, sure enough, there she was, totally unimpressed that we had stopped to take her picture! Loved it!
My friend, John, in Atlanta reminded me the Atomic Time Clock is in Ft Collins. Found this information on the internet:
“What is now WWVB began as radio station KK2XEI in July 1956. The transmitter was located in Boulder, Colorado, and the effective radiated power (ERP) was just 1.4 watts. Even so, the signal was able to be monitored at Harvard University in Massachusetts. The purpose of this experimental transmission was to show that the radio path was stable and the frequency error was small at low frequencies.
In 1962, NIST (then called the National Bureau of Standards or NBS) began building a new facility at a site near Fort Collins, Colorado. This site became the home of WWVB and WWVL, a 20 kHz station that was moved from the mountains west of Boulder.
The site was attractive for several reasons, one being its exceptionally high ground conductivity, which was due to the high alkalinity of the soil. It was also reasonably close to Boulder (about 50 miles or 80 kilometres), which made it easy to staff and manage, but much farther away from the mountains, which made it a better choice for broadcasting an omnidirectional signal.”
When in Indianapolis, we saw our first Scarlet Tanager, when in Colorado we saw our first Western Tanager, a beautiful bright yellow bird with red head and black wings. We also noted the lack of trees in Colorado and the constant winds.
Pushing a deadline, we head for Wyoming…