Thursday, June 30, 2016

Springfield to Paducah, Kentucky

Marianne is a very good quilter and Paducah KY is home to the National Quilt Museum. It stands to reason therefore that we should visit this city.

It poured rain as we set off but after a few miles it stopped.  We reflected that except for a few brief occasions, we have not experienced much rain on this journey.

Notice the price of the petrol (in red). The green price is diesel. Fuel is cheap in Missouri, typically about $2.08 for regular.

There was not a lot to take photos of for the first few hours. Marianne has taken most of the photos from the car during this trip and she amused herself by taking photos of the vegetation beside the road.

My job is to crop the photos and load them up into the blog. Once we are out of the car however, the camera goes back into my hands.

Missouri is a very pretty state, but not spectacular like the western states.

The road goes on and on.

We stopped for lunch at this diner in Dexter, MO. I wonder if I have lost weight on the trip. Certainly the elegance of my clothes has not increased.

Inside the diner. I asked the waitress the age of the diner and I seem to remember that she said it was less than 30 years old.

We crossed the Mississippi River. To a certain extent, the magic of the trip is a bit less now that we have left the 'west'.

The confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers. On the left is Missouri, on the right is Kentucky. Between the two rivers is Illinois.

So briefly back into Illinois. It seems like years since we were in Chicago and seeing the Frank Lloyd Wright houses.

We decided to go to the point where the rivers join at Cairo.

Bridge over the Mississippi.

Huge barge coming down the Ohio.

Bridge over the Ohio to Kentucky.

The area where Fort Defiance was located. General Ulysses S. Grant was the commander here during the Civil War.

I stood in the water for a few seconds. I sometimes remark to Americans that one of the principle reasons why the USA is so wealthy is water. So much of the country gets plenty of water and these two rivers that join here drain much of the land between the Alleghenies and the Rockies.

By the way, the Ohio is considerably wider at this point than the Mississippi.

Road signs in the US can be confusing at times.

We cross the Ohio to Kentucky.

The Ohio.

Flood plain.

Entering Kentucky.

Kentucky is another pretty state and I am looking forward to driving through it.

July 4th is next Monday and there are tents set up everywhere selling fireworks.

A battlefield and a winery near Springfield

We were spending two nights in Springfield, Missouri so that we could take a day off from driving long distances.

A few miles south west of Springfield is a Civil War battlefield called Wilson's Creek. The visitor's center has a good electric light map of the battlefield that demonstrates how the battle unfolded.

These fences reminded us of fences on battlefields further east but these are higher. 

Stone spring house down the hill from the Ray house which was the water source for the family that lived there.

We wondered if using wood in fences like this was a good way of seasoning the wood for burning in winter.

The Ray House. Read the description below.

The view over the battlefield from the front porch of the house. While the family hid in the cellar, John Ray sat outside on the porch and watched the proceedings.

This path on the other side of the fence was once the highway to the west. Locally it was known as the Wire Road.

Bedroom inside the house. The Union General Lyon was killed during the battle and after it was over, his body was brought to the house and laid on this bed. 

The spinning wheel is original to the house.

Old map of Missouri.

The suspension for the beds. This rope style is the origin for the phrase 'sleep tight'.

The house also served as the local post office.

The family hid in the cellar during the battle and this trapdoor was the way down.

The Park Volunteer who told us all about it.

The woods in the area are quite dense with deep shade.

The Wire Road continued on through the battlefield.

So much foliage now blocks the view of the battlefield in many significant places.

Sharp Cornfield.

Bloody Hill where the worst of the fighting occurred.

It was interesting to visit the battlefield but I felt that too many of the sights were obscured by trees. Oddly, there is only one monument on the site, a sharp contrast to the seemingly thousands at Gettysburg.

Although I have no interest in fishing or hunting, we decided to visit the gigantic Bass Pro shop on the recommendation of our host.

This is not your average sports store. Inside it is huge.

Fish tank.

Fish pond.

Even a live alligator.

The bear is not alive. It's probably just as well since it is about seven feet tall.

The roof is decorated as if you are looking up to the surface of a pond.

We drove around down town Springfield. There is a street of impressive houses on the east side, but it does not compare to Oak Park in Chicago. However we liked the look of this Shriner building.

We took Route 66 back to our bnb. Springfield is recognized as the birth place of the route.

Hay-bale on the back of a truck. They really are big.

The road to the bnb from route 66 had some dips which I enjoyed roaring up and down in the Mini.

Later that day, our bnb host took us to a winery in the area.

Our bnb host was talking to us about the difficulty he was having in getting an area for his VW club to have a meeting where they displayed their cars. We pointed out that this field by he winery would be ideal.

So Bob discussed the idea with the owner.

We tried a few wines and bought a couple of bottles. They don't grow grapes there but get the juice from elsewhere.

Our Mini is still rolling along fine. It has been a great car to drive on the trip. It rained later in the day and the car got a good wash.

The bnb meow bag. The owners also have about 6 long haired chihuahuas which were very friendly. Since the bnb was several miles from Springfield, our hosts cooked evening meals for us so we had some long conversations with them. Staying at bnb's is so much better than motels. We drank one of the bottles of wine.