Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Heading to SkillsUSA

CIMG4313 We left the Wisconsin area and our nieces to travel to Beloit, WI, the town that Tom’s Clayton family was from. We knew that grandpa Walter Clayton had worked as a fireman in the early 1900’s before bringing the family to California. We went first to City Hall where one of the secretaries’ sons was a fireman. She directed us to the main Firehouse.

DSC03451  CIMG6385 As we were talking to one of the firemen he said there was a book on the history of the Beloit Fire Department in the Chief’s office.  He got it for us to look through and amazingly enough there was picture of grandpa in 1905! We then went to the Historical Museum and the curator, when hearing that we found a picture of grandpa in the Fire Department History Book, gave us a copy of the book.  Don’t you just love small towns?
We left to travel south to Springfield, IL. Last year when traveling with granddaughter, Julie, we had stayed at the beautiful Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield.
We wanted to visit the area again and mostly find the illusive geocache, Mellow Yellow! We had looked all over for it last year and had to log a “Did Not Find” :(  I since have seen it found many times – no way  was I going to let this one go DNF on my watch. Tom & I looked all over the “yellow” area. Nothing! Tom left for a few minutes and I continued to search. What! Right there in plain sight, probably there last year too. We just didn’t spot it. It was number 555 and off our list. Whew!  On to St Lewis.
CIMG4315The Casino Queen, though a bit pricey at $28 a night, is very nice, 50 amp, and convenient to all the sights in St Lewis and also near to Bobby’s Custard in Maryville, IL.  This is a must stop for us when in the area.
Though we have been to Kansas City, St Lewis, Branson, and parts in between, we have never been to the capitol of Missouri, Jefferson City. We decided on a campground just outside the city, Mari Osa Delta RV Park, and called ahead for a spot. Annie took our call and directed us to the park. This is a very hard park to get to; they have changed the road, the GPS did not find the address, and the turnoff is not marked any more. After traveling about 7 miles past the turnoff we called Annie back. She not only redirected us, she drove out to the highway and flagged us down and ferried us back to the park. We have not found friendlier park owners who are there to make your stay comfortable.
This is a “severe weather” area as we noted when we arrived. Annie showed us many places to visit and we drove the Jeep into the Capitol the next day. 

Of all the Capitols we have visited, non are quite as beautiful as Missouri’s. When this was rebuilt in 1924 it was mandated that the State Museum be incorporated in the Capitol.
We spent quite a bit of time in the Capitol because a “Severe Thunder Storm” came through Jefferson City and we were advised not to leave the safety of the Capitol.
The painting by Thomas Hart Benton in the Assembly Lounge on the second floor was particularly interesting. He was allowed to paint anything concerning the history of Missouri as long as it was true. Later the legislators regretted allowing him this freedom as there were quite a few embarrassing scenes. Never the less the picture remains as Benton originally painted it though at one time the Assembly wanted to hang heavy drapes over the top of the painting.
Imagine, a bare baby’s rear in the Capitol.
A  period that Missouri would rather forget.
There were beautiful stained glass windows and displays.
There was a Children’s interactive display, and Tom got to experience the problems of the hoop skirt under the ladies’ petticoats.
There was the very comprehensive explanation of Missouri’s involvement in the Civil War including the period called “Bleeding Kansas”.
We left after the storm had passed, had a delicious dinner at “The Original Oscars”. Don’t know if the Steak Oscar on the menu was the original Steak Oscar, but we did not have it. When we arrived back at the rig all was good and the storm had passed the park by and the tree had be removed from the trailer. There was nothing left but firewood.
We were right on the Moreau River which was up about 12 feet and in flood stage though we were up on a bluff and safe from the river. We sure saw a lot of swollen creeks, and even the Missouri River was in flood stage on this trip.
There’s a dock and ramp under those trees on the left.
On to Kansas City to meet up with Jennifer and Jamie and the SkillsUSA competition.  Thanks for joining us as we Cache along the road.
Hugs, Tom, Barbara & Pansy

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