Spent the night in Half Way Oregon. What an amazing place. We stayed about 8 miles north of town in a snow park in the foothills of the Wallowas. We made some new friends in the local area who invited us back to stay on their property and have a BBQ… Life is good… http://www.halfwayoregon.com
If you can…
That’s what the June full moon of 1967 was called. Tonight we are sitting next to the fire watching and waiting for the rare Summer Solstice full moon. Our Summer begins with a paddle board fishing trip on Brownlee Reservoir. We met and made some new friends here and look forward to meeting them again later this year.
Life is good.
The moon just came over the horizon.
So..on our bike ride to another campground today we met Huffy. She seemed lost and underweight. What to do? We share our snacks and search for the owner. Huffy has a tag with a number on it. We call it about 15 times with no luck. So we go to the nearest place with a phone and have them try
No luck. We tell the staff our story and they give us food for Huffy. Oh… did I mention that it was a mile away from where Huffy was? So we ride back to the campground, and we can’t find Huffy to give her the food. We seek out the park host in hopes that he will feed Huffy for us if he can find her. We ride in the cold and rain to the host site. We knock on the door and who comes out first? Huffy.
We are glad to see Huffy is okay. Her owner explains the number on her collar is no longer working. We give him the dog food and chat for a bit and move on. Huffy is happy, healthy and very energetic.
Us? Wet. Happy. Cold and tired. But happy for Huffy.
We ride the 5 miles in the cold and rain back to our campground.
We did the right thing. That made our dinner taste better. We think our sleep will be good too…
Moved to Lemolo Lake today. Grueling 14 mile trip… So far far away. Lol It took more time to pack than to get there.
Staying at Poole Creek Campground on the lake. Paddle boards away!
Crater Lake and the surrounding area… Awesome. Nuff said. Spending a couple of days here.
Our campground views…
As the Jefferson’s would say: “We are moving on up….To the East side…”
Okay… now that I have you (older) folks singing the tune to the old 80’s sitcom, The Jefferson’s… If you have forgotten it this will help: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L09qnRfZY-k
Heather, Dizzy and Dave are on the road to Cottonwood Canyon State Park. What will they expect to do there? They will work on trails with a trail crew, catch more Bass out of the John Day river and when not busy with those two main “chores” do some paddle boarding down the John Day.
Of course evenings will be with friends around the fire pit burning heaps and oodles of wood… while taking turns with the telescope to look at moons of Jupiter, the rings of Saturn, as well as the glow of Mars. We don’t look at Uranus too much though…. Just saying.
So off to the “East Side” we go….
OH…we have no Internet there. No phone. No newspaper. No television. No cell phone reception.
We DO have lots of rattlesnakes and S-I-L-E-N-C-E………………………………….
We will be there for a month. See you all when we get back.
We’re still moving around the country! We haven’t spent enough time online to do updates but we’ve been lots of places, taken a few pictures and we’ve got plenty to write about!
Tonight we’re camping just west of Biloxi, Mississippi. It was t-shirt and sandal weather today and will be for us for the next few days while we hang out on the Gulf of Mexico.
We spent our last day in Wichita doing some mall-walking and people watching followed by the hunt for Christmas Light displays. We ate at the Old Mill Tasty Shop, a soda fountain and malt shop in Old Town. They still make soda the old fashioned way in any flavor you want, I had a cherry vanilla Dr. Pepper. Dave had a root beer float and we shared a Peanut Butter Banana Honey sandwich on homemade white bread. Then to top it all off the three of us shared a Butter Pecan malt with pecans. It was all so yummy and something you can’t find in too many places anymore. We ended the day with homemade candied bacon on vanilla ice cream….wow….soooo good!! And so sticky we didn’t dare try to touch the phone to get a picture…
Awesome family light display set to a local radio station. So amazing to watch with the music! Too bad I can’t post videos….
Dave and Greg, friends for 35+ years, at the Old Mill Tasty Shop.
Peanut Butter Banana and Honey on homemade bread.
On Sunday morning we got up bright and early to hit the road for Missouri, time for me to finally meet Dave’s parents!
We spent an hour the night before de-icing the car and lucky for us the freezing rain turned to just wet rain so everything didn’t freeze over again. The roads were fine and clear but the fields and trees were still encased in ice, it made for a really pretty morning drive.
Frozen solid with about 1/8″ of ice, I couldn’t even get my doors open…
I looks and sounds like it’s made of glass.
I can’t talk him into wearing a hat and gloves….
We came into Missouri on Route 66 which took us right into Joplin. We drove around a bit and found Cunningham Park. The EF5 tornado that swept through Joplin in 2011 came right through this park. It’s now a beautifully done memorial park. From the displays you can look down the path of the tornado, a 6 mile swath devoid of trees. There are hundreds of survivor stories from that day, I love the stories of the Butterfly People.
The Miracle of the Human Spirit
The memorial fountain with the Ghost Houses.
The bronzed gloves of one of the thousands of volunteers.
The butterfly mosaic made with remnants from the debris.
“Ghost” structures symbolizing the lost houses.
The waterfall. Thirty-eight segments, each marking a minute that the tornado was on the ground. The void at minute 7 is when it hit the park.
Hope, showing the twister’s path.
“The biggest and most disastrous moments in a person’s life can be the most defining of a person’s character and a person’s heart.”
A tribute to the volunteers.
Tornado Statistics. The view is looking down the tornado path.
What happened after.
Looking at the chapel through the notch in the panel.
The Butterfly People.
Four tasks for healing.
From Joplin we started following the backroads that headed in the general direction we wanted to go. Looking at our Atlas we found the George Washington Carver National Monument and took a detour to check it out. Worthy stop but we didn’t have enough time to really delve into the exhibits. After chatting with the Ranger and volunteer inside we decided to spend the little time we had walking the interpretive trail to see the Carver Cabin. Next time we come out here we’ll make sure to plan a couple of hours to walk through the Center. George Washington Carver was an impressive man.
The Carver Trail
George Washington Carver Bio
George Washington Carver National Monument.
Statue of George Washington Carver as a child.
George Washington Carver’s childhood home.
George Washington Carver.
We pulled into the Colonial Mountain Inn around 4, unpacked, then hit the town for a BBQ dinner! Neither of us had ever been here so it was quite an experience! It’s a very bright, flashy, colorful, and busy town, even now in the “off-season”. There is so much to do there with the shows, amusement parks, museums, restaurants, zoos, tours…. We wanted to see all of it but almost every activity would take a day to truly explore, and none of them are what we would consider budget-friendly, definitely something to save up for. The museums alone will take us a week to check out. We just didn’t have the time this trip so we settled for a couple of meals out and a driving tour. We still had fun!
We also highly recommend the motel. It’s under new management and a renovation but the owners are super friendly and very hospitable and it’s affordable! The day we left there was a crew there from a show called Hotel Impossible on the Travel Channel, apparently they will be featured on it. Check it out if you’re in Branson.
This is the stalker look we woke up to in the dark of the motel room, I used flash to take it. Lucky dog though, he had his own bed!
All you need is love! At the Liverpool Legends show.
The guard at Ripley’s Believe it or Not!
Need a lift?
The Showboat “Branson Belle” Seats 700 for shows.
Return of a Showboat.
The 43 foot tall greeter at The Great American Steak and Chicken restaurant where we had lunch. Good southern food comfort food!
Pasgetti’s restaurant. Didn’t eat here but love the entrance.
The Titanic Museum. Apparently they have some real artifacts from the Titanic. The display is awesome!
The Hollywood Wax Museum.
On Wednesday we rolled out of bed around 1130, had a big brunch and eventually headed downtown to the Wichita Sedgewick County Historical Museum. We only made it through 1 1/2 of the 4 floors before the museum closed, we were so engrossed in the displays. Awesome museum, we’re looking forward to our next trip out here to finish walking through the building. One of the displays is called “Wichita Cottage” and is a perfect replica of a middle class family’s home in the 1890s. It’s an amazing, very detailed display, down to the way the house was wired!
The Historical Museum, didn’t have time to tour it this time but we will.
A picture in the museum featuring a pug puppy!!
We think this is a vacuum, there was no information on it but we thought it was fascinating.
At 5:00 the bells started ringing. They played a few songs, including My Country ‘Tis of Thee.
Original light switches. All of the lights in this exhibit are wired up like they were in the actual house.
The phone still works! For a dime you can still make local calls, but we didn’t have a dime…
Phone with wiring.
Wichita is the founding home to Coleman, Mentholatum, Pizza Hut, White Castle and a few other nationally known companies. It’s also the Air Capital of the world! Airbus is still here, Cessna, Beechcraft and a few others were started here. We’ll make the Aviation Museum next time, too.
After the Museum closed we walked down to the river to get some pre-Thanksgiving exercise in and see what was down there. We found a few more scultures, a lot of fountains (all shut off now), a flock of Canada Geese and a great walking trail. The river bank has been built up on both sides into miles of paved paths with many great sitting areas, interpretive panels with more local history and green parks everywhere. Next time we come we’ll bring our bikes and rollerblades!
Wichita’s Riverwalk is impressive. Many miles of paved path along both sides of the river.
A sculpture across from Drury Plaza. The trees are still so pretty!
Geese taking to the sky over Dave’s head.
Keeper of the Plains
We also came across the America3, a huge racing yacht built and raced in the early 90’s. Unlike most racing yachts built by boat builders and enthusiasts this was built by aerospace engineers. It’s massive! The mast is 110 feet tall and the keel is huge! I’ve never seen one like it.
The keel of the America3.
The America3, looking westward toward the water.
America3, perched above the river.
From the river we wandered through town admiring more of the gorgeous historic buildings and eventually ended up in Old Town. There we found the Museum of World Treasures, another one on our must-do list for next trip.
99 words and phrases coined by Shakespeare, I didn’t know he had that many.
We stopped it for a second so we could actually see it.
This is a massive church.
There are even sculptures alongside the freeway.
I don’t know what this building is or was but it’s beautiful.
The Methodist Church across the street was not to be outdone.
One of my favorites, this is E2. It moves with the wind! Today was a really windy day so it was spinning like crazy.
The Museum of World Treasures with a history of Old Town out front.
The First Baptist Church
We’re really impressed with Wichita. It’s very clean, very artsy, and has lots of history.
Today it’s just really icy so instead of driving around we skated down the road to the Spangles restaurant for hot cocoa, coffee and wifi.
We hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!!
On Monday we took a road trip to Kearney, Nebraska, where I lived from kindergarten to 4th grade. I don’t remember much about the town so it was interesting to see. It’s a really nice town, lots of old brick houses and business buildings, cobblestone streets downtown, a lot of city parks and old tree lined streets. We found the two houses I lived in, one of the elementary schools I went to and the movie theatre my dad started in the mid-80’s. The rest of the tour was pretty much new to me. We only spent the afternoon there (and didn’t get many pictures) but I’d love to go back and hang out for awhile.
Our entrance into town was very patriotic! Flags for all branches of the Armed Services.
The Hilltop 4 Theatres at the Hilltop Mall. My Dad opened this theatre around 1985 and ran it until 1990. We spent a lot of weekends and had a lot of birthday parties here.
A copper bra at a lingerie store downtown.
Just chilling at a coffee shop downtown.
We started the Kearney tour at the Great Platte River Road Archway. We didn’t have time for the tour of the arch but we walked the grounds for awhile. Great Platte River Road Archway
Welcome to Buffalo County.
The Great Platte River Road Archway over I80 in Kearney, Nebraska.
Inside the earthen home at the Archway.
A herd of wire buffalo on the Platte River!
Beautiful day to tour the Great Platte River Road Archway grounds.
The trip up there was pretty fun, too. We took the backroads, as we’re prone to do, and came across a smiling barn, the World’s Largest Ball of Sisal Twine and stumbled across the Geographical Center of the Lower 48 States.
World’s Largest Ball of Sisal Twine, amazing.
That’s a big ball of twine!
Ball of Twine
We stumbled upon the Center of the US!
We found it!
Just when we were starting to get bored with the scenery we came across the happiest barn ever!
The US Center Chapel. The smallest chapel I’ve ever seen.
The US Geologic Center.
This tiny chapel still holds a lot of weddings.
Monument at the Center of the US, carved out of limestone.
Limestone roads and rolling hills.
This guy stopped by just to say hi and welcome since we were from out of state. Korean war vet, lived here his whole life. Very nice gentleman.