Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Travelogue continued

I had better write down my memories of our recent vacation before they fade away. The last time I added to my record of our vacation with the laptop computer was in Springfield, Illinois. Ever now and then on this trip we would do some geocaching. We searched for caches around Welsh and around Hannibal. We also looked for a few in Springfield, Illinois. and later we searched for some in Cape Girardeau.

But I am getting ahead of myself. Following our tour of the Vachel Lindsay home, we went to Oak Ridge Cemetery, burial site of Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln's tomb is impressive. A large obelisk towers over the tomb. You walk into the crypt. You follow the hallway until you come to the tomb. There sits a man whose job is to watch over Lincoln. (Someone once tried to steal Lincoln's body.) Also buried in the tomb is Mary Todd Lincoln, and two (?) of Lincoln's sons. There was also a geocache in the cemetery.

Vachel Lindsay is also buried in the cemetery. We searched for his gravestone but did not find it. It was raining and we did not want to linger. We headed south down I-55.

Along the way we saw a sign which read "Mother Jones Monument." We decided to check it out. It is located in the town of Mt. Olive, Illinois. We followed the signs to a cemetery just outside the town. We drove into the cemetery and noticed a grave with a large stone. It was the grave of Mother Jones. We took a few pictures and moved on down the road. (I took almost 300 pictures on this trip. I will post some later.)

We stopped for the night at the Drury Inn in Festus, Mo. As we checked in, the clerk asked if we would like a drink card. I had not heard of this before and asked what that was. I was told that I was entitled to three free drinks at the beverage bar. We each got a drink card and later got a glass of White Zinfandel wine. The wine was okay, but we passed on the other two drinks. The next moring we enjoyed our continental breakfast of suasage and pancakes before heading down I-55 to Cape Girardeau.

Cape is the home of Kenny and Donna Wallace. Kenny is J's brother. J has five brothers, two, of which, are now deceased. That evening we all went out to a Mexican restaurant near his house. We spent two nights in Cape Girardeau. The second day there, we drove up to a place where Kenny had bought some property. It was bordered on one side by a creek. It seemed to me more like a river than a creek. You can judge for yourself, when you see the picture.

We went looking for a cache in the area, but we were unable to locate it. However, the search for the cache led us to an interesting bit of geography. Next to a Catholic Church is a grotto. The grounds are well-kept. The stations of the cross are there along with other statuary. There is an underground stream which empties into a pool of water. The water then flows back under a boulder. It is a very pretty place. Next we moved to a spot where Kenny comes to fish.

On the way back, we stopped at a small grocery store where Kenny knows the proprietor. Kenny bought some polish sausage and took it back home. Donna, who had stayed at home, had been working on our evening meal of chicken and dumplings. We ate and then returned to our motel room following a few hours of conversation.

We left the next morning, heading for the Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View, Arkansas. The Folk Center is out in the middle of nowhere, it seems. When you are driving there, the last twenty miles are slow going. You see a sign which reads something like "Warning: The next twenty miles are steep and trecherous." That is no exaggeration. At times you can go no faster than 20 MPH. Talk about being isolated, it is.

The Ozark Folk Center is a little gem hidden away in the Ozark Mountains. The Center is an Arkansas State Park. We checked into Dry Creek Lodge on the park grounds. In the evenings, performers put on a show for two hours in the large auditorium. We saw four or five musical acts that evening. Each act was an ensemble made up of players of guitar, mandolin, bass fiddle, piano, etc. The concert that Sunday evening was gospel music. The groups sang and played everything from Amazing Grace to The Great Speckled Bird. I enjoyed the close harmonization displayed by the singers. The concert ended around 9 pm.

Afterwards, we went out to a Pizza Inn and had sandwiches. We returned to our cabin and slept well in the cool mountain air.

The next mornimg we headed back to Sand Springs, stopping at Colton's in Harrison for a meal. We arrived home exhausted. I think I drove the entire trip. Once home we had some catching up to do. The next day we picked up our mail. I went out to Keystone Lake and picked up the receipts for the walking club. I went by the HAT box which I had not checked in almost a month. I also got a haircut which was long overdue.

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