Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Back from trip around Missouri

On Tuesday of last week, we left for an eight-day trip to Missouri.

First, we went to Springfield. My Dad had some doctor appointments. He also has macular degeneration and his eyesight is poor. We drove him to the doctor. We left Springfield for Sedalia on Thursday. It was raining heavily as we left. We had reservations at the Comfort Inn in Sedalia for that evening and the next. We checked in that evening. The occasion for the visit to Sedalia was the annual Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival. The festival started on Wednesday and ran thru Saturday. Friday was the only day we attended.

There are five venues around town at which ragtime music is performed constantly from 9 in the morning to 5 in the afternoon. These are all free. In the evenings there are ticketed concerts ($30 per ticket) at various venues.

For our evening meal on Friday we went to a nearby Applebee's. We placed a to go order. I wanted to get back to the motel to see the evening news. While waiting for our order, I recognized the location as being one where a geocache was hidden. Although I did not have my GPS receiver with me, I decided to look for the cache anyway. After about 10 minutes of searching I happened upon it.

After eating our ribs from Applebee's, we went to the evening concert. The concert that evening was devoted to the music of James P. Johnson. James P. Johnson was a famous stride pianist in his day. (Another famous musician around that time with a similar name was James Weldon Johnson, who wrote God's Trombones.)

Several well-known (at least to ragtime enthusiasts) performers played piano at the festival. Two who performed Friday night were Stephanie Trick and Jeff Barnwell.

Saturday morning we left for Troy, about 40 miles northwest of St. Louis. The rain was coming down in torrents. The weather on Friday had been fine, though. As we got closer to Troy, the weather started clearing up. We stopped at a McDonald's in Warrenton for a bite to eat and to repack the car. (Leaving the motel, we had just thrown things in the backseat.)

We went to Kay and Jim's farm a few miles north of Troy. Jim gave me a tour of the farm, showing me his sheep and large garden. We also went to the hen house where Jim goes everyday to gather up six dozen eggs. Jim likes to experiment with new seeds to grow exotic plants.

We spent the night in a motel in Troy and next morning ate at Denny's. We were joined by Rick, another brother of J.

Then we hit the road again, bypassing St. Louis on our way south to Cape Girardeau, where yet another brother of J's lives. We arrived that afternoon. We briefly searched for a geocache but didn't find it. We went with Kenny and Donna to Delmonico's Restaurant. They have a fabulous buffet to which we helped ourselves. We spent the night in the Pear Tree Inn.

The next day (Monday) we drove back to Springfield. We were going to have lunch at Hillbilly Junction, a semi-famous landmark in those parts, but we discovered that they had gone out of business. We suspect that new road construction left them too isolated to attract business. It's too bad, for they had some really good food there in the past.

We spent the night in Springfield at my parents' apartment. The next morning, we returned to Sand Springs.

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