23 Following Lewis & Clark

The L & C Trail

The markers tell us that we’re following in the boat and foot tracks of the 1804 Lewis & Clark expedition. So rural here that we had to pick our way through a dirt and rock road for more than 3 miles. Very scenic. We found and at least for the moment, saved a little turtle from being samshed into road kill. A larger one had also ventured out onto the pavement? Perhaps to sun himself? He measered 10 inches across and was heavy. When I lifted him water gushed from inside his shell. We felt like such naturalists.


Rusty Relics


Stone Home

SAving a LIfe

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22 Across the Wide Missouri

Time to get back aboard the bikes and we were ready. It was a down hill run toward the river then a perilous crossing on the Broadway Bridge. Morning traffic and drain covers that seemed to be designed to trap a bicycle wheel added to the difficulty. Then freeway or expressway riding between the airport and train yards. It was almost 2 hours before we broke into beautiful countryside.


Dangerous Drains


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21 The Truman Presidential Library

The long hot walk really paid off. So many details of the life and times of President Harry S. Truman. (No middle name just the initial S in honor of both his Grandfathers.) Harry supervised the collection and display of the materials saved during his life and Presidency. He especially wanted to show it all. So beside the usual Pomp and Circumstance photos and stories you also get a look beyond the GOOD and into the BAD and the UGLY. Some of the posters and letters were damning beyond belief. We felt almost as though we’re repeating history, today. Don’t we ever learn?   

Presidential LibraryPresdential Look


Harry & I

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20 Harry’s Hometown

Clinton's Drug Store

You start the walking tour at Clinton’s Drug Store where young Harry Truman held his first job, Soda Jerk. Across the street is the County Court House where Judge Harry sat on the bench for more than 8 years. By the way, he had only a high school education but was blessed with mid-western values. Politics next led to his election as US Senator from Missouri. After 10 years he was chosen to become President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Vice President. He was thrust into the Presidency upon FDR’s death on April 12, 1945. He oversaw the end of war in Europe, authorized the A-Bomb and accepted the Japanese surrender during his first 6 months. Later the Korean War and dismissal of Gen. MacArthur.(Reminiscent of today and Gen. McChystal?)


Harry's Courthouse

In fact Harry withstood the same kind of avalanche of negativity we see today yet pulled off an upset victory or Thomas Dewey when re-elected in 1948. That is personal to me, I was only 9 years old when Harry came to town in Spokane, WAshington on his “Whilstle Stop Tour”. A neighbor took me to see him. My parents were among his dissentors. My die hard Republican Grandfather Patterson wouldn’t talk to anyone for 3 weeks after Harry defeated Dewey.

 The tour of Harry and Bess Truman’s home was insightful, too. The only house he ever owned and that only after the death of his mother-in-law. Amazing story of how such a normal guy could become Presdient of the USA. Our Guide, Horton (Seen at the bottom of the photo) knew so many interesting tidbits that seemed to bring Harry, Bess and their daughter Margaret back to life.

Truman House

The Truman Home




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19 Independence MO

There’s actually more to Independence than just Harry Truman. Not a lot more, but more. For instance, the jail. The most famous or infamous resident was Frank James, of the famous James Brothers Gang. He and Jesse robbed from the rich and gave to the poor. Frank was accused of murder, arrested and ensconced in the old jail. He sort of lived the life of Riley while there. Friends carpeted the cell. He hated jailhouse food so his wife cooked and brought his meals to him. The even allowed him to leave the cell and escorted him down the street to buy cigars. Pretty cushy incarceration. Then after a year he was acquitted and released. 

KC Skyline

Oregon Trail

The Oregon trail passed through Independence and is commemorated. Though the trail head was St. Louis, MO the most popular departure place was right here in Independendence. And, there are some beautiful old homes linng the walking trail and marked with placques. You can also see the KC skyline from here.

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18 Finding Worldliness in Kansas

Every so often we see something that reminds us WHY WE LOVE TRAVEL. You don’t have to be on bicycles to grow and learn from the experience of TRAVEL but we feel that it helps to see between the lines of countries, cultures and get to know people of the WORLD. This photo and video says it all, don’t you think?

Travel the World


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17 Dinosaurs in KC

We’d seen a life sized Dinosaur as we cycled past Union Station. Curious we walked more than a mile in sticky heat. There was a display but we’d had our fill of museums for the day. We took pictures of the big guy and a video then took the bus back to Camp Hotel Phillips.

Dino Bites Lamp

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16 The Steamboat Arabia


Steamboat Arabia

Pat and Jane dropped us near the entry to the Steamboat Arabia Museum. We usually avoid Museums but they insisted. And, they were right, this expeience was quite different. The ship was steaming upstream on the Missouri River in 1856 when it slammed into a snag, a tree trunk coming downstream. The ship sank, the only known casualty was a mule.  Over the years the river changed course and the Arabia was lost, but not forever. You can see a great presentation of the sinking and recovery at   

  http://www.1856.com/ .

What we loved most about the Museum is that it’s privately owned by the two families that turned a treasure hunt in to a display of all the treasures for public viewing. Like a window to the past. 

Pitchers & Pots


Boots n' Powder

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15 An Irish KC City Tour

The good news, we love the Hotel. The bad news, they only serve one Continental Breakfast for each room? We weren’t the only ones confused. We witnessed 3 other couples enter and the embarrassed staff explain. Seems like a classy place doing the cheap.

Our new KC Irish Family, Pat, Jane and daughter Kelly picked us up at 10:30 AM. They gave us a whirlwind tour including a stop at Kelly’s new Loft Condo. We lunched together at Fran’s a great local place near our Hotel. What a joy, having friends like this in a strange City. 

WW I Veteran's Memorial

Jane Dances

New Family, New Loft

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14 Cycling In To KC, MO

View from Our Room

Last night Steve layed out a route into and through KC. This morning Pat revised some of the route into Kansas City. We did laundry and talked Real Estate, the economy and travel. We rolled out of the driveway at 12:00 noon in clean cloths. Jane had helped Cat book a room on Hotel’s.com and we are staying in Hotel Phillips, downtown, KC.

We rode through Pat & Jane’s neighborhood then onto the series of streets Pat had mapped out. Perfect directions, we were at the door of Hotel Phillips by 1:30. The staff was interested in our story and upgraded us to the 20th floor. Nice room, great view. We even saw some of the 4th of July fireworks from our room. Dinner at the Sea Food Grill. Best blackened Tuna and Scallops we’ve ever had. We like this City! 

KC Street Scene

KC MO Skyline

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