October 22, 2016
We are home now and have put our arms around all 4 kids and the 3 grands. Freezer and pantry have been restocked and the yard mowed so now I'll take the time to summarize the last two weeks of our travels.
After leaving South Dakota, we drove through eastern Nebraska and found ourselves passing through Omaha so we made a visit to Boys Town. The Visitor Center there has the World's Largest Ball of Stamps on display. It was started by some of “the boys” on a golf ball years ago. While visiting the museum on campus, we met another “visitor” - a captive bald eagle named Challenger. Very cool!
"He ain't heavy; he's my brother."
We also visited Homestead National Monument and Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve before moving on to Kansas. The exhibits really helped us understand how the Homestead Act shaped the history and settlement of the Midwest.
We hiked around this restored prairie.
Points of Interest in Kansas (that also included geocaches):
- world's largest ball of twine in Cawker City
- geodetic center of North America
- geographic center of the lower 48 states
We shared a campsite with a flock of Canada geese...noisy neighbors.
carvings on a building in a small Kansas town
Not sure what this building is for but it caught my eye.
We made a stop in Kansas City to visit one of Brian's former students and her family.
Brian and Leah
and attended two geocaching events in Wamego, KS. We visited some historic sites in Kansas, Missouri, and Arkansas:
Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site in Topeka (powerful exhibits), George Washington Carver National Monument [Brian taught at Carver Elem. in Baytown during the 1990s], Harry S Truman's birthplace, Fort Scott NHS and Fort Smith NHS.
Kindergarten classroom (circa 1950s) at Brown v. Board Historic Site - note the record player on the desk.
We drove the Talimena National Scenic Byway from Mena, Arkansas to Talihina, Oklahoma but were too early to see the fall foliage. We enjoyed a pleasant night sleeping in our truck with the back open on Winding Stair Mountain – no mosquito netting needed. After crossing the Red River into northeast Texas, we spent our last night at Daingerfield State Park.
Our last campfire of the trip - Winding Stair Campground, OK
We can't pass through Nacogdoches without visiting Mimi and Dusty - our adopted family while in college:
Once again, we feel very blessed and fortunate to explore this country (and Canada) together. Summary: 23,000 miles in 122 days, visited 12 states and 3 provinces, 16 U.S. and Canadian national parks and many national monuments and historic sites. Home for now until we set off on our next adventure.