Sunday, May 31, 2020

Wrapping it Up at Knob Noster

We packed up our weekend campsite at Knob Noster State Park and then took one last hike for good measure.

Back at the apartment Lydia was real jelly because my Peloton Century Club t-shirt I earned for 100 bike rides had arrived.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

All the Parks Around Kansas City

With our campsite at Knob Noster serving as a home base, we started doing some work mopping up state parks in the Kansas City area.

Thomas Hart Benton Home and Studio State Historic Site was real closed but I did creep in all the windows like a mustachioed cat burglar. Benton painted a giant mural depicting MO life that wraps around a room at the MO Capitol.

Best mustache ever.

After peeking into the house's windows we strolled around the fancy Roanoke neighborhood a bit. A millionaire must have parked their fancy car in front of their house. Oh wait, that's my car!

Our friends Lainey and Chris moved to Kansas City some time ago and we were sad. They agreed to come hike with us at a park since we were in their neck of the woods.

I spotted this snail taking a break under a mushroom umbrella.

Nora is very bendy.

The park had an old tobacco curing barn. We visited one in Cuba that was full of tobacco.

We checked out the outdoor pulley elevator system at the Watkins Woolen Mill State Historic Site. Nearly all of the 1860 mill machinery has been preserved, including a 65-horsepower steam engine that powered the factory.

There were bees.

I had fun feeding the chickens through the bars of their jail cel.

We drove around a bit in the little town of Excelsior Springs, Missouri. I was impressed to see as fancy a hotel as the The Elms Hotel and Spa. The current iteration of the hotel opened in 1912 as has all kinds of history. It operated as a speakeasy during prohibition and Al Capone was a frequent visitor. Harry S. Truman spent election night at the hotel in 1948. It served as a training camp for boxer Jack Dempsey as well as the 1948 New York Giants.

The fancy hotel as well as this awesome Maid-Rite mean I would seriously consider returning once the apocalypse is over.

Worked on my cannon aiming at Battle of Lexington State Historic Site. MO was a contested border state during the Civil War and saw more than 1,200 distinct engagements within its boundaries; only Virginia and Tennessee had more. 

The Confederate Memorial State Historic Site near Higginsville was once home to the Confederate Soldiers Home of Missouri, which provided refuge to 1600 Civil War veterans. Now it's the final resting place for more than 800.

I recognized this injured lion motif from the Lion of Lucerne which I haven't seen since the Switzerland stop on our highschool trip.

I'm not super excited about the existence of a confederate memorial being a state historic site. You know who was though? This guy driving around a truck with a confederate flag license plate.

I pulled over for this sign advertising honey for sale on the side of the road.

They were also selling a riding lawnmower. Missouri truly is a place of commerce.

Awesomely the honey was being sold out of the back of a pickup truck. There was also some beekeeping equipment in the back which added to the authenticity.

I pretty much had to buy some.

I'm a well-known chick magnet. We're quickly realizing that Lydia on the other hand is tick magnet. We found yet another on her.

Here she is lathering herself with bugspray.

Instead of rubbing my bare butt in the grass looking for arachnids I got started on dinner.

I was in the car looking for something and one of Lydia's pets was on her seat looking for her!

One of our camp-cooking favorites is to pack a banana with marshmallows and chocolate chips and then grill it in tinfoil. It's pretty damn delicious, let me tell you.

You know what else is delicious? Lydia. To the ticks. Her camping name is Rikki-Ticky-Tavi.

The racoons were back but our neighbors in the site next door had a dog, and that dog was not having any sneaky creatures in his zone.