Tuesday, May 19, 2020

A Holy Quest is Born

We had planned on taking two weeks of quarantine just as a precaution after returning from our trip to Kenya in late March. We were now approaching two months of lockdown and it was beginning to take a toll on our morale. We had a house rule where when we go on a trip we already have the next one booked, that way we always have something fun on the horizon to look forward to. Well now the horizon was full of nothing but uncertainty, and we'd lost travel as our favorite hobby. I came up with a crazy idea: what if we took a break from ticking countries off of our list and switched to trying to visit every state park and historic site in the state of Missouri? And what if we gave ourselves only a year to get that goal accomplished? At this point in time we were still pretty concerned about catching the virus from people even outside, so there were a lot of questions about what we would do if we were hiking on a trail and passed another group, or even where we would go to the bathroom when on a long drive to the next campsite. We didn't necessarily have perfect answers to all of the what-ifs but I thought it was important to just go for it anyway and give us back some amount of adventure to look forward to.

The question of how many parks we were committing to visiting wasn't even that simple. The state websites have a nebulous way of counting, and count more than one stop along the Katy Trail as separate sites, for example. We finally agreed that the magic number was 87.

It's funny now after having visited so many parks that the first one was walking distance from the apartment. A weakness of the plan soon became apparent: many of the historical sites in particular are buildings that we wouldn't want to enter because of covid. It was still fun to look at the exterior of the building and read a bit about the Scott Joplin House anyway. Scott Joplin (1868-1917)  was an American composer who wrote over 100 ragtime pieces and was dubbed the "King of Ragtime".

I think "The Entertainer" is his work that I am most familiar with.

Ol Scotty lived here from 1901 to 1903.

We saw a few fun buildings on the walk back as well.

"The Melbourne Building was a former manufacturing site for Moon Cars as well as animal-drawn carriages, buggies and wagons."

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