Trips for YouTube part 2 (still no vids though)

#2 - Kansas

It obviously has been a LONG time since I've been on a "real" road trip...COVID has seen to that. Even now, I'm still not going in stores, still not eating out, still not going anywhere but work, but I needed to take a road trip for my own sanity. I miss my trips because they are my "thinking time"...the time I use to clear my head.

After the first cemetery visit though, I was more than leary because it wore me out both physically and mentally and the thought of travelling a few hundred miles was definitely pushing it. I had been buying snacks and drinks (I have quit drinking Cokes, I'm still not sure of the reason why, I just decided to stop), with the intention of going to Kansas every weekend, but weekend after weekend passed and I never went...I just kept eating the snacks at home and drinking the water and the bottled unsweetened tea. Most weekends, I would leave work early on Fridays with the intention of getting up early on Saturday, set the alarm for 3 am for me to get up, but I would just turn it off and go back to sleep, and spend the weekend on the couch doing nothing.

Finally, a few weeks ago, the alarm went off and I turned it off, but I had another one set for 3:30 a.m. This one I played the snooze button game with till about 4:30 a.m. and just decided enough was enough and dragged my butt off the couch and started to get ready! From that moment on, it was like old times. Everything was as methodical as the trips I used to take, until I got in the car and then there was a bit of a panic attack moment, but by 5:45 a.m., I was heading out of town and up into Southern Missouri!


You guys know how I feel about interstate walls, but unfortunately, there wasn't a lot of interstate roads on this trip, so I had to make due with granite:


I know she's a bit of a hot topic subject now, but I stopped at the grave of Laura Ingalls Wilder, not because I'm a fan of her books or Little House on the Prairie, but because I spent countless hours in my Grandmother and Aunt's house watching that show over and over and over again while my Aunt gave a play-by-play because she had probably seen it as many times as I've seen Once (don't get me started on them and the Waltons or Walker Texas Ranger).


And, I did opt for her grave instead of her house and museum. The graveyard was weird...pretty much surrounded by houses on three sides, except for a bus garage and an open field on the fourth side. I was also surprised at the number of tombstones vandalized and toppled over, especially in a residential neighborhood:

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It didn't take me long to hit Route 66 though...I've now been on Route 66 in five States, so I need to add to that total!


At that point, I was starting to feel like I was in the movie Twister...the scenery really looked like tornado alley!


I went to Carthage to go the battlefield:


But they were doing some road construction and I was trying to avoid humans, so I ended up going on to Kansas into Galena and ended up at Schermerhorn Park, playing by the water for quite a while (I'm still not sure why). I did collect a couple of rocks for my collection, so it wasn't a total waste of time.

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I probably should have looked up who Schemerhorn was (and will probably do for my video), but I also drove by his house, which, although in a total state of disrepair, was quite beautiful, in a weird way:


Then it was time to find the Cars stuff, although some of it was a bit cheesy:

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I stayed at the Luigi's place for a while, even walking out in the road to get a picture of the Route 66 road sign in the middle of the road:


But then I noticed this truck drive past me three times, another truck slowed down to an almost stop and stared at me, and someone else pulled in, so I figured it was time to leave. But next door, there was this very house of the seven gables/serial killer house, so I had to get a picture of it too (well, actually I got several).


Then it was on to Baxter Springs, Kansas...the place where I used to buy lottery tickets all the time. I had a particular gas station that me and my ex-best friend used to go to, but they had a tornado that wiped it off the map, so I needed to find another place. In the process of looking for one on Google Maps, I found another Civil War site called...wait for it...Fort Blair!

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I wanted to go up and see it, but it was literally just in a town square and there was no place to park at all. It was completely surrounded by houses and even the side of the road didn't support parking. I circled it about ten times until I felt like I was drawing attention to myself taking pictures out my window, and I just had to leave. I found another oddity on the map, which was called the Rainbow Curve Bridge. It was the last remaining march arch bridge on Route 66, and I had the run of the place to myself, so I walked around for a good 20 minutes just taking pictures and video.


I had several other stops on my map, but it was getting late and, now that I'm not on Ritalin anymore, it's a LOT harder to drive for 33 hours straight, so I had to narrow it down. And, some of the places had a lot of people at them, so that prevented me from stopping as well. The next (and final) stop ended up being a marker that was supposed to be at the Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas border...but it took me FOR-EV-AH to get to it! I'm not sure if it was just poor reception and the GPS kept losing connection or if Oklahoma is just that backwoods, but there were times I got genuinely scared I was gonna get Hills Have Eyed! Eventually though, I did find the marker, and, although I got pictures of all three sides, I couldn't wait to get out of Oklahoma (where the wind comes sweeping through the tree-covered roads that creep me out more than anything else in the world and serial killers wait to eat your guts) is "my" side:


That was probably the most exposed I felt the entire was on the main stretch of road, there was a liquor store across the street, and a reservation just down the hill. I had a LOT of attention standing there taking pictures, so I was in and out pretty quickly. Then I figured I'd better start heading home soon so I wouldn't be driving too much in the dark. I have been on that road dozens of times before (once I got back to the main road), but I swear I have NEVER noticed the part of the road where I'm literally going under rock like this!


And it was a common theme a lot of the way home!


I have never understood why they need to dynamite their way through rock to make a road...just lay it on top of the mountain! I drive through mountains all the time! But, I will say, I'm not sure when Arkansas started taking cues from Texas, but I was surprised to see this:


For those that don't know, you pretty much won't pass under a bridge or roadway in Texas that doesn't have either the state flag or the state shape itself embedded in the concrete (sometimes even a yellow rose). It's kind of gaudy and annoying and now Arkansas is starting it...yea). Needless to say, I made it home about 1:30 a.m. or so and, again, was just as worn out as the cemetery trip, but maybe I'm getting better considering this was over 20 hours and the cemetery trip was just 4. I was lucky, in that I didn't encounter another human other than the clerk I bought lottery tickets from and she didn't speak to me, I just spoke to her. I stopped for gas twice and rest stops twice, but still, no human interaction. I wish I could say the same for the trip I took last weekend, but that's for another blog!


I never understood the blasting of rock to make a road either. PEI is pretty much just a sand bar so no need to blast anything here but over in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick the highways have lots of rock walls. Weird. I was surprised the Laura Ingalls Wilder's grave is so simple and doesn't have many trinkets adorning it. And the Cars town is so cool! Thanks for sharing your trip with us!
What an interesting trip. I would have enjoyed the marker at the corner of the three states and hopping from one to another!
As the granddaughter of a stone mason, it might not be vandalism that has topped the stones. If the ground is quite soft and they installed the stones too soon after the body was buried then they will lurch through subsidence. In the U.K. you have to wait at least six months before you can put a headstone in place.
I'm always impressed by the long trips you take all by yourself, and it looks like you covered a lot of ground on this one! So many interesting places.