Saturday, April 30, 2022

Singing in the rain...

Ely is a great small town.

We hope everyone had a happy Easter!  We have taken 2+ weeks off of our travels for a family "vacation."  We headed to Ottumwa, Iowa to spend Easter with Pat's family.  We parked our RV in Pat's Mom's driveway, spending time with her and traveling to see others.  A big thank you to Mary!!  

From Ottuma we traveled to Ely, IA and spent a week with our youngest son Chris.  We took Mary on a couple of day trips.  One to Pat's brother's house and another south to visit family, and to see the farm where the had lived prior to Ottumwa.  I was happy that my brother Mark and his wife Mary traveled from Davenport to spend a day with us.  It included an order from the Canteen.  I set my camera aside, for the most part, to just experience this family time.

Ely (pop. 2,328), just south of Cedar Rapids, lies in the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City corridor.  Chris made the, now annual, hand-cranked ice cream for us and his neighbors.  Of course Braxton and Carter are getting old enough to do a good share of the cranking.  Amber and Tyler had us over for delicious homemade pizza, and prepared a BBQ night.

Celebrating 150 years in 2022.

Chris did a fantastic job refinishing his basement.  Loved the hidden bookcase door that leads to his utility and storage area.  

Mount Vernon is a small town near Ely and Cedar Rapids.  Excellent food and beer at Big's BBQ.  Lincoln's Wine Bar also had good wine and wood-fired pizza.

Part of the Czech Village and New Bohemian area.

The NewBo City Market houses and supports area small businesses and local craftsmen.

Located in NewBo is Shawniecakes Bakery, which was mentioned on Stephen Colbert's small business segment.

1916 Bohemian-American Hose Co.

Dan and Debbie's Creamery is always a must see.  We walked up one day for fresh squeaky cheese curds.

This Story Walk, by the Ely Librarywas located along the bike path that runs through Ely.  I hadn't seen one before.  There were 14 signs illustrating the book "Singing in the Rain," illustrated by Tim Hopgood.  Beautiful pictures. Funny thing was, I took these pictures on a walk in the rain.  No singing though.

 Where are the Piepers now?  Ottumwa, IA

Thursday, April 14, 2022

I love Lee's Summit!

You should know by now that I love to search for artwork, particularly themed sculpures, in the towns we visit.  You may not be disappointed that I didn't search for the 150ish heart sculptures in Kansas City.😃  I, however, am disappointed but we had no time.  I found the above heart in Summit Fair outdoor mall.  The artist is Phil 'Syke Style' Shafer and his theme was KC Soul.

In 2022 the Kansas City area wanted to showcase the big hearts of it's people. The Parade of Hearts includes 5 foot sculptures uniquely designed by various artists.  Without doing much looking I did come across 2 in Lee's Summit.

Near the movie theater I found The Heart of the Community, by artist Juan Tello.

Longview Campground isn't far from where we lived in Lee's Summit.  We stayed here last year and liked it.  Large lots, and they are working on paving all sites.

Pat tried a dump cake in the crock pot.  It wasn't what we expected.

We have experienced various weather conditions im Lee's Summit ranging from mid 80's, a 30°  night and Weds. sleet (above) and even a few snow flakes.

Wish we had more time in Lee's Summit, hopefully, next year.  We did get all of our doctor appointments and tests done, and we are able to move on to Ottumwa for Easter.  
Where are the Piepers now?  Lee's Summit. Mo

Monday, April 11, 2022

To me, Kansas was just a place you went through to get somewhere else...

but not anymore.  I actually have a reason to go back.  I have a friend that I bet loves Kansas because of its connection to The Wizard of Oz. Wamego, KS has a Wizard of Oz Museum.

For us:

1)  Kansas Sonic is one of the few places we have found regular cheese-curds.  Most Sonics have gone to jalapeños cheese curds.  This may be trivial to some, but sometimes it's the little things.

2)  I found an outdoor art display that I liked, no loved.  I wish we had taken the time to stop,  but on a small highway in an RV pulling a car, easier said than done.  Pat asked if I wanted to go back, but I'm 100% sure he was kidding.  Oh well, a reason to go back.

M. T. Liggett was born in 1930 in Mullinville, KS.  He served in the Navy, the Air Force and studied law.  He later returned to Mullinville where for 25 years he exhibited his Folk Artwork, signs, and whirligigs sculpted from re-used farm implements, welded metal, and combine discs.  His venue was mainly land along his  front fence on U.S. 400.  This artwork is 3 rows deep and stretchs for a quarter of a mile.  

A lot of Liggett's art is political, although he said he didn't belong to any political party and had no agenda.  He acknowledged that a lot of his art made people mad, but he said "you have to have a strong opinion and guts." When he put up a piece of art he didn't care if anyone liked it or not.   He died in 2017 at the age of 86.  A restoration project, including a visitor center was established.

You can search the internet to see some of his more "saucy" artwork.  It's great, but I can see why it made people mad!

We stopped at Goddard, KS at a WalMart to eat lunch.  An animal group was there helping celebrate the opening of the garden center.  I stopped and petted the Ferret for our grandaughter, Alexa, who would love one of these, or just about any other living creature. 

Thank you to our Harvest Host, Wildwood Cellars Winery in Peck, KS., for allowing us to spend Saturday night.  They have 3 Kansas and one Illinois location.  Their specialty?  Elderberry.  We enjoyed the wine tasting, free by the way, as well as their hospitality. 

We chose an  Elderberry semi-dry and an Elderberry/Blackberry semi-sweet.

We have made it to our destination. 12 doctor visits in 4 days!
Where are the Piepers now?  Lee's Summit, MO

Saturday, April 9, 2022

Time for us to "get out of Dodge!"

Who knows where that saying came from? If so, you win "the prize."😉

A lot of the gunslingers in Tombstone, AZ traveled to Tombstone from Dodge City, KS.  Since we had been to Tombstone, Pat thought it fitting to stop in Dodge City.  

Tombstone was a very touristy town, everwhere!  We were there during off season (granted their off season was pretty warm) and there were still plenty of things going on.  As well as the touristy stuff, they offered a lot of history.

Dodge City had a wild west vibe, but nothing like Tombstone.  The wax museum and gunfight shows were still closed.  We did go to the "Boot Hill Museum."  Didn't make it to " Miss Kitty's Cafe."  The museum had some interesting things, such as the picture frames that actually came to life and told their story.  Over all we weren't too impressed.  To be fair we had gotten our second Moderna booster on Thursday and it had a little "kick" that hit just after we got to the museum Friday.

6,000 pound, 1860 freight wagon like what would have been used on the Santa Fe Trail.  This would have been in the middle of the wagon train with the front and back wagons having bigger wheels.

A stunning mural.

Pat at the original Boot Hill Cemetary.  In 1887 the graves, approximately half of those supposedly buried there, were moved to another cemetary.  Why was it named Boot Hill?

This strip of buildings were replicated with furnishings like what you might have found in the old-west days.  Among others, there was a general store (that was functioning), an apothecary, photographer, mortician,etc.  There also was a saloon that is open for business in the summer. 

A church like you might have found back then. This was a Catholic Church donated from a nearby town.

Our park for Thursday night.

Shattuck, OK windmill museum and park established in 1994. 37 unique windmills, all in functioning condition.

Up the Trail by Kate John's and Laurie Thompson.  Some little town on our drive Weds.

Some pictures from Elk City, OK, located on old Roure 66.

Thanks to our Harvest Host!

Our dinner menu.

5 different museums comprise this complex. 

Formerly the McCoy motel advertised in the 1950's modernistic motel.  It even had a pool which is now gone.

By Brasford Williams depicting 2 men sealing a deal on horseback.

Elk Ciy is known as The Natural Gas Capital of the world. This rig was built in the 1960's by The Atomic Energy Comm. to drill deep shafts  for test-detonating atomic bombs underground.  Later it was used for oil and gas drilling.  At 180 feet tall it is equivalent to a 22 story building.  

Where are the Piepers now?  Peck, KS