Little House on the Prairie - August 2009

August 21, 2009

The first day of the trip.  We started the day by picking up a rental car at the NW Arkansas Airport and then heading north through Missouri, Illinois and Iowa.  Today was mainly a driving day to get as close to House on the Rock for the next day. We left Bentonville at 9am, drove 665 miles and got to the hotel around 10pm.

It seems that Pandi knew we were leaving and wanted to go along :)  After a few pictures and Naomi's very long goodbye with the puppy we headed north.  We started the day ahead of schedule, a first in our life.

Our first stop was YJ's Snack Bar in Kansas City for lunch. We found it on Food Network Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.  Naomi and I split the day's special, Ravioli & Sausage and Donny had a Tuna Sandwich.  Our food was great, service was excellent. We were in & out in about 30 minutes, they had the food on the table before we finished picking out drinks.

Our next stop was going to be the Largest Goose in the World in Sumner, MO. Unfortunately, Google Maps let us down. Our directions took us down a dirt road about 5 miles into the back of a State Park. I should have stopped before we turned off the pavement, but it was only a few miles. Once we entered the park the road passed a lake and the road was covered with water for about 50 feet. I drove through it (shouldn't have, but did), we made it through and onto a bridge. After coming off the bridge the road was very muddy, 3-6 inches deep in mud. We went around a corner and the road turned into a lake. I had to back up around the corner about 100 yards and almost got stuck more than once. I had to rock the car between forward and reverse once, but finally got it back to the bridge area where I was able to turn around before going through the deep water.  The car wasn't happy, a warning light came on, I think from all the water in the engine compartment, but it made it through the water again. We had to skip the Largest Goose as we were now behind schedule.

Since we missed the last stop, our directions to the next stop were off, but I was able to locate it with some luck and my Blackberry. We actually got lucky and found a dirt road named "Ingalls Road" near Rothville, Missouri.  It was only about a mile to the stop where Laura Ingalls once lived.  Rather than continue by our directions, which may have taken us further down dirt roads, we backtracked the way we came to the main hi-way. 

We were back on schedule, but quickly lost time due to 30 miles of construction. Our last stop of the day was the only one that really had a closing time, Mark Twain Caves in Hannibal, MO gave their last tour at 5pm.  We arrived at 4:50pm and were able to take the last tour. It was a cave like none I had seen before. Wasn't the traditional Cavern with lots of water, formations, etc. The cave seemed like an underground river, without the water, with most of the formations being more horizontal than vertical.  After the caves, it started to rain.  We took a few quick pictures around town and then headed north for the hotel.  This is the town that allot Mark Twain's books are based on.  His home is also here, we just didn't have the time to tour it.  Jesse James also hid out in this cave and his signature is in it. 

It is now after midnight and it has been a long day.  Tomorrow should be much more relaxed with only 167 miles of driving and one stop before our final destination.

Today we crossed the Mississippi River 2 times. By the end of our trip we will cross the river at least 6 more times.

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Pandi trying to see if she fits

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Now she is trying my suitcase

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YJ's Snack Bar in Kansas City

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Rothville, MO home site

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Po was driving while I slept

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Mark Twain Cave

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entering cave

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marking on the ceiling from bats

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Mitch and Donny in the cave

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river boat, but we didn't have time to do dinner on it.

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pouring, so we didn't go out and climb the lighthouse

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the start our Corn Tour!

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