DAY 234 OF YEAR LONG ROAD TRIP FOLLOWING SCENIC BYWAYS IN THE USA
So last night I stumbled upon a Waffle House and ordered a bacon and egg sandwich plate, an old standby from the horse show days. It was delicious! I found a private campground not far away that was charging $57 a night…outrageous. I asked if there were any others nearby and they said a new one opened up about five miles down the road. I saved myself $47 and got a free, clean shower out of it as well!
It’s a good thing I saved myself some money as I started out this morning turning off my phone, removing my sim card, and placing it in a bag of rice because my screen wasn’t legible. Sadly, I think it succumbed to constant humidity and no A/C. No phone calls or texts today, and I’ll have to geocache the old fashioned way…download a few caches onto my GPS as this is
my last chance to check Missouri off the list in my quest to find a geocache in every state.
Small Towns to Visit in Missouri
St. Charles, Missouri
My day kind of continued like my phone…it didn’t work out that well…but I have to say, I loved the area and would definitely come back for a long weekend. We started in St. Charles which at one time was the last outpost for westward-bound pioneers. It was here that Lewis and Clark launched their expedition to the Pacific. The city also served as Missouri’s first state capital which is the building we tried visiting first. We were a few hours too early. Luckily, it is situated just a few hundred yards from the two hundred mile Katy trail that follows along the Missouri River and it is in the middle of the historic downtown, so we wandered around the area.
We picked up a virtual cache which was the high water mark for the 1993 flood, strolled along the quiet streets, and eventually took VANilla up a few hills to a shrine where another cache was hidden inside. That was a unique cache. The square Tupperware container sat on the floor beneath the sign in book at the shrine for all to see. I suppose being located inside a church, it is relatively safe!
August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area
From St. Charles, we detoured to make a stop at Auto Zone in Eureka. I found a few more fans too cool down VANilla in the evenings…I have one for each lighter outlet now. We returned to Highway 94, also known as the Lewis and Clark Trail to visit August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area. We took the auto tour along a gravel road that led us by several small lakes. The birds were hiding out…it was a quick visit.
Daniel Boone’s Homestead
Further along the two lane, paved highway that curved through hills of corn, soybeans, farms, and hardwoods was the Daniel Boone Homestead. Along with his home, other old structures from within fifty miles had been moved to this location. Boone’s four-story, Georgian-style house (kind of hard to imagine for a frontiersman) required an hour long guided tour. I suppose I wasn’t that interested. I was going to have to wait forty minutes for an hour tour and while a million trees blocked every good view of the structures in the complex, not one tree provided shade in the dirt parking lot…that wasn’t going to work for Petey. I snapped a distant photo and left.
We continued on toward Augusta where vineyards and wineries peppered the countryside. Germans, reminded of their Rhine River valley, flocked to the Missouri River in the 1800’s. With them, they brought their fondness for flowers and wine-making skills. Back then, Missouri vineyards were second only to California…eleven wineries flourished here until Prohibition turned off the taps. Several have since reemerged and there were plenty of places to taste a glass. I thought I would save that for later in the evening so I continued on toward Dutzow.
Dutzow is home to a cemetery where Daniel Boone may or may not be buried. He was originally laid to rest here beside his wife in 1820, but Kentucky called for its founding father to be returned home. Missouri acquiesced, though some say Kentucky received the bones of a slave. Regardless, I found a cemetery, though I’m not sure it was the correct one, and spotted several old headstones as I ambled from grave to grave, but I didn’t find Daniel Boone’s.
After visiting Dutzow, I crossed the river to Washington, a town of red brick buildings. It was here in 1860 that a woodworker mechanized the production of the corncob pipe. The factory that supplied both Mark Twain (my favorite author) and General Douglas MacArthur still stands on Front Street, turning out 7,000 pipes a day.
From Washington, we continued west to Hermann, home to Stone Hill, one of Missouri’s biggest and oldest vineyards. I arrived just as the thunder rolled in, the lightning struck and a few drops of rain fell. The vineyard and tasting closed about forty minutes before I got there, but the restaurant was open, so I ordered a light dinner of french onion soup as the restaurant, that specializes in German food, was out of my first choice, stuffed portabella mushrooms. It was my first time to get a bowl of onion soup where I hadn’t wished for more cheese. It was a half inch thick…In fact, I couldn’t even finish the cheese! I washed it down with one of their dry, medium-bodied red wines before joining Petey in VANilla to drive to Jefferson City. We headed west over the rain soaked streets as the skies cleared resulting in a rainbow poking up from behind a hill and as the sun set outlining clouds in bright pink and orange. ETB
Other Posts About Missouri
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