Rock Bridge State Park, Missouri

Day 451

     We went for a hike to see the Rock Bridge in this Missouri State Park. We were not fully prepared, as we are usually. We stopped on a trial on our way to the Ranger Station to pick up hiking information. This trail was supposed to be .5 miles. It ended up being about 2 miles.

     Normally we carry a backpack with water, snacks, flashlight, compass, etc. Since it was to be a short hike, we had nothing, not even the correct hiking boots.

     So, we died. No more posts.

     The short trail actually went into the trail we were seeking. We decided to push on. The Natural Rock Bridge was formed by a river, which is still flowing.  Since we were wearing tennis shoes, we could not go through it.

     We did hike to it’s mouth, then up the mountain to view from above.

     We also came upon the Devil’s Icebox. It got it’s name because as you descend down to what turned out to be a cave, the temperature dropped about 15 degrees.

     Not having our flashlights we could not go too far in.

     We won’t make this mistake again.

     We did see Mars:

Jefferson City, Missouri

Day 446

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     We walked across a footbridge over the Missouri River to the Capital of Missouri, Jefferson City. The Missouri River is the longest river in the United States. I know, you thought the Mississippi River was the longest. The Mississippi is actually 20 miles shorter than the Missouri. 

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     What is now the State of Missouri was part of the April 30, 1803 Louisiana Purchase (actually the Agreement was signed on May 2, 1803 and backdated).  A statute of the Signing of the Louisiana Purchase Agreement, sits in front the the Missouri Capital Building. 

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     The Missouri State Capital building is the most ornate Capital I have seen. With many archways, it is a visual maze. 

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     It is interesting to note that both Lewis and Clark were each Governors of Missouri after their famous expedition. 

     Let us take a moment to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice to bring us smoother roads. 

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Fulton, Missouri

Day 442

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     The town of Fulton, Missouri, was founded in 1825, but was not incorporated until March 14, 1859. The city was named for Robert Fulton, inventor of the steamboat.

     Westminster College was founded as a college for young men by the Rev. William W. Robertson in 1851 as Fulton College and assumed the present name in 1853. Throughout the next century, Westminster College continued to be an all-male institution until women infiltrated in 1979.

     The Green Foundation Lectureship was established in 1936 as a memorial to John Findley Green, an attorney in St. Louis who graduated from Westminster College in 1884. The foundation provides for lectures designed to promote understanding of economic and social problems of international concern.

     Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill was born November 30, 1874 in England. At the conclusion of World War II, he was defeated in the election of 1945, and was no longer Prime Minister of Great Britain.

     Winston Churchill, now the ex-Prime Minister of Great Britain, was invited to speak as part of the Green Foundation Lecture Series in the Gymnasium of Westminister College, which he did on March 5, 1946. During that speech he classified the division of Russia from her neighbors as an “Iron Curtain”.

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     In 1961 Westminister College President, Dr. Robert L. Davidson, decided to make a memorial to Winston Churchill and his speech of 1946. He had read that the war ravaged St. Mary the Virgin Aldermanbury Church, constructed by Christopher Wren, was slated for demolition.

     The church was originally built about 1200 AD in what is now London, England. Sometime around 1550 it received an endowment from Alderman Bury of London, which is now part of it’s name. On September 2, 1666 the church burned down during the Great Fire of London. The church was rebuilt by architect Christopher Wren, who rebuilt most of London after the Great fire. 

     The church was bombed by the Germans during the blitz of London on December 29, 1940. The church lay in ruins for 20 years until slated for demolition, and was rescued by the Westminister College. 

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     The church was dismantled and rebuilt on this campus and dedicated May 7, 1969. It is the only Christopher Wren church in the United States. The Church now functions as the Chapel of Westminster College. 

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     The National Churchill Museum in Fulton commemorates the statesman and his 1946 Iron Curtain speech in the college gymnasium.  The Museum is located in the lower level of the Church. 

      An interesting thing you will notice about the church, no stained glass windows. Wren thought “nothing can add beauty to light”.

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     Tidbit of Information: Senator Bernie Sanders (they guy who lost to Trump as President) will be speaking as part of the Green Foundation Lecture Series this month on the 21st at Westminister College here in Fulton. He accepted the invitation when he heard we were here and was hoping to meet with us, but we have to move on, sorry, Bernie. 

Technical Stuff:

Litchfield, Illinois to Fulton, Missouri: 167.7 miles

3 hours 25 minutes

11.7 MPG

Diesel: $2.40

 

Shoji Tabuchi Show, Branson, Missouri

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Shoji Tabuchi, pronounced 田淵 章, is a …>>>>>… guess.

     Shoji Tabuchi was born April 16, 1944 in Daishoji, Ishikawa, Japan. Started playing the violin at age 7. Came to the United States in the 60’s and became an American Citizen. He became well known after playing at the Grand Ole Opera in Tennessee. He started playing in Branson in the 80’s, and now has his own theater. A true American success story.

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His step-daughter also performs in the show:

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Branson Landing, Missouri

Day 206

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     Barbara needed a shopping fix, so we went to Branson Landing, an outdoor shopping mall. She picked up some small gifts. Can’t buy too much, no place to put it in our 40 ft. home. While she did that, I sat with my new friend.

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Walked along the boardwalk by the river. Actually it was a cement walk. 

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     There was a neat water display fountain. We were told that in the evening there is a lighted water display presentation. So we chose to eat dinner at a steakhouse restaurant with a balcony over-looking the fountain.

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