Heading Back East, Part 2

Dates: Aug. 7 to 9, 2018

Location: Lake Mitchell Campground, Mitchell, South Dakota

On our first full day in Mitchell (Aug. 7), we drove about an hour northeast to the town of DeSmet, South Dakota, otherwise known as “The Little Town on the Prairie”.

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We stopped into the gift shop and signed up for a Laura Ingalls Wilder tour.

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Laura Ingalls Wilder tour and gift shop

The tour started next door at the Surveyors’ House, where the Ingalls lived for a while during their stay in DeSmet.

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Upstairs bedroom at the Surveyors’ House

We also toured DeSmet’s first school house.

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From there, the tour group traveled a few blocks away to visit the house that the Ingalls built in DeSmet.

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It was a very nice tour. Our tour guide did a great job. After the tour, we bought a few souvenirs and headed downtown in DeSmet to grab a sandwich for lunch and look around a few of the shops. We headed back to Mitchell later in the afternoon and back to the trailer.

The next day (the 8th), we drove to downtown Mitchell and walked up and down the street, stopping in a couple stores along the way. We didn’t go into the Corn Palace (we’ve done that before), but looked around their gift shop which has moved from inside the building to across the street.

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We also did some other shopping in town before heading back to the trailer for the evening.

Dates: Aug. 9 to 10, 2018

Location: Onawa/Blue Lake KOA, Onawa, Iowa

Our next stop was in Onawa, Iowa at the KOA. Directly across Blue Lake from the campground was a state park campground. Both were fairly busy. The KOA is a nice park. We left the truck hooked to the trailer and enjoyed sitting outside for a while in the evening.

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Dates: Aug. 10 to 11, 2018

Location: Country Gardens RV Park, Odessa, Missouri

Our next stop was at the Country Gardens RV Park. We’ve stayed here a few other times along the way. They have a store with a huge selection of cheeses and other treats, some of them from various Amish areas. We stocked up on cheese and some sweet treats. We left the truck hooked up to the trailer here, as well.

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Dates: Aug. 11 to 12, 2018

Location: Hinton RV Park, Sikeston, Missouri

Our next stop was in Sikeston, Missouri. We’ve stayed at this campground before, as well. It’s a pretty nice campground and just a mile from one of our favorite restaurants – Lambert’s (the home of throwed rolls). We drove by Lambert’s on the way to check out an antique store and saw a huge crowd waiting for dinner (at 3:00 PM).

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We came on back about 3:30 and put in our name and got a number. It was a two hour wait to eat, which was pretty accurate – we were seated about 5:30. The food is worth the wait, though. The main reason for the huge crowd was that there was a rodeo going on later in the day.

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Before leaving the park, we made sure to empty and clean out all our gray and black tanks since our next stop is in the Nashville area and there are no sewer hookups there.

Aug. 12, 2018

Location: Seven Points Campground, Hermitage, Tennessee

We rolled into Nashville about 12:30 PM after noting that our campground has a 2:00 check-out time and a 3:00 check-in time. We decided to waste time by stopping at the Cracker Barrel on Music Valley Road (and parking in the mostly empty parking lot for the shopping center nearby).

We had a leisurely lunch and then drove on over to the campground, arriving around 2:00. The people that had been on our site had literally just left (we passed them on the way in), so we could head on back and set up. We have a very shaded and wooded site.

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After setting up the trailer, we headed out to get some shopping done, then back to the trailer to cook dinner and go through our mail via FaceTime with our daughter. The rest of the evening was spent relaxing.

Malcolm will be working in the office here in Nashville the next two weeks.

 

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Throwed Rolls

Location: Hinton RV Park, Sikeston, Missouri

Dates: July 26 to 27, 2017

We left Kentucky for Missouri on our trip westward. We picked Sikeston not only for the distance from our last stop, but also because it is the home to the original Lambert’s Cafe, billed as the “home of throwed rolls”. We pulled into the Hinton RV Park, which is only a mile or so from Lamberts and got all set up.

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After relaxing in the rig for a bit, we headed on down the street to Lambert’s for a very filling dinner.

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Lambert’s Cafe

The “throwed rolls” part comes in when someone brings out a cart of huge yeast rolls from the kitchen. That person will stand at the end of the dining room and throw rolls to people that raise their hands. If you miss, just grab the next one that flies by. Of course, you can ask that they just bring you a roll or go get one on your own in case your catching skills may be lacking.

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Sample roll (not throwed)

Malcolm took a whole box of leftovers with him (Val ordered a little lighter meal). While you are eating, people come around and offer you “pass arounds” – which are additional side items such as fried potatoes and onions, black-eyed peas, macaroni and tomatoes and fried okra.

After dinner, we relaxed in the trailer for the rest of the evening. Malcolm got in a little work, as well.

And We’re Here

Current Location: Kentucky Horse Park Campground, Lexington, Kentucky

“Here” would be Lexington, Kentucky, where we were heading after leaving Washington state 9 days ago. We’ll be here at the Horse Park campground in our favorite spot for a few days. Here’s a rundown of the rest of our trip here:

Once we left Sioux Falls, South Dakota, we decided to just drive as far as we felt like and stop for the night. As we were heading south on I-29 we decided to stop just after crossing into Missouri. Malcolm found a nice sounding campground (Rock Port Riversedge Campground) on our Allstays app and we just drove in. It was fairly full, but the super nice couple that run the campground found one open spot for us – perfect.

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Parked next to the cornfield in Rock Port, Missouri

It was sunny when we arrived in Rock Port, but it was rainy the next morning. We drove on south on I-29 to Kansas City, then turned east on I-70. That’s about when we ran out of rain and the skies turned sunny.

We realized in the last couple of days that we were going to have more days than miles, so we changed our Kentucky reservation to arrive on Thursday instead of Friday. Given that, we divided the drive from Rock Port, Missouri to Lexington into three fairly even increments. For Tuesday night, we ended up at another nice campground find – theĀ Lazy Day Campground in Danville, Missouri. It was a really nice campground and had the bonus of giving a 15% discount to Escapees members (like us).

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Lazy Day Campground site.

We left Lazy Day on Wednesday with the intent of staying the night in Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park campground in western Kentucky. We entered the campground mid-afternoon to find the office closed but instructions to grab an envelope, find a site that isn’t reserved, drop money in and deposit the envelope.

We drove around the campground and found that the only empty 50 amp sites had the power post located 50 or more feet away from the site. Our power cord wouldn’t reach that far. We then decided to drive around and look at the 30 amp sites. About the time we found one that looked suitable, a gentleman in a plumbing company van stopped to tell us that there was a water leak in the park and that most of the park water was going to be off overnight. We decided to look elsewhere since all the sites were fairly unlevel, under low hanging branches or other issues.

We ended up Wednesday night in the nearby Paducah / I-24 / Kentucky Lake KOA, run by a very nice older couple. Given the For Sale sign outside of the campground and their age, we figured they were ready to fully retire. We left the truck hooked up to the trailer for the night and headed out in the morning. The gentleman that owned the place stopped us and thanked us for stopping through.

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Our KOA site

Today we headed up the road to our final destination here at the Horse Park. We had reserved our favorite site based on previous experience with the site. The nice thing is that it is the last site on the row with our door facing the large expanse of grass between our site and the main road. Plus, it is in the back part of the park, so less traffic going by.

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Most of our front yard here at the Horse Park

Plans for the long weekend are to visit the Horse Park, head over to Paris, Kentucky for the Secretariat Festival, visit with Malcolm’s aunt and uncle, have dinner with some friends of ours that live in the area and visit with Val’s sister and family.

Monday morning we head down the road to Chattanooga for several days at a Heartland Owners Club rally being held there.

 

Say Cheese

Current Location: Country Gardens RV Park, Odessa, Missouri

Another day in the life of moving cross-country. We took I-29 all the way south to Kansas City, Missouri then picked up I-70 east to Odessa (about 30 miles east of Kansas City). We pulled in here about 3:00. Malcolm went into the store to check in. The store is really nice. They have a lot of cheese and other food items. We decided after we got set up we would walk back over and check it out.

Our site

Our site

We ended up picking up several items at the store. The cheese was great. They had samples of pretty much everything they make. They also had several other food items primarily from different Amish areas of the country. It was almost like being back in Shipshewana, Indiana.

Cheese selection

Cheese selection

After shopping, we grilled dinner outside. This evening, Malcolm sat outside with his camera and photographed the lunar eclipse. We’ll put some of those pictures up in the future once he gets them loaded on to the computer.

St. Louis Attractions

Current Location: Stanton/Meramec KOA, Stanton, Missouri

This morning after breakfast, we headed up the interstate to St. Louis and our first stop – the Arch. Malcolm bought the ticket to ride to the top and got some pictures. Val stayed down below to pick up postcards and a t-shirt for our yearly t-shirt quilt. Since Malcolm was alone, he got to go up with the very next group instead of waiting more than an hour. It was a fun visit. We could have probably done more in the area, but we headed out to go to our next destination. Here are pictures from the arch visit.

View of town from the top

View of town from the top

The Mississippi River

The Mississippi River

Malcolm in front of the side of the arch

Malcolm in front of the side of the arch

Artsy view of the arch

Artsy view of the arch

What you ride to the top in

What you ride to the top in

We left the arch and were heading to Grant’s Farm. We chose to leave as people were arriving for a Cubs/Cardinals game downtown. With local construction, it turned out we had to drive right by the stadium to get on the interstate. Fun times. The GPS kept wanting us to head to the interstate, but there was no way to get on. We finally winged it and found a place to turn to get on.

Grant’s Farm is an area of the Busch estate (of Anheuser-Busch) set aside with animals and attractions. It is celebrating it’s 60th anniversary this year. The Busch family opened it up to share various animals with the public. A tram ride took us around the estate at the start where we saw various animals grazing on the grounds. Bison, longhorn cattle, various deer and elk among other animals grazed around the place. Here are a few pictures from around the park.

Beer wagon

Beer wagon

Us

Us

Goats in the petting area

Goats in the petting area

One of several eagles. They've suffered various injuries and were given homes here

One of several eagles. They’ve suffered various injuries and were given homes here

One of the parrots

One of the parrots

Carousel horse

Carousel horse

Weather vane

Weather vane

Adjacent to the estate is where the Budweiser Clydesdales are trained for pulling the famous wagon. You can walk through one of the stables and down a path where you can interact with a few of the horses, if they happen to be close to the fence, like two of them were.

Sign in barn

Sign in barn

Outside

Outside

A youngster grazing

A youngster grazing

These two were hanging around the fence

These two were hanging around the fence

Rub our noses!

Rub our noses!

After Grant’s Farm, we stopped by next door to visit President Ulysses S. Grant’s home. The “Grant” in Grant’s Farm refers to the former president. The Busch family purchased it in the early 1900’s. The National Park Service takes care of the home and has provided a very nice interactive exhibit in the old barn.

Grant's Home - Whitehaven

Grant’s Home – Whitehaven