Rolling Again – Yay!

Our winter wander has begun. By far, this will be the most time we’ve spent in the Fireball in one trip – just over six months. When I think about it, I wonder if we are in our right minds to contemplate such a trip, with the two of us (plus Jezzy, of course) scrambling for domination of our 50 x 70 inch bed, and the seven or eight feet of floor space inside the Fireball. I’m going to have to be on my best behavior to keep this from unravelling sometime in March. Those of you who know me well, quit your snickering.

Our goal for Day 1 was to get out of town before the first winter snowstorm of the season. Check! Score! We heard that there was an 80-car pileup on the expressway just north of Grand Rapids, so our preparations for a quick getaway paid off. Other than fierce headwinds the entire day (we stopped for gas THREE TIMES, and averaged just over 10mpg), we covered the 540 miles to Danville, MO fairly easily. Lazy Day Campground offered us refuge for the night, under the protection of the dog totem right near our site.20151218_172458Guess the worst thing that happened to us all day is that somehow John’s Facebook account got hacked, and the hacker struck up texting conversations with some of John’s (now former) friends, expressing views on how the Lord is helping him with retirement! Wasn’t too hard for most folks to figure out that it wasn’t really John on the distant end of the conversation! Apologies to any of you who were sucked in by this jerk.

The plan for Day 2 was pretty simple. Drive the 150 miles to Independence, MO where we would visit the Harry Truman Presidential Museum.20151219_152512 This is the fourth of these museums we’ve visited, and we’ve enjoyed them all enormously. Truman finishes off the Democrats, so now we have to slog our way through the Republican sites. (We can do it – I know we can….)

If you haven’t visited a Presidential museum, give it a try. They are a fascinating history lesson, and are all crafted to put a very human face on some very extraordinary people.20151219_14060920151219_140511 Truman was painted as kind of a meh choice for Vice President – nobody seemed to be crazy about him, but there wasn’t too much opposition, either.

Presidential museums are great for exploring the big controversies of the era – for Truman, the two big ones were the dropping of the atomic bomb, and the firing of General MacArthur. I love seeing the hand-written letters from ordinary folks who wrote to express strong feelings pro and con on these issues. There’s also a copy of the letter from Senator McCarthy, telling Truman that he has the names of 50 people in the State Department who are Communists. Harry’s reply, shown below, was probably my favorite piece in the whole museum.20151219_132910Two key phrases coined by Truman were, “The buck stops here”, and the “Do-Nothing Congress”. There are film clips which show every President since using these two phrases, which I found particularly amusing.

Here’s a sampling of some of my other favorite pieces from the Museum.20151219_13540720151219_13461520151219_13232620151219_13463520151219_135846The home where Harry and Bess lived for years is about a mile from the Museum. 20151219_150422Although we weren’t interested in the full house tour, we were curious enough to wander over there on foot – Jezzy was happy for the chance to stretch her legs, as well. As we approached the Harry Truman Historical District, the very first house we passed had a Trump for President sign in the front yard! Probably a good thing old Harry wasn’t around to see that!

Campground in winter are sometimes hard to find. So, I was happy that John had found an RV Park less than a mile from the Museum, and made a reservation. Campus RV – naturally, we thought it meant college campus. Nope! It means campus of the Community of Christ Temple. 20151219_174734The C of C is the Missouri arm of the LDS. So, here were are camped under the guiding light of the Mormon Church.20151219_175032 We couldn’t be any closer to our neighbors! Our door barely opens. This is a VERY odd campground – here’s the camper across the street from us. 20151219_174427Anyway, it’s been an interesting start to our trip. We plan to depart early tomorrow to avoid freezing rain. Destination is the Eisenhower Museum in Abilene, KS. Looking forward to figuring out if I like Ike, or not. He’s the first President I remember as a kid, but I really don’t know anything about him. I do remember Mamie’s hairdo, though!

Westward Ho.



24 thoughts on “Rolling Again – Yay!

  1. I envy your tenacity and ability to make the big drive. Great to hear you’ll be happily at rest in Green Valley for a month. I do like a base camp. But you’ve gotten the bug to move and learn. I’m impressed by the Presidential studies–I’ve never considered that exploration worth the distraction, but… you’re truly an inspiration. Be safe, enjoy the warmth. I’m gritting my teeth for a winter in Wyoming. grrrr.


    • The drive is the part of traveling that I truly dislike. It’s a struggle to just sit in the truck all day, whether I’m driving or passengering.

      If you are ever in the neighborhood of one of the Presidential museums, give it a try (except for Eisenhower, which was a real yawner). Think we will get to Nixon and Reagan in Jan. The Bushes in March/April. There’s always a nugget or two to pick up.

      Stay warm. Merry Christmas. Are you heading out in your T@B at all this winter?


  2. So glad you are back on the road in the Fireball. Six months though? Wow, but if anyone can do it in a T@DA, you guys can. I look forward to reading your adventures and hopefully minimal misadventures this trip—-I mean, what else CAN go wrong? Happy Trails………….


    • On, Ellalou, the list of things that CAN go wrong is wàaay longer than the list of things that already has!

      We’re optimistic about our chances of survival, though. Be prepared for two people at the BRR who will be desperate for human conversation and companionship when you next see us.


  3. My money is on Jezzy to “confiscate” your space. Look forward to reading about interesting places in Kansas- Glenn swears this will be the last state we visit. I am the eternal optimist – I know there are worthy places there.


    • Caite, I’m with Glenn on this one. Kansas is a state best traversed in one smooth leap, if possible. Remind yourself NEVER to go to Dodge City (details to follow). Kansas was a weather-ordained passageway from Michigan to Las Vegas this trip.

      Merry Christmas! Where areyou for the next month or so??


    • No Florida – we are headed Southwest. Wandering around with the exception of February, where we have a spot reserved for the whole month. We both have lots of books, and any kind of decent weather hugely increases our chances of happiness since we are hikers and cyclists.

      On the other hand…..our camper is tiny!


  4. Wow! 6 months! I can’t wait to be at the end of the trip and hear how you survived! It’s like sending out the Donner party, you’ll be our canary in the coal mines! Have a wonderful and safe trip. We’ll be anxiously awaiting all the future blogs! Happy holidays from your Cape Cod family!


    • Obama could probably burn a few bridges before they are burned out beneath him. Truman was an interesting President. I really didn’t know too much about him – the museum was great.

      We’ve got lots of new places on our agenda. Hope it all comes together.


  5. You escaped Michigan just in time! It’s going to warm up again, but it sure was cold today.

    It was interesting to see the artifacts from the Truman Library, I should visit a few of the Presidential Libraries when I have the chance. But you know, I’ve never even been inside the Ford Museum here in town, my opinion is that he was one of the worst presidents of all times.

    Truman was a southern Democrat, chosen by FDR to balance the ticket since FDR was a northeastern liberal, he thought that he needed a conservative southerner as a running mate. Eisenhower was asked by the Democrats to run for president as a Democrat, but he chose to run as a Republican instead. Besides, the party affiliations and platforms have flipped nearly 180 degrees in the last 50years.


    • Hi Jerry! We were very happy to have escaped when we did. The wind is roaring here again this morning , and naturally we will be heading directly into it.

      I had no idea what to expect from the Presidential museums, but have loved each one so far. LBJ being my favorite by a landslide. There seemed to be much less personal stuff in the Truman library – fewer things that put a human face on him. One thing I did get a kick out of though was seeing that he spent lots of time at the Museum after it was built, and trained some of the tour guides in the beginning! That made me smile. When we returned from our last trip, we decided that we were going to bite the bullet and visit the Ford Museum. HA! Saved by the fact that it closed right after ArtPrize for an eight-month renovation. So, maybe next spring….We think we can hit both the Nixon and Reagan libraries in January. Maybe the Bush Museums in TX on our way home. Even though I dislike the politics of all of these Presidents, there will be plenty to ponder in each, I’m sure.

      Stay warm.

      Liked by 1 person

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