Friday, November 6, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
The castle was erected in memory of Caleb and Ruth Clark who were pioneer settlers in Madison County in the 1800's. the most impressive thing about the castle was the view from the top! I did go up and take a look out one of the open "windows".
There is a Madison County Covered Bridge Festival October 10 & 11, 2009
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
The miniature golf course was always a hit and you can see why from the photos.
Built by Palmer Johnson and launched in 1986, the Queen II looks and feels like the steamboats of yesteryear. Tours last one hour and fifteen minutes, and include narration on various historical landmarks around the Iowa Great Lakes. A full bar and snacks are available on board.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Church member Don Bowman put together a little history called Fragments of the Past in their centennial booklet. Things I found interesting to read included: the cost of insurance in 1901 was $5.40 and they took a collection to raise the money; in 1938 they hired a pastor for the coming year. His salary was$10 from the Sunday School treasury, $20 from the Ladies Aid treasury and this is the good part; each family would donate what eggs they gathered on Easter Sunday to the pastor’s salary and each family was asked to donate one hen for the same purpose. In 1948 the church got electricity and in 1954 the pastor’s salary was raised from $56.50 per month to $75 per month.
Pleasant Valley holds Sunday service at 9:30 and visitors are always welcome there. From I-35 exit at Osceola Iowa and go west to Thayer then go south on the county blacktop past the rock quarry and watch for the sign on the west side of the road for the Pleasant Valley Church. And those are Iowa directions, folks!
Saturday, July 4, 2009
We traveled there in late June to attend a Keller et al family reunion, our first time to meet this branch of the family tree. We found this little village a week before their next scheduled tractor event and visited briefly with some tractor enthusiasts who were starting to prepare for their next big event.
Our reunion was held in a very nice modern community building that was air conditioned, a good thing in Missouri summer humidity!
According the web site I found when I got back home, “The village was a result of interest in preserving history and old agricultural ways and produced its first gas engine show in 1982. The growth continued with the first building, a school, in 1983, a red barn in 1984, and now a total of 20 buildings with 2 more under construction. In addition, there are three county bridges donated to the Village from Bates County. On a state level, the Village has the largest steam engine, the largest separator, and the oldest portable running steam engine in Missouri.”
Adrian is right on US 71 in Missouri, the park complex has some really nice shade trees and would be a welcome rest spot on a trip from either direction. See their chamber web site for monthly events listings http://www.blogger.com/.%20http:/www.adrianmochamber.com/
Sunday, June 28, 2009
The Big Mouth resides on Park Ave and 7th St in Rich Hill Missouri. The Big Mouth is a coal bucket that was used to mine coal in this area. Rich Hill is known as “the town that coal built”. Sadly, when the coal mining left the area, the town became little more than a stopping place to take a picture of the bucket.
Big mouth was owned by the Pittsburg & Midway Coal co attached to the Midway Princess, a dragline that was used to remove the overburden (rocks, dirt and vegetation) from the coal deposits. (I sure wish I could have seen this in operation!) To get an idea of the size of Big Mouth, a dump truck that was used to haul out the coal could be parked inside the bucket. It held over 70 cubic feet of dirt and one scoop had a depth of 125 feet. The estimated weight was between 40 and 44 TONS!
Monday, June 15, 2009
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Friday, May 1, 2009
· Waynoka Oklahoma.
· Santa Fe Depot ribbon cutting.
I received an invitation to lunch (never turn down food!) and to attend a ribbon cutting ceremony in my home town. The historic Harvey House sits along the tracks of the main line of the Burlington/Northern/Santa Fe Railroad and next to it an old depot building.
Sandie Olson and friends who make up the local Historical Society have worked many years and successfully completed the restoration of the Harvey House. It now houses an El Charro restaurant on the main floor and a wonderful museum upstairs. But that’s not all! Across the street are a fully restored section house, a weigh station and a log cabin that was moved in from the country and reassembled. The first phase of restoration on the depot building is just finished, thus the reason for the party. Oklahoma’s Executive Director for Tourism & Recreation Hardy Watkins came to talk to us about tourism.
The best part of the event was the opportunity to tour the museum! Waynoka was a destination for famous early flight leaders such as Charles Lindberg and Amelia Earhart and you can almost feel their presence as you walk among early train and plane history in the museum. A scale model train makes its way past recognizable landmarks in one room. Another looks just like an original sleeping room for one of the hard working Harvey House Girls.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Reopening day was April 25, 2009 and many happy crystal diggers were on hand. The Crystal Dig Area has been a popular destination for school groups, scouts, tourists, birders, and rock hounds for many years. An estimated 30,000 visitors are at the area annually to dig for the selenite crystal with its unique hour glass inclusion. This is the only known site where these crystals are found. The selenite crystal is designated as the Oklahoma State Crystal. A video is posted on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qYDZ3ehNz8 that gives first time diggers the lowdown on what to take and what to expect.
The re-opening coincided with the annual Birding and Heritage Festival held in Alfalfa County. The Selenite Crystal Dig Area is located on the salt flats of Salt Plains NWR. The salt flats provide important habitat for nesting and migrating shorebirds including interior least terns and snowy plovers. Recent surveys indicate that Salt Plains NWR is the most important area in the United States for snowy plovers.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Alabaster Caverns State Park WatchableWildlife Weekend
April 30th, May 1st and 2nd, 2009
ALL ACTIVITIES ARE FREE!!!!!
(6 miles south of Freedom, OK on Hwy 50)
Here is a partial listing of the activities planned for the weekend. Most activities repeat daily, Thursday, Friday and Saturday with some one time only events thrown in each day.
“Skulls and Skins” presented by Oklahoma Department of Wildlife
Conservation Wildlife Technician Russell Perry and Major County Game
Warden Frank Huebert. Can you identify these native animals by their skulls and skins?
“Native Animals andWildlife Rehabilitation”
“Geology and Cavern Formation” presented by Alabaster Caverns State
Park Naturalist Tandy Keenan. Do you know what's "in your backyard?"
“Did you have any idea you could make that from a Bison?”
presented by National Park Service Ranger Dick Zahm. Display will highlight some of the
uses of the American Bison from Native American traditions as well as more recent.
“Making Tracks” presented by Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge's
Outdoor Recreation Planner Becky Wolff from the Salt Plains National Wildlife
Refuge. Make some tracks and take one home with you.
for early morning risers this will repeat Friday and Saturday at different locations and times
Saturday May 1
7:00am-9:00am Early Morning Birding Tour at Boiling Springs
State Park (Hwy 34C and 50B) presented by Oklahoma Department of Wildlife
Conservation Biologist Melynda Hickman. This tour is free and participants will
be driven through the park via flatbed trailer with seating for optimal
viewing. However, pre-registration is required and limited to 25 people.
Please call Tandy Keenan at (580) 621-3381 to register.
Saturday May 2nd
6:30am-8:30am Morning Birding Tour at Alabaster Caverns State
Park presented by Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation Biologist Melynda
Hickman. This activity is free and is a walking tour. Participants will meet at the Clubhouse
Picnic Shelter (just west of the park office) and be ready to depart at 6:30a.m. Please wear
dark or earth-tone colors and don’t forget your binoculars!
I have posted a complete weekend events listing at
Monday, April 27, 2009
What a surprise to actually see this neat spot in the middle of Iowa corn fields. A quick search when I got home produced the http://www.freedomrock.com/ web site that gives the whole story. I will never snooze on a cross country trip again, hard telling what I might miss!
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Monday, April 20, 2009
This is the famous Big Beaver and that is a cow chip he is holding, not a cookie or a donut. Beaver holds this week-long event every year the third weekend in April. They have cook-outs in the parks, vendors everywhere and of course no northwest Oklahoma event would be complete without the parade down the main street.
Beaver proudly promotes the Cow Chip Throwing contest and they have had contestants from Euopean countries as well as all over the U.S. This is big business for them and the pendant street signs say it all. In addition to the annual event, this small Oklahoma panhandle community is located just across the river from one of Oklahoma's State Parks. The Beaver Dunes State Park has about 450 acres of sand available for ATV and off road riding. They offer camping with electrical and water and if you are a fishing enthusiast, try out the pond. Photographers delight in the changing seasons in this area and the wildlife viewing possibilities. learn more at http://www.beavercowchipnews.com/beaver_dunes.htm
Bloggers were invited and came from Iowa, Oklahoma, and Texas and of course Kansas. Not just “travel bloggers” but a mix of interested people who just love to write and share what they know and see and learn with others. This is the think outside the box theory times 8 or 10. This is the “decide who will tell my story” and this is “finding those experts who want to tell others”. The group was diverse not only in where they came from, but a mix of male and female, young and old with a common twitter connection.
So in the coming days I will be posting about Hutchinson, what I saw, did and most importantly what I learned about tourism promotion from @codyks on twitter.