5/18/2015 Early today we spent time at the Red Rocks Amphitheater and the information we found was covered in an earlier blog. Visit with Tonya and Harland Peterson at their home this afternoon. One of their granddaughters, Caitlin was also with us for the visit. She was so quiet and good at entertaining herself. Tonya (McGrath) Peterson was a room mate and class mate of mine from Tacoma General Hospital School of Nursing. We graduated together in 1967. I married at the end of 1967 and Tonya in the beginning of 1968 (I think). I moved to California and she ultimately moved to Minneapolis, MN. And she is one of those friends that you do not talk to for several months, then when you do get together, it is like you never skipped a day in the friendship.
5/19/2015 To the Bass Pro Shop to let the men look at fishing equipment and firearms. Tonya and I looked through the clothes and then sat in front of the big fish tank to chat. Lunch at TGI Fridays.
5/22/2015 From Buckley AFB in Colorado to Colby, KS. This was a very good campground. Of course, we heard the jets roar with take off. However as my friend Bill Rupp says, that is the sound of freedom, so we adapt!
5/22/2015 (46,643.3) Stayed one night at Pilot Flying J Truck Stop, Colby, KS. We usually fuel up on these stops and are able to run the generator at night for TV, my CPAP machine, to cook dinner and have coffee in the morning.
5/23/2015 (46,872.7) A full day of driving from Colby, KS, to Minneapolis, KS, and drove to Nelson’s RV Park. Holy Cow! Just because it was cheap does not mean that we were meant to be there! Going for least expensive may land you in the wrong environment. Felt like we had dropped into the Deliverance movie. As we drove into the driveway (mud with some gravel) and lots of unmowed grass. There was no way to turn around and we saw three travel trailers and a 5th wheel. One of the travel trailers was a junk yard, all sorts of metal things around it (old mowers, bikes, rolling chairs.) One of the guys who came out from that rig was shirtless and covered with tattoos, many appeared to be self applied. Tattoos that I would hate to see on anyone I personally knew. And the piercings! Oh my heavens, a giant fish hook along with a stud in each ear lobe. Oh he must have thought he was God’s gift to women, as he offered to help me park the motor home. I was driving and Jack in the passenger seat. This yahoo obviously did not see that I was not by myself. Then Jack got out of the motor home to disconnect the Jeep. (We planned to disconnect the Jeep and move it away, backing the motor home out and getting out of there.) But once again we had another oops moment. The problem with the Jeep was an almost dead battery. The motor would not turn over. (I must have left something on when we last hooked up.) So we parked, plugged in electric, left the slides in and nothing else hooked up. We slept rather poorly. I just knew that yahoo would be trying to steal something from either the Jeep or motor home!
5/24/2015 (47,091.3) The next morning, Jack thought he would try to get a jump start, just in case that would work. He had some assistance from an older gentleman from the 5th wheel. (He also advised us that we should not stay there, but last night we were stuck.) YAHOO, IT WORKED!!!! We ran out of the campground, well what ever you call it with a motor home.
Now at the Covered Wagon RV Park in Abilene, KS. We are in the hometown of President Dwight D Eisenhower. About three blocks from the RV park was the Eisenhower ‘Campus’ that included the visitor center, library, museum, meditation center and Eisenhower’s boyhood home. There was a fee, but it was well worth it.
5/25/2015 What better place to spend Memorial Day than at a Presidential library of a man who was a leader in World War II.
The boyhood home was very interesting, small compared to other homes in the town. It was considered the “other side of the tracks” with larger homes across the railroad tracks. It was furnished with most of the items that were original. The docent really knew her stuff. Such as how much bread the mother, Ida, had to bake to keep her husband and six boys in bread, nine loaves every other day for her family! The Eisenhower’s lived in this home from 1898 until mother Ida Eisenhower passed away in 1946.
The Visitor’s Center, where we started the tour, had a brief orientation film on Eisenhower’s life. The Center was the last building to be added to the complex. It also has a large auditorium and gift shop.
Our next stop in the complex was the meditation center. It is where Mamie and Dwight Eisenhower along with son Doud (their first-born son who died at age four from scarlet fever) are buried. This chapel has beautiful stained glass windows. Along the walls are some of Eisenhower’s famous quotes. The one that moved me most was: Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. Dwight D. Eisenhower
(Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/d/dwight_d_eisenhower.html#XSfjhkDoY0oauf7C.99 )
We next walked to the library. It is a working research library with lobby and second floor gallery changing exhibits. When viewing the exhibit in the lobby we noted that Ike was quite the fellow with a BBQ grill. This exhibit showed various pictures of his outdoor cooking skills. One included a picture of his home while stationed at Ft Lewis, Washington, at 2013 Clark Street, Officers Housing in the spring of 1941. I never knew he was stationed in the Pacific Northwest.
On the second floor gallery was an exhibit of the countries involved in World War II with the price they paid in the loss of life. Many lost their lives at the hands of occupation forces and during the course of the fighting. I did not know all the history involved in World War II nor how many countries were part of the pact with Germany or occupied by the Axis countries. And even more interesting was that the USA occupied Tunisia and Great Britain occupied Iceland. Granted that is no where near what the Axis countries occupied, a total of 24 countries. The loss of life was a staggering number, in the millions. “Over 60 million people were killed, which was over 3% of the 1939 world population (est. 2 billion).“ according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II_casualties
There is a statue of General Eisenhower in the middle of the campus. Very familiar posture that he takes, standing with his hands on his hips.
And last but by no means least was the museum. There were so many exhibits from firearms to a staff car, to Mamie’s inauguration ball gown and the list goes on. Again, if you have the opportunity, please take the time, at least ½ of a day to visit this Presidential Campus.
If we get a chance we will try to see other Presidential Libraries on our travels.
Planned to do nothing in the afternoon, but did go to Salina, KS. Many of my maternal grandmother’s family is from Kansas and since I have two dishes from Salina, I wanted to see the town. I even found the building that is depicted on one of the dishes. (I am looking at the pictures now and realize I need to check the dishes at home, because the building I saw is in Beloit, not Salina.) Frankly it looks just the same and I believe that the two dishes are from my grandmother’s days…late 1800’s. We also checked out the cemetery but no Williamson’s (Grandma’s maiden name) were buried there.
5/26/2015 Rechecking our proposed route, we realized it would be easier to take a day trip to Beloit, KS, rather than try to stay in Concordia, KS. So we drove to Beloit, KS. Found Elmwood Cemetery but there was no guide nor a person to help find a grave site. A call to City Hall and I got the name of the caretaker. A call to him, Robert Thompson, and he met us at the cemetery office. The official records of the cemetery had burned in 1937 and I thought I would be unable to find any gravestones with Williamson on them. But there happened to be two books salvaged or found in someone’s home with the listing of all who had been buried from the original days, where and when they were laid to rest. He showed us the location of Enoch B and Frances C’s headstone. Most of the plots were 24 ft by 24 ft. From indentations in the ground, he was able to determine that Enoch and Frances only had ½ of the plot. At the foot of Frances’ remains was a stone engraved Lydia M Stalcup, Oct 17, 1876, Mar 22, 1954. It is impossible to tell from the stone if she happened to be one of Enoch & Frances’ children. That mystery remains to be solved another day. I must say that this cemetery had peonies everywhere which were beautiful.
Due south of Beloit is Lincoln, KS. Enoch B Williamson’s father, William Burk Williamson and his mother Prudence Royal are supposed to be buried in Prairie Grove Cemetery, Lincoln County, KS. But the cemetery in Lincoln is not the Prairie Grove Cemetery. Another cemetery to find another day just not this trip.
5/27/2015 (47,138.4) Drive to Offutt Air Force base, Strategic Air Command, just south of Bellevue, NE which is just south of Omaha, NE. The Fam Camp is located on Offutt Lake, off base, but you can stay here only if you fit the criteria as in other Fam Camps or military campgrounds. We have a nice pull through. Humidity is high and temperature is running in the 70’s so it feels warmer. Jack says the mosquitos are out in the millions, good thing we have our Bounce Fabric Softener sheets, from our Alaska trip.