One habit that remains with us is the learning lifestyle from our former homeschooling days. Long extended vacations remain out of reach of our pocketbook, so we watch armchair travelogues on our three channels of the local PBS TV station KCPT of faraway places and take weekender holidays to explore our home states of Missouri and Kansas.
|Kansas City's Passport to Adventure|
Locally, there is a Passport program called "Kansas City’s Passport to Adventure" we have participated in several years in a row (fully completed one year), the Missouri state parks had a passport patches program we almost completed, and the Missouri Conservation Department had a Lewis and Clark Passport Pin Program we completed two years running. My husband would like to do a Orienteering geo-cache program next.
|Missouri State Parks Passport Program|
We pack in as much as we can in one weekend, visiting historical sites and cemeteries for family research as well as hitting thrift stores along the way. I take a journey bag with me which includes a travel diary (spiral notebook) and pen to record when and where, a camera, state and county maps, passport program booklets, scissors to trim the grass around flat gravestones and a large paintbrush to brush it off. Also included are mosquito and tick spray, bottles of water, our laptop, and change for photocopies if we happen to stop in a library or historical/genealogical society to do a little research. It is fortunate for us that most of my husband's family resided in central Missouri and some have only recently began to emigrate to the larger cities of Missouri.
|2005 MO Conservation Louis & Clark Passport Program|
If we are planning a weekend jaunt, we usually make a trip up to the Missouri Tourist Welcome Center off of I-70 highway (Exit 9, 4010 Blue Ridge Cut-off) above the Kansas City Ball Stadiums for FREE tourist brochures along our route and to pick up a new Missouri Vacation Guide. There are a couple of little free advert-papers like "Discover Mid-America" that cater to shopping locations that we also take. Recently while attending an Order No. 11 Memorial Marker Dedication at the Butler, Mo courthouse lawn (3-22-2014), we learned of a new tour guide by Diane Eickhoff and Aaron Barnhart called "The Big Divide." It features historic and Civil War sites in the Missouri-Kansas Border Region. We found a hard copy that we ordered through our local library, but there is an e-reader version if you wish to take it on the road with you available through their website.
|2006 MO Conservation Louis & Clark Passport Program|
And speaking of weekend jaunts, the annual Rush Reunion is coming up the second weekend of July. We still snail-mail out reminder sheets every year to the event. If you aren't on the list and would like to be, please leave a message in the comments below. I have comment moderation set up on this blog so unless I have your permission to do so, I will not publish your home or email address under this article.
[Postscript: I found this article on cleaning gravestones along with a list of supplies needed here. ]