Van Tour 27 Heartland 1996


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Roadtrek van motorhome Tour of the Heartlands

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Van Tour 27 Heartland 1996

  1. 1. Roadtrek Tour No. 27 Early Summer Tour 1996 The Heartland May 1996 21 Days 4,174 Miles
  2. 2. Itinerary May 27-June16 1996 Tour No. 27 Heartland Early Summer Tour (21 Days) Sideling Hill Visitor Center, MD Walking tour Cumberland, MD Sand Springs CG, Morgantown, WV West Virginia State Capitol, Charleston, WV West Virginia Museum, Charleston, WV Fox Fire Resort, Milton, WV Kentucky State Capitol, Frankfort, KY Walking & trolley tour Louisville, KY Churchill Down, Louisville, KY Belle of Louisville Cruise, Louisville, KY Fenton Lake Access CG, Golden Pond, KY Land Between the Lakes, KY Willow Springs CG, Willow Springs, MO Walking tour Willow Springs, MO Corps of Engineers CG, Fall River, KS Walking tour Kingman, KS Fort Dodge, Dodge City, KS Watersports CG, Dodge City, KS Walking tour Dodge City, KS Boot Hill Museum, Front Street, Home of Stone, Santa Fe Train Depot Drove Santa Fe Trail Walking tour Lamar, CO Pueblo KOA CG, Pueblo, C) Cascade Pass, Pikes Peak, CO Manitou Cliff Dwellings, Pikes Peak, CO US Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO Denver Meadows RV Park, Aurora, CO Visit with Susan & Richard 16 th Street Mall, Larimer Sq., Denver, CO Colorado State Capitol, Denver, CO Rock Mountain National Park, Estes, CO Glacier Basin NP CG, Estes, CO Holiday Park, North Platte, NB Fort Cody, North Platte, NE Nebraska State Capitol, Lincoln, NE Dodge Park, Omaha, NE Walking tour Grinnell College, town, Grinnell, IA Iowa State Capitol, Des Moines, IA Amana Colonies, Amana, IA Sleepy Hollow CG, Oxford, IA Indiana Dunes State Park, Chesterton, IN Walking tour Angola, IN Crystal Rock CG, Sandusky, OH Walking tour Sandusky, OH Merry Go-Round Museum, Sandusky, OH Follet House Museum, Sandusky, OH Driving tour Presque Island State Park, Erie, PA Drake Well Museum, Titusville, PA Oil Creek Camping Resort, Titusville, PA
  3. 3. Cumberland, MD Log Entry: Stopped in Cumberland, MD and took a walking tour of the town in light rain. Cumberland was the western terminus of the C&O Canal and it ran along the Potomac River, which separates Maryland and West Virginia. A fortification, called Fort Cumberland, was built in 1754-55 on a hill at a curve in the Potomac where it Intersects with Wills Creek. The fort was built for and used in the French and Indian War by the British. The exterior of the original fort is outlined with white stones, some of which are in the surrounding streets. This later became the town of Cumberland. The fort was the first military assignment for General Braddock. In later years a railroad was built to service the end of the canal. The railroad station has been restored and we saw a steam excursion train pull in. George Washington's first military command was at Cumberland and his headquarters has been restored and is in a park along Wills Creek. He returned to Cumberland in 1794 during the Whiskey Rebellion. We also toured along historic Washington St. with it's attractive houses and we toured the outdoor walking mall in the downtown shopping area. Steam Excursion Train
  4. 4. Charleston, WV Log Entry: Arrived in Charleston in time for a picnic lunch on the steps in the park on the Kanawha River across from the capitol. Toured the state capitol, which has a spectacular gold dome. There was construction work going on inside the dome and the rock crystal chandelier had been lowered and covered. Toured the museum on the capitol grounds. It featured a quilt exhibition and had an extensive woodworking and carving exhibit in the basement. Some of the artifacts from earlier years in West Virginia were also displayed with an old fashioned telephone exchange, a paddlewheel steamer display and many items relating to the Civil War. Drove out of Charleston along the river through a very large heavy industrial area. Arrived at Fox Fire Resort in Milton WV at 3:00 PM. Setup on grassy site with trees. Large campground with paved roads, a swimming and a fishing lake, pool and waterslide, paddle boats and large picnic areas. Most of the facilities were not open yet for the season. Dumped both gray and black water tanks. West Virginia State Capitol Foxfire RV Resort
  5. 5. Frankfort, KY Log Entry: Stopped in Frankfort, KY and toured state capitol which was a grand granite and limestone building with a terraced entrance. There was a 34 foot diameter floral clock overhanging a pool on the capitol grounds with "KENTUCKY" spelled out in concrete letters surrounded by flowers. The minute hand on the clock was 20 foot long and weighed 530 pounds, the hour hand was 15 feet long and weighed 420 pounds. The minute hand changed once a minute with a "clunk" movement. Kentucky State Capitol Floral Clock
  6. 6. Louisville, KY Log Entry: Arrived in Louisville at noon and stopped at visitor's center for information and an in town parking space. Toured the West Main Street area which is the old downtown area near the Ohio River. Much of the area has been restored to it's original 19th century splendor and the remainder is modem office buildings and hotels. Many of the old buildings have decorative cast iron facades with turrets and these buildings are marked by ironwood trees along the sidewalk. There are many spires with clocks in the area and toward the end of the tour is the Louisville Slugger baseball bat factory with a120 foot long bat leaning against the outside of the entrance building. Had lunch during tour at the Spaghetti Factory restaurant. We continued our tour with a walk along the Ohio River which has caused much lowland flooding including some flooded areas along the riverfront walk. We took the "Toonerville Trolley" back to our parking spot. It runs along 4th Street from the river uptown about 6 blocks and Is free. Louisville Slugger
  7. 7. Louisville, KY Log Entry: Drove to Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby for a tour of the track and their museum. The track is open for racing from the end of April until the end of June, with the derby being run on the first weekend in May. The top four winners in the derby share a one million dollar purse and it cost $100,00 just to enter. There were two year olds warming up out on the track during the tour and we saw a former derby winner and also a miniature horse who kept him company. The museum was great and it's tour started with a 360 degree audiovisual presentation about Derby Day, done with overlapping projected pictures and stereo sound. There were many photos and exhibits including one where you sat on a wooden horse in the starting gate and another that was a reproduction of the winne(s circle with a jockey mannequin on a horse wearing the current winners "silks". There was also a collection of "doll house" models of homes owned by Cornelia Whitney, a prominent horse owner. In an alcove, off the main hall were a bank of video displays where you could call up old films of many of the famous derby races including the sound of the race commentators. Churchill Downs
  8. 8. Louisville, KY Log Entry: In the afternoon, after a picnic lunch along the Ohio River bank, we took a wonderful sunny cruise ride 12 miles up the river on the Belle of Louisville, a restored historic paddlewheel steamer built in 1914 and the oldest still in use. The ship had it's own steam calliope which played many tunes before we got underway. Traffic on the river was sparse, with a few tugs with barges in tow (actually being pushed). During the cruise. we saw the Colgate Palmolive Clock atop their factory, it is the world's second largest clock. After the cruise we took the "Toonervllle Trolley" up 4th Street to the end of the line and walk back down 5th Street to the Riverfront Plaza, a park built over the interstate highway along the river, with fountains and benches. A model of the course of the Ohio River from Pittsburgh, Pa. to Cairo III. is outlined in the paving blocks covering the plaza along with plaques describing the larger river towns. Belle of Louisville
  9. 9. Dodge City, KS Log Entry: Took free shuttle van to Boot Hill Museum in Dodge City. Museum had a good film on Dodge City and it's relationship to the Santa Fe Trail. Visited what's left of boot hill cemetery on the grounds and went through exhibits along reconstructed Front Street of old Dodge City. Saw a demonstration on printing and a can-can dance by a local "dance hall girl" in the Long Branch Saloon. Went through a beautiful old Victorian house on the grounds. The house was originally ordered by catalog for $2,500 in 1890. Took the walking tour of downtown Dodge City which has 16 miles of brick streets. Saw a large mural on the side of a local bank building of a stagecoach, painted by Stan Herd for the city's centennial. Stopped at the old Santa Fe train depot which is a massive old train station In the Spanish brick style. Went through the Home of Stone, the first stone home in the area, constructed of native limestone. Had lunch out a restaurant with a spectacular hot and cold salad bar and returned to the campground in mid afternoon by van. The lady driving the van swung by the local meat packing house where there is a another centennial Herd mural depicting life on the plains with sod houses, soldiers, trains, etc. The mural Is made up of individually painted 4 x 9 foot panels across the whole face of the building and down the side. Boot Hill
  10. 10. Pikes Peak, CO Log Entry: Started to drive up toward Pike's Peak at Colorado Springs, but decided we weren't going to go all the way up and turned around at the 6800 foot Cascade Pass and started back down. We stopped at the Manitou Cliff Dwellings and discovered that they were the original housing of the Anasazi Indians which were the ancestors of the Pueblo Indians and lived in the Pueblo style cave dwellings from 1100 till 1300 AD. A 24 year drought forced them to move South toward Mesa Verde and later New Mexico where they resettled after 1300. The dwellings were opened to the public in 1910 and are well preserved. A museum on the grounds, relates the history of pottery and basket making by the southwestern tribes. Local native Indians also put on dances in full costume. Pikes Peak Manitou Cliff Dwellings
  11. 11. Colorado Springs, CO Log Entry: Stopped and toured the Air Force Academy, North of Colorado Springs. This is the largest tourist attraction in Colorado. Our first stop was Thunderbird Overlook, where we saw many cadets jumping in parachute training and training planes and gliders taking off and landing. We drove on to the Bany Goldwater Visitors Center where we saw a good film on cadet life and walked around a museum of academy activities. From the visitors center, we walk into the next valley where we saw the spectacular glass and steel cadet chapel with separate Protestant, Catholic and Jewish chapel areas and the "college campus. part of the academy with dorms and classrooms. The academy is essentially located in two valleys backing onto the Rocky Mountains and the whole setting is breath-taking. This is the part of Colorado that looks like we think it should. The Southern valley contains the normal base functions with a hospital, housing, NCO and Officer's Clubs, etc. and the Northern Valley the campus and huge athletic fields. Air Force Academy
  12. 12. Denver, CO Log Entry: We continued on to Denver and arrived at Denver Meadows RV Park in Aurora, a Denver suburb, at 3:30 PM for a two night stay. Traffic around the Denver area was very heavy. The campground is in a fair1y urban setting and is quite large with a lot of paving. The site is level and graveled with full services, but it's a bit close to the bathrooms and laundry which are brightly lit and very busy. Richard and Susan Carter, who Fay had called, picked us up at the campground for a day with them In Denver. Started out to take tour of US Mint, but long lines and hour wait changed our minds. Toured 16th Street Mall and Larimer Square In the morning. Had lunch at “Chicago” sidewalk cafe to celebrate Richard's birthday and then rode the 16th Street free bus back to the capitol area. Toured the state capitol in the afternoon, including climbing spiral steps all the way up into the capitol dome and the outside balcony. Walked the area around the government section of town. The setting for Denver is spectcular, with high plains surrounded by snow covered mountains, however, they get very little rain an everything has to be watered. Richard and Susan brought us back to the campground in late afternoon. It seems like there is a liqueur store on every street comer. Colorado State Capitol Sidewalk Cafe
  13. 13. Estes, CO Log Entry: Drove through Bolder which has it's own glacier as the water supply. Beyond Lyons, the roads twisted through canyons and the vegetation was much greener than in Denver. Stopped at the store and got gas in Lyons, averaged 14 MPG. At the Visitors Center, we found out that Moraine Park, where we had Intended to camp was full and we were advised by the ranger to go to Glacier Basin before it filled up, which we did. As it turned out, Glacier Basin is more awesome than Moraine because it sits right at the base of the Frontier Range with snow capped 14,000 foot mountains. The Continental Divide runs along the top of the Frontier chain. Our site was a large, primitive pull-off in a heavily wooded area and you could see the mountain peaks through the trees, it is at 8,300 feet elevation. The site was $5 with the Golden Age Card discount. We walked to 8710 foot elevation Sprague Lake and around it and back, mostly through woods with bubbling streams. The lake had a gravel trail around it and there were kayaks and fishermen in the lake. The 2.5 mile round trip took us over an hour and a half at the high altitude. Used the propane furnace for the first time tonight, couldn't use the electric heater since we were strictly self contained. Left the campsite at 7:15 AM to drive up to nearby Bear Lake which is at 9,475 feet. This is the highest we got on the entire trip, we walked around Bear Lake on a gravel trail which had up to 5 feet of snow on It in shaded places. The road to Bear Lake is kept open year round for cross country skiing. Sprague Lake
  14. 14. Lincoln, NE Log Entry: Stopped in Uncoln, NE to tour state capitol. Capitol is federal looking building with a 14-story center section surrounded by a 3-story section. Inside there is magnificent mosaic tile muraled floors and walls with many agricultural themes. The inside looks dark, with many gothic arches and mahogany paneled walls and elevators. We got a personal tour of the governor's office by one of his secretaries, he wasn't there. We took an elevator to the top of the building and got a great view of the whole town. The building actually has two domes in it, a three story interior dome and the real dome up at the top. The town has lots of parks and there Is a statue of Lincoln by the same man who did the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. Nebraska State Capitol
  15. 15. Des Moines, Iowa Log Entry: Stopped in Des Moines, IA to tour state capitol. Another magnificent state capitol, high on a hill, with a tall 22k gold high center dome and 4 lower comer domes. It almost looks Russian. Many ornamental tall wooden doorways, an open five story high law library with spiral stairs to the landings. There was a 1742 book bought by Ben Franklin on display. The treasury department has the old original cashier's office partition with wonderful wooden windows. We had a personal tour of the State Treasurer's office which has been restored with fully stenciled walls, not just the borders. It took three people 18 months to restore. Visited Governor's reception room and the Secretary of State's reception room and his private office. Some of the old stencil work was left at the top of the room to serve as a guide for restoration. The ceilings are of marble and wood and are beautifully muraled. The grand staircase from the first level has a mural of "Westward" at it's landing and a detailed builder's model of the USS Iowa is on the first floor, along with the ship's bell. Iowa State Capitol
  16. 16. Amana, Iowa Log Entry: Continued on to Iowa City, stopping in Amana to tour the Amana Colonies which were founded in 1855 by a German religious group from Buffalo, NY. There are seven colonies in all and each was originally run a commune by self sufficient farmers and artisans, Houses and household goods were given to couples at marriage by the community and family. After 8th grade, boys were apprenticed and girls helped with the community needs. Meals were cooked and eaten in a central area and none of the houses had kitchens. In 1932, the colony was incorporated and the people were given salaries and owned their houses and land for the first time. The colonies consist of: Amana, South Amana, West Amana, High Amana, Middle Amana, East Amana and Homestead, an Amana village. All except East Amana are open to the public and have bakeries, furniture shops, clock making and many wineries. Latticework is installed on the sides of homes to grow grapes. The wine makers also use strawberries, plums, rhubarb and other plants to make wine. Amana Street
  17. 17. Indiana Dunes, IN Log Entry: Arrived at Indiana Dunes State Park at 1:30 PM. The park very large and is at the bottom of lake Michigan and has huge sand dunes right in a wooded area. Campsite is electric only in a wooded area across from the dunes. Walked down to the beach on the Lake Michigan shoreline. The beach had dead small silvery fish washed up on it and many dead fish floating in the water. It really stank, but there were still people laying on the beach and out in the water. We later learned that the fish were Alewives, which are normally up along the St. Lawrence Seaway. Heavy storms had driven them South and they probably couldn't take the warmer water. We crossed over 180 feet high sand dunes to return to the campground and got a little lost in the process because the dunes were in heavy woods. Lake Michigan Alewives
  18. 18. Sandusky, Ohio Log Entry: Took the shuttle van from the campground into town, with a side trip to Cedar Point Amusement Part to drop off some other people. Took an architectural walking tour of the town, including a walk past were Scott Paper used to be out on a pier. Sandusky has many parks and it has a 12 foot diameter floral clock with the numbers and date in flowers. They change the date daily with new flowers. The streets of the town are laid out by masons and are like the Masonic symbol with the square and compass. Went to the Merry Go-Round Museum, which is in the old post office, which has a rounded front and is reminiscent of a Merry Go-Round itself. Had a wonderful private tour of the museum with a good guide. Got to ride the carousel twice because a second family got on while we were still In the museum. Many of the old carousels were made in Philadelphia. One famous one which was made for Cedar Point was recently moved to Dorney Park in Allentown, both parks are owned by the same company. Merry go round Museum Floral Clock
  19. 19. Erie, PA Log Entry: Drove up to Erie, PA and toured Presque Isle State Park, a very large park on a peninsula out into Lake Erie. Very nice park with beaches, a marina and out toward the end a large monument to Admiral Perry for the battle of Lake Erie, where he said “We have met the enemy and they are ours”. The cottonwood trees In the park are losing their blooms and It was like driving In a snowstorm in places. Perry Monument
  20. 20. Titusville, PA Log Entry: Toured the Drake Well Museum in Titusville. Museum movie was well done and was about Col. Drake (played by Vincent Price) coming to Titusville to see how to get oil out of the ground, there was oil on the surface in the creeks. After many attempts he copied the salt wells in the area and struck oil in 1859. At that time, there was no known use for oil but scientist thought uses would become evident. Petroleum Jelly was the first real by-product, followed by medicine oils. The museum has a full size working model of the first well, a display showing how multiple wells were pumped from the same steam engine power source and other oil related Items. Drake Well Portable Drill Rig
  21. 21. Gregg Graphics Gradyville, Pa. A Presentation of