Thursday, April 15, 2010

I got the opportunity to do some day tripping with my time off.  Other than the storm chasing, where you drive and drive and drive in hopes of seeing something and maybe you have some down time to explore, day tripping is a great way to see and experience the country around you.

Liberty Missouri

On Thursday, 9 April 2010, I had to see about taxes and titling for Betsy (Big Expensive Truck sy).  That, of course, means you have to go to the county seat for the county in which I live, and that means Clay County and Liberty, Missouri. 
Liberty is a small town/big suburb in the Kansas City metro area.  It is part of what many people call the northland.  It has a very nice square -- one of the nicest in the Kansas City Metro area.  Liberty and Harrisonville are the two towns in the metro that have nice squares that you can see from one side to the other and 'wind the clock' if you want, which is what I did. 
Independence square is ok, too, but it is kind of an oblong square -- more of a rectangle and a lot of business is gone from the area so it is quite dead.  I went to the Clay county courthouse first to take care of bidness.  Then I 'wound the clock' (drive or, in this case, walk around the square).  
Tima was quite enjoying her day out.  I stopped at the coffeehouse/crepe place for a mocha.  The manager there says they have been open about 3 months.  I didn't try any crepes, but I plan to soon.  I did go next door to the ice cream/frozen custard place.  I found out it was actually the same place as the coffee/crepe place.
    I took Tima to walk the neighborhoods to William Jewell College.  It was a very nice spring day.  The campus was very quiet. There were great views from the hilltop. 
I noted the old cemetery and a one room school house that was preserved but had no markers anywhere that I could see that explained what the school was or what it was all about.  Other than an experience with a loose dog that had broken off it's chain, Tima and I had an uneventful walk.

Independence and Lexington Missouri

Wednesday 14 April 2010, I had to go to Independence to take care of some more bidness on Betsy.  It was an excuse to go out and get some exercise.  This time I picked up our friend, Ken, who we met at YJ's about 2 years ago.  We met at the dealership on Noland road.  We decided to head out and day trip for the day.  
We first stopped at a place called the Trolley in Independence.  It is an actual old trolley that was placed in that spot.  Ken had a ham sadwhich and I had a Trolley Dog, which was much more than I anticipated or could finish.  It was good, though.
Lexington Day Trip Wed 14 Apr 2010    
 We took the scenic route into Lexington following the Missouri river via 224 Highway.  On the way in I got a chance for some railZEN by pacing an eastbound Union Pacific coal drag on the old Missouri Pacific river sub....

Lexington Missouri is a historic town located on the bluffs overlooking the Missouri river on the south bank. It is full of ante-bellum homes and buildings.  
A civil war battle took place there, and the state historic site is a very well preserved field where the besieged union army took up fortified entrenchements on the high ground overlooking the river near a masonic college. 
Battle of Lexington Mo
This battlefield was one of the few confederate victories in Missouri, and it was a short lived victory, as the Union army retook Lexington about a month later.
Walking Tour Lexington MO 4-14-10
One strange postscript was the Sons of Confederate Veterans marker outside the museum... it seems that they believe the confederate cause to be just and almost blessed by the hand of God. It seems some people are still fighting the civil war. We may be yet again....
Ken and I toured the downtown first and stopped in at the Maid Rite for some shakes. 
As I said, there are a lot of well preserved old buildings downtown, and many of them seem to be for sale at fairly reasonable prices.
Ken speculated that it would be nice if some artists bought them up and started moving into downtown and into some of the victorian houses in town.
We walked through the battlefield about dusk after passing through an iffy neighborhood by the small hospital.
The weather was perfect and the views were gorgeous. We then walked back downtown to get some nice early evening pictures of the waning golden light hitting the victorian buildings.
Leavenworth Kansas

Leavenworth Daytrip Thu 15 Apr 2010 Ken and I decided on another round of day tripping by visiting the historic town of Leavenworth Kansas, which sits high above the Missouri River on the west bank.
This town has a very well preserved downtown area full of victorian buildings, which many predate the civil war.  
On the way into Leavenworth we passed through Parkville, Waldron and Farley on the Missouri side.
Leavenworth Walking Tour Thu 15 Apr 10
Our first stop in Leavenworth was the lunch counter at the drug store. These lunch counters/soda fountains used to be common in every town, often operating 24 hours. Now they are rare and hard to find.  
This particular lunch counter is operated in a drug store that has been continuously open since 1871. We had pie. I had cherry a la mode and Ken had butterscotch.
We walked all over downtown and snapped quite a few pictures. We visited two antique stores, but weren't really into that. We mostly walked around, got our exercise and admired the architecture.
Something Interesting.....
Police Chase on I-70

Srovets  April 15, 2010 — We were taking Ken home in Independence Missouri via I-70 when a motorcycle sped past us flashing his lights. A KCMO unmarked police car was on his tail and lit him up just as he passed us. It appeared that the motorcycle had no intention of pulling over and was quickly outrunning the cop east of us. We speculated that the police had radioed his license plate information and that this guy probably had some guests awaiting him at his house. We never really knew the outcome of this chase.

We were asked to shoot the video of the program put on by the Filipino Cultural Center in Yardley Hall on the campus of the Johnson County Community College. It consisted of traditional dance put on by the Sinag Tala Dance Troupe and Sampaguita Choir.
Storm chasing may be opening up after a long dry spell in April.  Tonight there was some action in the Texas panhandle with one tornado reported in Colorado.  Tomorrow the same areas may be affected.  Friday, the spc is calling for severe weather right at our door step here in Kansas City.  So, again, we'll see.

Livestreaming Events

Turn on the player below to see what is playing on the Svoboda KC livestream channel. It could be re-run's, or it might be live, you never know....
Watch live video from Svoboda KC on
You can click on the on button over on the Livestream window and see if Svoboda KC is streaming something live or, click on the "On Demand" tab on the bottom and see past livestreams.  We try to stream the YJ's Jazz Jam every Sunday night from 8 to 10 PM.  Contact us at we can stream an event. We are also looking for sponsorships for our streams.  You can also check out the Livestream page here or go to

Chrometuna Also, I have cross pollination of blogs going on with Chrometuna, and his regular talk show, which runs starts at 3 a.m. daily, so if you are up that late, go to and chat with him...
Watch live video from Chrometuna's Super Natural Boloney on Upcoming Events Finally... I have my handy dandy google calender with all the upcoming events in the area and beyond...


June 4, 2009 at 8.06am PDT


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