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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Police Chase on I-70
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.
BLOW BY BLOW
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.
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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 www.justin.tv/chrometuna and chat with him...
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