Winter 2014

Like a wheel ever turning, the cycle of seasons rolls into a Missouri winter. We leave behind the pleasures of fall and look forward to nature’s resting period.

It does not have to be a total time of rest for us, though. Missouri provides plenty of fun and interesting things to do during her winter season. During the cold and snow, we can enjoy travel both on her highways and from the warm comfort of our homes as we travel with our computers to visit the many attractions and destinations. To help you in these travels, I have found some interesting websites that can offer a chance to get out of the snowbound house with virtual travel or serve as a pre-trip planning visit.

Do you bicycle? The Katy Trail is a 237-mile-long park/trail that was once the roadbed of railroad trains. was developed by Ray Scott, a frequent rider on the trail. Users of the trail may walk, bike or even ride horses (on part of the trail) across Missouri. This excellent site has answers to almost any question about the trail. Even if you don’t plan an actual bike ride, you will enjoy learning about the towns and services along the trail and seeing the photos. If you do plan a trail trip, this site is a must to make it safe and comfortable.

If you are looking for a trail with no bikes and not a lot of walking, then the Hermann Wine Trail might be just the thing. This site at explains the trail, which is open year-round. The 20-mile-long route meanders through some of the prettiest scenery in Missouri. Along the way, you can visit seven family-owned wineries that feature tastings and other special events on a regular basis. The site includes photos and a link to download a mobile travel guide. They even have a recipe page with selections from each of the wineries. Yummy!

Historic Arrow Rock boasts many attractions, including the Lyceum Theatre. The Lyceum will present “A Christmas Carol” during December this year. Anytime you visit Arrow Rock you might enjoy dining in the Huston Tavern, which can be viewed online at It is 177 years old and has served many a traveler in that time. A video on the site shows folks enjoying the family style chicken dinner for which this place is famous. I have personally consumed a flock of those chicken dinners and can vouch for their quality and the friendliness of the servers. While in Arrow Rock, be sure to visit the visitor’s center and other historic buildings. Plan your visit at

Looking for an educational and fun outing with the kids? The St. Louis Science Center ( is great for the kids and fun for adults, too. Lots of interactive exhibits make learning fun. The center hosts a planetarium and an Omnimax theater. My first visit was years ago with Boy Scout Troop 92 from Caruthersville. The boys and I all had a great time.

The internet highway is always open for our travel, but IRL highways are sometimes affected by snow, flooding, accidents or construction. It pays to check on the roads before leaving on a roadtrip. The Missouri Department of Transportation makes this easy at

As you enjoy Missouri’s winter season, stay warm and safe, and don’t take risks on snow-covered highways. Perhaps a nice cup of hot cocoa and some internet browsing can make a winter snow day pass with pleasure. We may cross paths on the internet or while exploring a Missouri winter town along the Katy Trail. Until then have a great Missouri winter.

Fall 2014

Another summer ends and fall begins. Hot Missouri afternoons morph into refreshingly cool fall evenings flavored with cider, hayrides and football. The press of busy activities may reduce our IRL travel time, but our computers provide us with a vehicle to explore this great state and to plan our IRL travel experiences. I’ve researched a few internet sites to get you started on your fall travels.

This well-designed site can keep you busy for a long time: It has links to all kinds of Missouri trips and vacation ideas and is focused on the Arcadia Valley Region. I found information on float trips, campgrounds, antiques and more. The page features a constantly changing series of beautiful photos of Missouri scenery.

The world’s first school of journalism was founded in Columbia in 1908 by Walter Williams. This page at has information about this still famous school which is part of Missouri University.

You can even keep an eye on the J-School with its streaming web cam at The camera looks east from the roof of Gannet Hall, allowing a view of students moving about in addition to a glimpse of area weather. The Mizzou Memorial Student Union cam, located at, may be a bit voyeuristic, but it allows viewers to watch students as they study and socialize in the Union.

Civil War reenactments have been very popular in Missouri. Historic Glasgow will host a reenactment of the Battle of Glasgow October 11-12. You can read more about the event at For more information about the battle and the history of Glasgow, check out the Lewis Library web site at Lewis Library is the oldest public library west of the Mississippi.

Fall foliage is always a treat in Missouri. This is a link that will let you download a free app for your iPhone, iPad or iPod: The link will help you find pictures and GPS information to travel to places to view Missouri fall foliage. This is provided by the Missouri Department of Conversation. Apps are also available for Missouri Fishing and Missouri hunting. Links to iTunes to download these and other apps are all on the same page.

If you watch Cardinal Baseball, you have seen the Ted Drewes Frozen Custard commercials. Ted Drewes is a legend in the St. Louis area. Their website at has information about products and their locations. Ted Drewes has been home to the original “concrete” since 1929. The web page has a photo of their location with a beautiful ’57 Chevy in front of it. I had one just like it, except mine was a different color. As Ted says in every commercial: “It’s really good guys and gals!” Be sure to follow the links to the history and about the custard.

Here is the Missouri page that has links to EVERYTHING: just click on your interest and then enter the city or county to find the location and details. Under FUN, there are links from antiques to zip-lines, with corn mazes and pumpkin patches in between. Other categories include places to go, Missouri products, Missouri events and more. Information is included about farmer’s markets and a photo contest.

Missouri in the fall is especially beautiful with our changing foliage and many festivals and activities. I hope you enjoy your travels either IRL or on the web. Perhaps we will cross paths in a corn maze or a pumpkin festival. If you see me at a civil war reenactment or a Cardinals game (I hope it is during the world series) be sure to say hello. Until then enjoy our beautiful Missouri and always be careful on the road.

Summer 2014

Once again we welcome the warm evenings and the gentle night breezes that give us relief from our hot Missouri summers.

Summer is the season of picnics, baseball, barbecue and vacation travel. While seeking respite from the summer heat we can travel in comfort on our computers to seek out opportunities for great times in the Missouri outdoors.

I have found a few places to visit online and perhaps to venture out IRL.

For a lot of us, summer fun means a visit to an amusement park. Almost all youngsters and quite a few of us “older generation” get a big kick out of the rides and excitement. You can visit Worlds of Fun and Oceans of Fun online at to help plan your summer visit. The website lists the rides and fees, as well as places to stay and to dine. The parks are located next to each other just northeast of Kansas City. One ticket lets you visit and ride in both parks.

If you are on the eastern side of the state, you can go to Six Flags near St. Louis. Check out the website at The web page features a movie that puts you on a pretty thrilling roller coaster. Hold on to your chair while you view.

In the middle of the state, I’ll be spending most of my time in Glasgow. For a list of what is going on there, If your pleasure is a golf tournament, a cat-fishing tournament, a canoe race or just a quiet visit, you will enjoy your time in the little town where the clock turns backward.

See more of Glasgow at the webpage of the historic Lewis Library at The library was the site of Lewis College, founded by Col. Benjamin Lewis just after the Civil War. It is the oldest continuously operating public library west of the Mississippi. For a slide show of Glasgow homes, click on my slide show link at

As summer ends, Glasgow will host a reenactment of the Civil War Battle of Glasgow October 10 and 11. There will be two battles, a period ball and many other activities. I’ll be working at the event. Be sure to say hi to me if you see me on a bus or giving a tour at St. Mary’s Church.

You will enjoy a visit to, either online or IRL. Bushwhacker Bend Winery is located in downtown Glasgow. The websit includes links to many Missouri events, as well as winery information. It is a beautiful place to relax and to have a nice visit with the owners, Gene and Susan Marksbury.

Another of the many Missouri Civil War Reenactments will be held in Centralia on September 13 and 14. You can read about the massacre and the ensuing battle at My friend, Jack Chance, is one of the committee members for this event. He will be busy if you see him, but tell him you heard about him from me.

While traveling you will no doubt see the Missouri Highway Patrol keeping the state’s highways safe. Visit for information such as locations and schedules for driver exams, safety check stations, water craft verification stations and more. They even have photos of the patrol cars, motorcycles, planes and SWAT vehicles currently in use on Missouri’s highways and waterways.

Keep cool on the road and try to spend at least some time in the shady places. You might bump into me at the edge of a battlefield or at a period ball. You might be even more likely to find me on the deck of a winery overlooking the Missouri River. Say hello if you do.

Spring 2014

Yes, we had some cold weather and plenty of snow and ice here in Missouri during this past winter. It kept many of us inside more than we might like and made us ready to greet the gentle touch of a Missouri spring. Now that Spring is here, we are ready to get out and see Mother Nature replace those white mounds of snow and ice with the green fields and beautiful trees that show new life and hope.

We can travel by our computer screens when time is short or to plan a longer IRL trip. I have researched some spring in Missouri sites for you on the World Wide Web.

I grew up on a Missouri farm, and one of my chores was to milk our cow. My mother made butter and we drank fresh milk. Many young people today have not ever seen a cow up close and have little idea of where their food comes from. Additives and purity are big concerns today. If you are close to Kansas City, you might want to make a family trip to the Shatto Milk Company, located just north of the city on a 400-acre family farm. It is the home to 120 Holstein cows that produce the milk. They raise most of the cattle feed on the farm and process the milk gently before bottling it in glass bottles. Shatto boasts a big assortment of whole, 2 percent and skim milk and offers a number of flavor choices. They also have shirts, caps and other items (for humans, not cows) that are for sale in their store. Their web page tells their story and includes many photos of the farm and the cows. Visit them online at You can also read about their tours and special events, and can sign up for a free monthly newsletter with news, recipes, special offers and more.

A place you could visit near St. Louis is a reminder of the ravages of war. It was not the scene of any battles, but was the location of the world’s largest explosive factory. Between 1940 and 1941, the U.S. Army purchased 17,000 acres of land in St. Charles County. Three towns—Hamburg, Howell, and Toonerville—were evacuated and all the buildings either demolished or burned.

Within a few months these towns ceased to exist, and the Weldon Springs Ordinance Works was built on the land, employing more than 5,000 workers in 1,000 buildings. Before they ceased operation in 1945, they had produced more than 700 million pounds of TNT.

After the war, the Army disposed of all but 2,000 acres of the land, and several of the sold off portions became conservation areas. The Atomic Energy department used the 2,000-acre area as a uranium processing plant to make concentrated ore, which was then shipped to other plants for more processing. This also produced huge amounts of radioactive waste including thousands of gallons of contaminated water.

The government closed this operation and began cleaning up the area in 1966. In 2001, a safe storage mound was completed. Covering 45 acres, it is the highest point in St. Charles County. This giant rock pile stores 1.5 million cubic yards of hazardous material. It is completely safe and you can take the steps to climb to the top where you can read a plaque that describes the whole site. There is a large center near the bottom where you can also read about the site.

Their web page at has some photos and other information about the site. I believe I’ll limit my visit to online.

Missouri’s oldest town, Ste. Genevieve, was settled in the 1700s. It is Ste. Genevieve ( As you might expect, the town is rich in history. It was the site of the first Freemason lodge west of the Mississippi. Western Star Lodge #105 was established in 1807. The original meeting hall still stands.

I have visited the town many times. If you eat there, try the leberknödel or liver dumplings. They are much better than they sound!