04 September, 2018

Week Two; More Firsts!

A Stop Along the Peak to Peak Highway in CO
Our last day in Colorado saw us traveling the Peak to Peak Highway in the Rocky Mountain National Park, the scenery was breathtaking. Sadly, the entire time we were there we found the views altered by the haze from the wildfires in CA at the time. The highest elevation along this stretch of scenic byway was 9,300 feet and it was very breezy and cool (59 degrees) when we stopped at the Visitor Center. I'm unsure about the reason for the sturdy logs on the roof there-- perhaps to help with snow control, alleviating avalanches off the slope of the roof or maybe to keep the roof on the building during heavy wind; maybe both!  One thing that the Coloradoans are serious about is snow fencing. It, like the log grid on the roof, is sturdy and built to stand up to heavy snow drifting, or at least to help keep it at bay.
Our journey from there took us across Kansas as far as Abilene, our destination for Friday and Saturday nights. 
We stopped along the way at this quilt shop in Hays. I raved about their customer service in a post last week. If this shop is your vicinity or on your travel itinerary please do stop in! You'll be happy.
We ate lunch in Hays too, at Whiskey Creek. Now that I am a horse-woman, naturally, I can't stay off! On Saturday morning in Abilene we were up and ready for our first stop of the day: The Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum.

This was a fascinating stop, I learned so much about Eisenhower, both personally and from the historical perspective. Eisenhower was president when I was born. I recall reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, with my hand over my heart, in my first and second grade classrooms, where we then sang "My Country 'Tis Of Thee", all under an American flag and a framed picture of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, both of which hung prominently in the front of the classroom above the chalk board.
The tour began at Eisenhower's boyhood home. Unbelievably, the Eisenhowers raised six sons in a home that, at the time, was a mere 818 square feet! A family of eight; without indoor plumbing.
Mrs. Eisenhower made the bed quilts that are still displayed on the beds today; this bedroom also contained her original treadle sewing machine, the machine she used to construct them.
This picture was taken in the kitchen. The original "dough box" (lower right of photo) was used for rising bread dough-- she made bread three times a week, nine loaves at a time! Imagine feeding six growing boys! Indoor plumbing and the downstairs bedroom were added in the later years, after the boys were grown and gone.
This was the family in 1902 (l) and a recreation of the same photo (r) in 1926. President Eisenhower is pictured on the far left in both photos.

It was a short walk from the boyhood home to the Library, all are located on the same grounds. The Museum itself is closed due to a massive, ongoing, renovation. We toured the highlights of the Museum which have been temporarily moved to the Library; honestly, I didn't feel as though we missed much, but I guess we'll have to return one day to find out. 
There were so very many artifacts of interest. This one, above, puts perspective to where we are today in terms of communication, comparatively. Both President Eisenhower and Mamie are buried on the grounds. After learning so much about them I now want to go to Gettysburg, PA to visit the farm. It's always a good thing to be planning our next adventure! Also in Abilene, we discovered, is the Greyhound Hall of Fame where we learned all about breeding Greyhounds and the history of racing. We met two retired dogs there, they greeted us in the entry area, Ginger and Gary. One more site of interest, especially to Mr. Goodneedle, was the Russell Stover Outlet Store w/ ice cream shop!
We couldn't buy chocolate candy while traveling by car but that didn't stop us from sampling the chocolate in melted form, over ice cream!
On Sunday we worshiped at Trinity Lutheran Church in Abilene. We have dear friends who have been relocated here, in fact he is the Pastor at Trinity. We enjoyed being together again for the day. I loved this old, historic church and beautiful sanctuary. I'll bet you can't guess what I thought the ceiling looked like. 😉 After a lovely dinner with our friends at an historic hotel in town we headed east, with Missouri in our sights for the night. 

Stay Tuned
We started the next morning off in Hamilton, MO. The home of Missouri Star Quilt Co. I will save my adventure there for another, separate, quilty-post.😀 It will be worth the wait.

 By afternoon we were in Independence for another stop at yet another Presidential Library. 
I must admit that I had forgotten much from history classes in my past, this stop was full of facts.

 The tour, and accompanying films, were most informative and of great interest. This tour concluded at the point where Eisenhower took office; we were working backwards, time-wise on this trip. This was the first Presidential Library that I have visited that predates me; giving me all the more reason to learn as much as possible.  
From the desk of Harry S. Truman.

Both President Truman and Bess are buried here, at the Library site in Independence. 

We continued our journey east from there, toward St. Louis, we spent our last night on the road in southern Illinois; from there it was a straight shot home. Thank you for allowing me to post this summer wrap-up, it helped me to revisit our trek across this great country of ours and reminded me of two more quilt-related posts to come! Missouri Star, as promised (and teased) and my visit to the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum in Golden, CO. Stay tuned~  

Life is Good!


cityquilter grace said...

wow and double wow mrs.g....loved seeing the eisenhower home...you will love the farm in gettysburg as much...recommend you go in december when it is decorated for christmas, just as mamie would have so many years ago...and you will see some of her *gorgeous* 1950-ish clothing and accessories too..plus the cadillacs are still in the garage as well...thanks for the vicarious trip!

Shasta Matova said...

It sounds like a great whirlwind trip, and I appreciate you taking us along with you. Thanks, Mr. G. for including chocolate! That childhood home reminds me of mine - with the small rooms, the wallpaper and the dark wood furniture.

Janet O. said...

What a road trip!!
Wonderful places to stop and absorb history.
And I can't wait to see what your experience was like in Hamilton, the quilter's Mecca! :)

Nana said...

Mamie was born in my hometown of Boone, Iowa. Growing up in the 50s I remember Mamie and Ike coming to visit Mamie's Uncle Joe more than once here in Boone. Motorcades, waving, cars honking...... It was an exciting time! A group of citizens eventually purchased Mamie's birthplace and made it into a museum of period furnishings---some original to Mamie's family, some dontated by the Eisenhowers. For the dedication Bob Hope came and gave the dedication speech. Lots of excitement for a small Iowa town!!!

Debbie Lou said...

What a great trip! Hubby and I visited the Eisenhower sites many years ago, before kids. My grandparents lived in McPherson, KS and during our visit to Abilene we were watching a video in a theater and found behind us, the couple that lived across from my grandparents. I used to play with their daughter. Amazing. I hadn't seen them in years. You never know who you are going to bump into. We, too, loved the our visit there. Thanks for sharing your adventure. It brought back great memories!

Lindah said...

I always enjoy your road trips! I remember fondly both presidents --in those days, party affiliation was not such a big deal as it is now. We looked more at the character of the man. My parents both were Kansans and thought highly of the Eisenhower family. Perhaps some day, I will get to do the tour of the farm. Until then, I am enjoying your tour. :-)