Fall 2017

Once again, the seasonal clock moves to winter. Every year, it seems to me that the seasons change more and more quickly. The good thing is that here in Missouri each season offers us a fresh view of our beautiful state.

Winter means a rest period for nature. Snug beneath a winter blanket of snow, she prepares for the season of growth that will be here before you know it. We continue with our work days and hope to find time to enjoy friends, long evenings in a warm place and a bit of travel.

To aid you in planing your winter travel or to help occupy some of those long evenings, I have searched out some winter-related web sites for Missouri travel.

When traveling on our Missouri highways, one should always be careful. This is even more important in winter. The Missouri Department Of Transportation offers winter safety tips and road closure maps at MODOT.org/road_conditions/winterdrivingtips.htm.

Even in the winter, many young people and some of us seniors still like to frolic in the water. If that is your thing, one of Missouri’s indoor water parks; foudn at blog.visitmo.com/missouri-indoor-water-parks-make-awesome-vacation/, would make a good winter destination.

Bird watching is a popular pastime. Some do it very seriously with binoculars and life lists, while others just like to watch the birds. Washington University in St. Louis has this page: https://pages.wustl.edu/mnh/winter-birds-missouri, which should appeal to both kinds of birders. It has information on winter birds and many beautiful bird photos.

Regular readers of this column know that I like Branson. ReserveBranson.com/travelguide/things-to-do-in-branson-during-winter/, lists some of the things to do in Branson during the winter season. Most of the shows have Christmas programs, there are special decorations and there is always shopping.

Of course, most of us will spend a good deal of time at home during the winter. I’ll be here in Glasgow for family dinners and city activities. If you can visit me on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, I’ll be cooking chili and soup at the American Legion supper during our Old Time Christmas night parade with lighted floats. It is all you can eat for a free will offering. Check out the city web page at Glasgowmo.com/index.html.

During the times when Missouri travel either meant horse and wagon or a riverboat, there were many steamboat accidents on our rivers. One of these was the steamboat Arabia, which sank in the Missouri River near Kansas City. The boat, loaded with “everything needed to set up a general store,” sank in 1846. In 1988, she was excavated from deep beneath a soybean field (the river had changed course) and a museum was established to display the boat and many of the items she carried. I enjoyed visiting the Steamboat Arabia Museum IRL, but the musuem’s webpage at 1856.com/ is a treat, as well. That is a record for short URLs, but it is a full webpage with lots to show.

Every Missourian should visit our State Capitol in Jefferson City. It covers three acres and contains many murals and beautiful art and history displays. Guided tours are available on most days. You can see a lot of the Capitol at Capitol.mo.gov/. The site includes many photos and digital tours.

Have a great Missouri winter while enjoying our beautiful state. We may cross paths on the web or even IRL. If you should see me in Branson or serving chili in Glasgow, be sure to say hello. Until then, be safe, and enjoy your travels.

J.Y. Miller lives in Glasgow and is a regular contributor to Show-Me Missouri. His e-mail address is jymiller@ShowMeMissouri.net.

Summer 2017

Summer Time and the living is easy! If not easy, at least it will be warm and a great time to travel in Missouri. To aid you in planning some trips, both IRL and online, I have researched some internet sites for you.

When you live on top of the New Madrid Fault, which I did for 27 years in Caruthersville, the thought of an earthquake is never far from your mind. Nearly every day, there is at least a little shake. Most of them are below the threshold of feeling, but sometimes things do shake. In 1811 and 1812, the area experienced the largest earthquake in U.S. recorded history. The New Madrid Historical Museum has information about “The Big One” and much more. Learn more at NewMadridMuseum.com/. In addition to earthquake information, there are exhibits on Native American artifacts, and the Civil War Battle of Island No. 10.

Speaking of the Civil War, when Gen. Sterling Price made an attempt to capture Missouri for the Confederacy, his first major battle on his Missouri campaign was near Pilot Knob at Fort Davidson. Price technically won the battle but suffered huge losses. He began with 12,000 men and 10 percent of them died in the attack on the fort. After the first day, the 1,500 Union forces had lost only 28 men. They were running low on ammunition and during the night, they slipped away after blowing up their powder magazine. In September of 2017, there will be a reenactment of the battle. Read about it at MissouriCivilWar.net/reenactments/index.htm.

The losses caused Price to realize that he could not successfully attack St. Louis, but he did send Generals John Clark and Jo Shelby to attack my town of Glasgow (CivilWarOnTheWesternBorder.org/map/glasgow-missouri.) I often present a slide show about the Battle of Glasgow. The Confederates won this battle and captured weapons and clothing. Price had been the eleventh governor of Missouri and lived near Brunswick, just a little north of Glasgow, and General Clark was a resident of nearby Fayette. Price was defeated at Westport, near Kansas City, and retreated south after his failed campaign. The Westport Visitor Center in Swope Park has more information at BattleOfWestport.org/VisitorCenter.htm.

You could easily take the entire summer to visit Missouri’s many Civil War sites, but you may want to see some other things as well. On August 21, you can see a rare complete solar eclipse. The band of optimum viewing goes from coast to coast and the prime corridor in Missouri goes diagonally across the state. Kansas City and St. Louis are near the edge of this path. Glasgow is very close to the center and will experience total darkness a little after 1 p.m. for more than two minutes. To view a map that gives times for the eclipse, visit GreatAmericanEclipse.com/missouri/.

Use eye protection and do not look directly at the eclipse without it. Glasses can be obtained from many sources at low prices. DO NOT view the eclipse without them.

I know that you have heard things described as “...the greatest thing since sliced bread”. Sliced bread has only been commercially available since 1928, and it began in Chillicothe, Missouri. The Chillicothe Baking Company used a machine called the Rohwedder Bread Slicer to prepare bread for sale. You can read all about this mechanical marvel at ChillicotheCity.org/bread.html. You will find details of summer sliced bread festivals and can order sliced bread T-shirts and other sliced bread souvenirs including a candle that smells like fresh sliced bread.

I hope you have the greatest Missouri summer since sliced bread. If you see me at a Civil War battlefield, watching the eclipse or enjoying a toasted slice of bread, be sure to say hello. Until then, be safe in your travels on the road and online.