|s/y Nine of Cups
Kentucky, Missouri and Kansas
Area: 40,411 sq mi - 37th biggest state
Population: ~4.3 million
High Point: Black Mountain - 4,145'
Low Point: Mississippi River, 257'
State Nickname: Bluegrass State
State Flower: Goldenrod
State Bird: Cardinal
Kentucky was the 15th state to enter the
Union on June 1, 1792.
|Kentucky is from the Iroquois Indian word
"Ken-tah-ten," which means "land of tomorrow."
|Neither of us had ever spent much time in
Kentucky, so we thought we'd include it on our
itinerary. We spent the night in Lexington and saw
brochures for the "Bourbon Trail". How could
we pass it up?
There were several distilleries to choose from, but
based on our timeframe and easy access, we
chose Buffalo Trace Distillery which ended up
being an excellent choice.
|After a very extensive, interesting tour, we had
the chance to sample the wares. At 10am, not
as appealing as later in the day, but David
enjoyed the samples nonetheless. Bourbon is
definitely not Marcie's drink of choice.
|Life in Kentucky revolves around horses
|We spotted the distinctive water tank long
before we saw the distillery.
|The grounds were beautifully kept and very
inviting with oak barrels visible through the
windows of the old brick warehouses.
|The Kentucky Derby has been held
annually in Louisville, KY since 1875. It is
run on the first Saturday in May and is limited
to thoroughbred horses that are 3 years old.
The race is currently run at a distance of 1
1/4 miles and has been since 1895. The
Derby is often called "The greatest two
minutes in sports", as the race is usually run in
about that amount of time. The race is also
known as "The run for the roses", as the
winner receives a blanket of roses that is
presented in the winners' circle.
|We left Kentucky and drove through the
very southern part of Indiana. Marcie,
always looking for something to see,
noted that the Lincoln Boyhood
Memorial was in Lincoln City, not far
from the highway. So...off we went. Not
overly impressive actually , but a good
respite to break up the trip. Next, we
passed through Illinois and across the
Mississippi River into Missouri. Having
lived just outside of St. Louis for a year,
we enjoyed seeing the Gateway Arch
once again, but didn't have time for visit.
|The Gateway Arch, also known as the Gateway
to the West, is part of the Jefferson National
Expansion Memorial in St. Louis, Missouri.
Built as a monument to the westward expansion
of the United States in the 19th century, it has
become the city's iconic image. The park is a
memorial to Thomas Jefferson’s role in opening
the West, to the pioneers who helped shape its
history, and to Dred Scott who sued for his
freedom in the Old Courthouse.
Capital: Jefferson City
Area: 69,709 sq mi - 21st biggest state
Population: ~6.0 million
High Point: Taum Sauk Mountain - 1,772'
Low Point: St. Francis River, 230'
State Nickname: Show Me State
State Flower: White hawthorne
State Bird: Bluebird
Missouri was the 24th state to enter the Union
and became a state on August 10, 1821.
|Missouri was named for an Algonquian Indian
word that means "river of the big canoes."
|We stopped in Independence, Missouri,
home of Harry S. Truman and a national
historic site. Besides being Truman's
hometown, this city is a nexus for historic
trails west...the Oregon Trail, the California
Trail and the Santa Fe. Remnants of the trails,
e.g. wagon wheel ruts, are still visible in some
places. For more information about historic
trails in the USA, click here.
|The town is dedicated to the Harry S. Truman and the
Truman Home is now part of the National Park Service
so we took a tour and learned quite a bit about Truman, a
plain, honest man who became 33rd US president.
|The further west we went on I-70, the
flatter the land became. Fields of wheat
and corn blew in the wind; windmills
abound and sunflowers lined the
highway...and then we were in Kansas!
Area: 82,282 sq mi - 15th biggest state
Population: ~2.8 million
High Point: Mt. Sunflower - 4,039'
Low Point: Verdigris River, 679'
State Nickname: Sunflower State
State Flower: Sunflower
State Bird: Western Meadowlark
Kansas was the 34th state in the USA and
entered the Union on January 29, 1861
|Kansas was named for Konza (also
called Kansa or Kaw) Indians who lived
in the area.
|How to tell you're in Kansas!
|Kansas is home to the Old West towns and gunslingers we heard
about when we were growing up. Towns like Wichita, Abilene and
Dodge City. Some of the legends are true and some are bigger than
the truth. We stopped in Abilene, dusty and hot, but "the end of the
Chisholm Trail", the cattle drive trail for Texas longhorns.
|No twisters while we were there and
no wizards, but we're sure we saw
Toto running around. Wizard of Oz
fans, click here.
|The Lebold Mansion in Abilene, Kansas is a
23-room mansion built by Conrad H. Lebold
in 1880, one of the early founders of Abilene.
|St. Fidelis Catholic church in Victoria, KS
was dubbed by William Jennings Bryan, the
"Cathedral of the Plains", when he visited in
1912. It's one of the "8 Wonders of Kansas".
|Kansas is part of Tornado Alley, an area
of the US that is hit by more tornadoes
than any other place in the world. Kansas
claims the record for the highest number
of F-5 intensity tornadoes since 1880.
|Hailstones keep falling on my head! Hailstones are
classified according to their size, ranging from pea
size to golf-ball sized, to baseball sized. Kansas
gets lots of hail storms. The record hail stone fell in
Coffeyville, KS in 1970 and was 5.7" across!
|Before we knew it, we were back in Denver. We had committed to refurbing a property for rental and had our work cut out for us. The two weeks
went by quickly. Our nephew, Dan, worked with David on the deck and outside projects along with grandson, Taylor. Marcie tackled painting the
interior and cleaning. A tough two weeks with no photos to show for it, but a good job done.
September 14 seemed to be sneaking up on us. Only a month left and lots left to do. We needed to head back to Las Vegas, but first a sidetrip to
Albuquerque to see niece, Gentry and her family. The only "problem" with heading to New Mexico is there was a lot to see along the way and you
know how distracted we can become! Ride along with us to New Mexico, the "Land of Enchantment" and all the stops in between.