Brad & Barb Wright - Southwest Trip 2009/2010 travel blog

Truman Home

Truman Museum

Truman Oval Office

Truman recognizing Israel

Truman's leaving Washington for home on Presidential train car (Air Force 1...

Truman's grave at Museum & Library

Sign for Community of Christ Temple


Community of Christ Temple

Sanctuary at Community of Christ Temple

Guide at Temple Tour

Actual covered wagon in Frontier Museum

Mural in Frontier Museum

Mormon Trails

Steamship Arabia Museum

Mural of Steamship Arabia

Picture of excavation of Arabia

Some of the dishes preserved from Arabia on display

Part of the Arabia artifacts

We arrived at Campus RV in Independence, MO Saturday afternoon. We are on a cement pad - fortunately since it has rained or snowed since Sunday. Yes, I did say SNOW. We got up yesterday to a blanket of snow on everything. Since it wasn't freezing out it didn't last and quickly turned to rain. But the temps have been in the high 30's and low 40's. Had to dig out the winter coats again. On Sunday we went to the Visitor's Center and then to the Truman Museum. His home is not open as it is undergoing extensive renovations and won't open again until June. We did enjoy touring the museum. It gave us a much better understanding of some of the difficult and controversial decisions he made during his Presidency. Why they were unpopular at the time but history has proved they were correct. Monday we went into Kansas City to the Steamboat Arabia Exhibit. Gigi, you were right - it definitely was a place not to miss. The Steamboat (a side paddle wheeler) sank in 1856 in the Missouri River. It was hit by a snag (a partial tree trunk). No human lives were lost. It was excavated in 1988 by Bob Hawley, his two sons, and two friends. They found it 45 feet under a Kansas corn field a half mile from the river's edge. The river has changed course. The original plan had been to sell whatever they were able to salvage but when they saw what was there they didn't feel they could break up the collection - 200 tons of artifacts. They have been working for the past 20 years on cleaning and preserving every item found. They figure there's at least 10 more years of work to go before everything is preserved and on display. Everything not yet preserved is being stored in climate controlled or freezer storage. Bob Hawley or his son try to be at the exhibit at all times that it is open and speak to each tour group and answer questions. The boat was headed for the frontier towns and the articles recovered are anything you would find in a general store at the time. They actually found canned items that were still intact - including pickles that were still good. This was another real find for us. Yesterday we went to a prayer for peace service held at the Community of Christ temple. We went because they also offered tours of the building and the building had such a unique shape we wondered what it was like inside. We had also read about the pipe organ inside. It has over 5000 pipes. The prayer service is open to the public. The temple is the headquarters for the Community of Christ faith, but from what we gathered there are not services held there. The guide was wonderful and took us all through the building. There is a museum that we did not take the time to go through as we hadn't had lunch and it was quite late. The building is shaped like a sea shell. While we were on the tour the head organist came in and was playing. There are 30 organists who play the organ. They will also let any visitor who is an organist play it as well. They have a sanctuary that holds 1600 people but don't have regular services there. It boggled our minds. After lunch we went to the Frontier Trails Museum. It told about the Lewis & Clark expedition and the trails the settlers took to go out west....mainly the Oregon and Santa Fe Trails. It was very interesting although we rushed through since it was closing. Today we are leaving the area and taking another detour. It's so much fun having the freedom to decide on a whim to go here or there. We discovered that Abilene, KS is only 150 miles from here. So we are going there today to visit the Eisenhower Museum. It will also add another state to our map of states we've stayed in! We will head to Branson from there. We will probably stay in Branson through Thanksgiving and then head to Oklahoma. Take care and we will write more from Kansas. Barb & Brad

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