Category Archives: Historic Sites

Wandering Around America One State at a Time – Montana

State 24:

Welcome to the next post in my series highlighting states we have visited throughout the years. I hope you will enjoy coming along for the ride!

I will be featuring the states alphabetically. The next state is

Montana

Montana became the 41st state on November 8, 1889. The capital is Helena.

We visited Glacier National Park in 2006 on our very first cross country RV trip. The National Park had just opened back up after a wildfire when we arrived at Johnson’s RV Park.  The smell of smoke was heavy in the air and many firefighters were still in the area. Our campsite sat on top of a hill overlooking St. Mary’s Lake.

20060815Glacier-(2)
St. Mary’s Lake

Driving from the eastern entrance of Glacier National Park to the western entrance in West Glacier on the 55 mile long steep and curvy Going to the Sun Road was the highlight of our visit. After wandering around West Glacier we turned around and returned to St. Mary the same way we came. We also enjoyed exploring the St. Mary side of Glacier.

20060815Glacier-(17)
Glacier National Park, Montana
20060815Glacier-(32)
Glacier National Park, Montana
20060815Glacier-(48)
Glacier National Park, Montana
20060815Glacier-(50)
Glacier National Park, Montana

The next year we traveled to Montana again, this time to visit the Little Big Horn National Monument near Hardin. While we were in the area we made a day trip to Big Horn Canyon.

Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, Montana
Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, Montana
20070416Little-Bighorn-Battlefield-(2)
Little Bighorn Battlefield
20070416Bighorn-Canyon-(10)
Bighorn Canyon

Earlier in that same trip we had gone through snow storms in Minnesota so we kept an eye out the weather after we left Hardin. We made a quick overnight stop in Garrison, Montana. Everything was fine when we went to sleep that night. The next day we woke up to several inches of snow. We were headed west with more snow moving towards us from the east so we skedaddled out of there as fast as we could and arrived safely at our next destination in Washington.

20070418Three-State-Day-(1)
After the storm in Garrison, Montana

Several years later we enjoyed spectacular scenery as we traveled through Montana on the way to Alaska. We spent a night at Cardwell Store and Campground and three nights in Great Falls before crossing into Alberta, Canada about 120 miles north of Great Falls.

Mountains in the distance in Cardwell, Montana
Mountains in the distance in Cardwell, Montana
Our Lady of the Rockies overlooking Butte, MT
Our Lady of the Rockies overlooking Butte, MT
Snow on the mountains between  Butte and Great Falls
It was snowing over the mountains between Butte and Great Falls

In Great Falls we took care of some business and stocked up on supplies before continuing north to Canada and Alaska. We also got to do a little sightseeing.

Statue honoring Lewis and Clark at the Visitor's Center
Statue honoring Lewis and Clark at the Visitor’s Center
Rainbow Falls
Rainbow Falls and Dam

On our way home from Alaska two and a half months later we spent two more nights in Montana as we traveled east towards Georgia.

A Bear cub with fish in our campsite in St. Regis, Montana
A Bear cub with fish in our campsite in St. Regis, Montana
Montana Sunrise
Montana Sunrise at Camp Three Forks

To read previous posts about the states featured in this series just click on the state name: Alabama      Alaska      Arizona      Arkansas      California      Colorado     Florida      Georgia      Hawaii        Idaho  Illinois      Indiana      Iowa     Kansas     Kentucky     Louisiana     Maine     Maryland     Massachusetts     Michigan     Minnesota    Mississippi     Missouri

Wandering Around America One State at a Time – Missouri

State 23:

Welcome to the next post in my series highlighting states we have visited throughout the years. I hope you will enjoy coming along for the ride!

I will be featuring the states alphabetically. The next state is

Missouri

Missouri became the 24th state on August 10, 1821. The capital is Jefferson City.

From the Mississippi River to the Lake of the Ozarks and many places in between, we had great adventures while in Missouri.

High on our bucket list of things to see in Missouri was the Gateway Arch at the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial in St. Louis. Henry rode the elevator up to the top of the arch while I strolled along outside. We hopped on the MetroLink to explore some of the other sights in the city.

What fun it was to explore Hannibal and see so many places where Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer had their adventures.

Harry Truman State Park was a great place for camping and taking a walk on a nature trail.

Our home base for visiting Branson was Table Rock State Park.

One fall we planned a trip to Missouri to attend a football game at the University of Missouri in Columbia. In addition to enjoying a football weekend we also camped beside the Mississippi River at Trail of Tears State Park, enjoyed the spectacular fall colors at Lake of the Ozarks and went shopping at the first Bass Pro Shop in Springfield.

Moon rising over the Mississippi River
Moon rising over the Mississippi River at Trail of Tears State Park
Barge going down the river at sunset
A barge went by right before sunset at Trail of Tears State Park
There are 24 different Mississippi River Tales Murals on the floodwall in Cape Giradeau
There are 24 different Mississippi River Tales Murals on the floodwall in Cape Giradeau
University of Missouri Logo in the grass at the Mizzou Stadium
Fall Colors at Lake of the Ozarks
Fall colors at Lake of the Ozarks
The original and largest Bass Pro Shops

To read previous posts about the states featured in this series just click on the state name: Alabama      Alaska      Arizona      Arkansas      California      Colorado     Florida      Georgia      Hawaii        Idaho  Illinois      Indiana      Iowa     Kansas     Kentucky     Louisiana     Maine     Maryland     Massachusetts     Michigan     Minnesota    Mississippi

F.D. Roosevelt’s Little White House

The campground in F. D. Roosevelt State Park was a great home base to explore nearby Warm Springs, Georgia.

Franklin D. Roosevelt served as the 32nd President of the United States from 1933 until 1945. He died at his home in Warm Springs, Georgia on April 12, 1945 after suffering a stroke while posing for a portrait.

FDR was born in New York and was diagnosed with polio in 1921. In 1924 he made his first visit to Warm Springs to receive physical therapy in the warm waters of the springs (88 degrees year round). He returned many times to Warm Springs to receive therapy and although it did help it did not cure his disease. The pools are no longer used for therapy. They are now part of a museum with displays about their history and how they were used to help polio patients.

These pictures show what the pools were like when FDR used them
These pictures show what the pools were like when FDR used them
Therapy pool in Warm Springs, GA
Therapy pool in Warm Springs, GA

He loved coming to Warm Springs and built a home overlooking the mountains just a short distance from the pools. A tour of The Little White House begins in the museum with many artifacts and interesting displays telling about the time he spent in Georgia.

FDR drove around Georgia in this car
FDR drove around Georgia in this car
FDR's carriage in Warm Springs
FDR’s carriage in Warm Springs

The Little White House was even smaller than I imagined. It had a tiny kitchen, living room, dining room, one bathroom and two small bedrooms. The best part of the home was the veranda overlooking the mountains. I was so busy enjoying the view I forgot to take a picture!

Around the house were Sentry Posts for Secret Service and Marines. Servants quarters and a guest house were also on the property. Everything in his home has been restored and everything is original to the house.

Dogwoods blooming at the Little White House
Dogwoods blooming at the Little White House
Marine Corps Sentry Post at Little White House
Marine Corps Sentry Post at Little White House
Servants Quarters and Guest House at The Little White House
Servants Quarters and Guest House at The Little White House
One of the many boats built by FDR while at the Little White House
One of the many boats built by FDR while at the Little White House
The Unfinished Portrait
“The Unfinished Portrait” – FDR had a stroke and died while having this portrait painted
Pink Dogwood blossoms on the grounds of the Little White House
Pink Dogwood blossoms on the grounds of the Little White House

One of his favorite spots to get away was Dowdell’s Knob. He even had a barbeque pit built there that is still on the property. There is bronze statue of him on a bench looking out at the view.

FDR enjoyed the view at Dowdell’s Knob
Dowdell's Knob with FDR's barbeque pit
Dowdell’s Knob with FDR’s barbeque pit

Wandering Around America One State at a Time – Iowa

State 13:

Welcome to the next post in my series highlighting states we have visited throughout the years. I hope you will enjoy coming along for the ride!

I will be featuring the states alphabetically. The next state is

Iowa

Iowa became the 29th state on December 28, 1846 and the capital is Des Moines.

Iowa is another state we have driven through numerous times while wandering around America. On one of our trips we planned our journey through Iowa around two bucket list destinations.

Our first bucket list destination was the Field of Dreams Movie Site near Dyersville. (We actually camped across the Mississippi River in Wisconsin but that is for another post).

As we walked around the bases I couldn’t help but think of the famous line from the 1989 movie “Field of Dreams” starring Kevin Costner and Amy Madigan:

“If you build it he will come.”

The corn was high when we were there, just like in the movie. I could just imagine the ghosts of famous baseball players walking out of the cornfield onto the baseball diamond to play. Another famous line went through my head the entire time we were there.

“Is this heaven?”

“No. It’s Iowa”

The next Iowa destination was Winterset and it also had a movie theme. We fell in love with the town with it’s six covered bridges, John Wayne’s birthplace (and a street named after him), movie locations from “The Bridges of Madison County” starring Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep, and a pizza place that delivered to our campsite in the City of Winterset campground.

Driving along the gravel country roads in search of the six covered bridges was a wonderful way to spend the day. As we went from one bridge to the next we passed by acres and acres of cornfields.

The stone bridge located in the park next to the city campground was featured in one of the movie scenes. Another scene was filmed inside the Northside Cafe where the walls were covered with photographs of scenes from the movie.

John Wayne was born in Winterset and The John Wayne Home is filled with memorabilia.

A few years later as we traveled through Iowa we decided on the spur of the moment to take a break from driving to  explore around Coralville Dam.  Before we got there, we crossed the Mississippi River into Iowa and stopped at the Iowa 80, the world’s largest truck stop.

The World's Largest Truck Stop
The World’s Largest Truck Stop

A little later that day we set up camp at the Dam Complex, a Corps of Engineers Park on Coralville Lake near Iowa City. In addition to taking a look at the Coralville Dam, we discovered fossils at the Delvonian Fossil Gorge and later took a walk on a nature trail for a view of Coralville Lake.

To read previous posts about the states featured in this series just click on the state name: Alabama      Alaska      Arizona      Arkansas      California      Colorado     Florida      Georgia      Hawaii     Idaho     Illinois     Indiana

Wandering Around America One State at a Time – Illinois

State 11:

Welcome to the next post in my series highlighting states we have visited throughout the years. I hope you will enjoy coming along for the ride!

I will be featuring the states alphabetically. The next state is

Illinois

Illinois became the 21st state on December 3, 1818 and the capital is Springfield.

Sometimes in our travels the only way to get to our destination was to go through Illinois. As we traveled through the state we discovered beautiful lakes, country roads, fields of corn, farms, historic places, and even saw Superman in Metropolis.

Tin Cup RV Park in early spring, Mahomet, Illinois
We went through snow flurries on our way to Tin Cup RV Park in early spring ( Mahomet, Illinois)
South Sandusky Campground on Rend Lake near Sasser, IL
South Sandusky Campground on Rend Lake near Sasser, IL
The St. Louis Arch as seen from our campsite at Casino Queen Campground East St. Louis, IL
The St. Louis Arch as seen from our campsite at Casino Queen Campground in  East St. Louis, IL
Kamp Komfort is located on this country road
One night we stayed in a campground on this country road in Carlock, IL
This old barn is located just down the road from the campground
This old barn is located just down the road from the campground in Carlock, Illinois
We visited Superman in Metropolis, Illinois
We visited Superman in Metropolis, Illinois

I’m really glad we took the time to tour Abraham Lincoln’s home in Springfield, Illinois. Our campground was a few miles out of town with a corn field in our back yard.

There was construction being done when we visited Lincoln's home in Springfield
There was construction being done when we visited Lincoln’s home in Springfield
Blondie looking to see what's in the corn behind the campground near Springfield
Blondie looking to see what’s in the corn behind the campground near Springfield

To read previous posts about the states featured in this series just click on the state name: Alabama      Alaska      Arizona      Arkansas      California      Colorado     Florida      Georgia      Hawaii     Idaho