Monday, July 18, 2016

July 18, Kansas City Driving North, Kaw Point, Weston Bend and the Pony Express Museum

July 18, we turn north. Today we left Lee's Summit outside if Kansas City and started north along the Missouri River. We were able to get down near and view the river on several occasions. The morning started out with a visit to Kaw Point Park, which is the confluence of the Missouri and Kansas Rivers.  There is a nice little park located under the shadow of a giant grain elevator storage facility. Today there was also a gathering of 400 canoes that were going down the river. There used to be a very large statue of Lewis & Clark but that seems to be missing. This location is one that Lewis & Clark spent a few days at repairing their boat and dealing with some discipline issues. You get a real sense of the power of the Missouri River here, the current really moves along.

Looking north and upstream the Missouri River at Kaw Point

Kaw Point Park, just north of Kansas City

Heading north we stopped and had lunch at Weston Bend State Park along MO 45 across the river from Leavenworth. Lewis & Clark went through this river bend on July 1-3, 1804 also in 90 degree heat. They wrote that they had to take several breaks as the men were becoming overcome by heat. It was a nice today under the trees, a little cooler. We had a nice break from the heat.

Weston Bend State Park, along the Missouri River,
north of Kansas City

Staying on MO 45 and then 59 we drove up to St. Joseph, MO. St. Joseph was the jump off point for the major trails heading west in the 19th century. It was very prosperous in its day but has slipped quite a bit in later years. What was cool is that is was the home of the Pony Express Museum. This is where it started. The original building is still there and it is where the museum is located. The Pony Express didn't last long, starting April 3, 1860 at 7:15 pm and running for about 18 months. But is shorten the time to get mail to California from Missouri to about 10 days from three weeks stage coach or 4 months by boat. They also had a small Buffalo Bill exhibit that was winding up.

Bruce rides early pony express saddles that could be
changed quickly from horse to horse

The Pony Express Museum in Saint Joseph, MO

After the museum we head up to Omaha and stayed across the river in Council Bluffs, Iowa at another Fairfield Inn.

Dinner was at the Salty Dog in Council Bluffs, IO,
good burgers