Weston Bend State Park in Weston, Missouri is another pretty state park we'd taken a day trip to while living in the Kansas City area. At that time we enjoyed some excellent hiking and checked out the small campground, dreaming of returning one day in our own RV.
That time had now come. We spent five nights here in late June and got to do plenty of exploring, mostly on our bikes, as it is over three miles to town from the campground on foot and quite hilly.
We had a nice site nestled among large deciduous trees.
The Missouri River is visible from several overlooks in the park.
On our first bike ride from the park, we headed out to the rural surrounding area and pedaled some of the Platte County roads. The farmland was attractive and green, but there were lots of hills. Missouri ain't flat!
We enjoyed seeing two cemeteries on our bike ride. Both had some graves dating back to the 1800s.
Here's a close-up of the informational sign at the above historic cemetery, Laurel Hill.
After checking out the rural countryside, we pedaled on to Weston, a charming, historic small town of fewer than 1700 residents today but at one time the second-largest port on the Missouri River (even larger than Kansas City!)
Weston has quite a history. The Lewis and Clark expedition stopped here, and according to Wikipedia, William Buffalo Bill Cody lived here, and the town was a major "jumping off" point for the Santa Fe Trail, the Oregon Trail and the California Gold Rush.
When we'd visited Weston on our day trip, we happened to come on a Monday, which we didn't know is the only day of the week when the town pretty much shuts down after the busy tourist weekend. This time was different. Town wasn't overly busy and bustling mid-week but wasn't buttoned up tight either. Perfect!
This cute white house was the home of Daniel Boone's descendants.
The old jail is painted with murals that evoke days past.
Weston even has a Little Free Library!
Stay tuned for lots more from Weston including lots of libations!
While spending a few days in Knob Noster State Park, Missouri, we rode the 11 miles to Warrensburg again for some more exploration. Sure, it was a great place to do laundry and eat donuts, but what else did this county seat of Johnson County have to offer?
I'd done my research: Warrensburg had a Little Free Library! Any town with one wins automatic bonus points in my book (ha! "book", get it?) I had a few paperbacks I'd already read hanging around, so I took them along to exchange for a couple of new books.
It just so happened that this little library was on a charming street near downtown, and the host's house was adorable. Double bonus points!
On the same street as the Little Free Library were these historic homes. Aren't they lovely?
We made our way to the nearby heart of downtown to check it out. The most prominent building is the imposing Johnson County Courthouse constructed at the turn of the 20th century for a cost of just over $50,000. Mind boggling!
Although the courthouse was impressive, my favorite part of it was this statue out front. Woof!
There were a couple of murals depicting life in an earlier time. The Courthouse building features prominently in this one, but I don't know if those pools were ever there or only existed in the artist's imagination. The trees flanking the Courthouse entrance have certainly grown!
The Amtrak station is housed in an historic terminal for the Missouri Pacific train line. I love these old train stations, and it's nice to see so many of them still in use as we travel around the country.
On this Sunday morning, downtown Warrensburg was very quiet. This is the best time we've found to explore downtown streets and get photos without as many vehicles and people getting in the way.
Warrensburg is the home of the University of Central Missouri, I read recently that the president of the university crashed on his bicycle while on vacation in Colorado for the 4th of July holiday (article here). He fractured his pelvis, just like I did back in 2005 on my bicycle. Poor man; I literally feel his pain!
Our last stop in Warrensburg was at our favorite grocery store, Aldi. We stocked up on groceries, which Barry carried back in his panniers and basket. He weighed all of it when we got back to Pearl and determined that he was carrying an extra 41.5 lbs. of weight on his Bike Friday. Wow!
Stay tuned as we continue our adventures in Missouri!
After leaving the charming German-influenced city of Hermann, we made our way to Knob Noster State Park near the same-named town in Missouri. We'd taken a day trip to the park while living in the greater Kansas City area and checked out the campground in case we ever pulled the trigger on an RV. So now we were able to return with Pearl and spend a few nights.
Knob Noster actually means "our hill" in Latin. The town was named for two prominent knolls ("knobs") in the area. After bicycling in the area, we can vouch for it being hilly!
While staying in the park, we needed to do laundry, and the nearest laundromat we'd located in our research was in the city of Warrensburg, 11 miles west. Barry had long been wanting to try taking our laundry on the back of his Bike Friday to see how feasible it would be, and this provided our first chance to do just that.
Turns out, with two panniers and a basket, it's feasible!
Although most of the ride was on the road, we were happily surprised to come upon this bike path as we entered the far eastern edge of Warrensburg. And on a weekday morning, we had it all to ourselves. Score!
The laundromat was one of the nicest ones we've been to, and to make our day even better, there just happened to be a donut shop RIGHT NEXT DOOR. If that isn't an amazing stroke of luck, I don't know what is.
While I was inside keeping an eye on the washers and dryers, Barry made his way over to the bakery and purchased a selection of yummy pastries for us to enjoy now -- and later. Oh my!
Laundry dried and packed back up on Barry's bike, we pedaled a short distance to a grocery store for a couple of items we needed. Just outside the store, we had a random encounter with a couple of young bicycle tourists, riding across the US from east to west. It was a real treat for us to talk to these two guys about their trip and share some of our own cycling experiences. Wish I had thought to get a photo of them and their loaded bikes. We certainly wish them well on their tour.
Ironically, we later discovered that the campground has a little laundry facility right on site. We'd never encountered this amenity at a public campground, only in commercial parks, so we hadn't even thought to look. D'oh! But we're still glad we did this laundry ride, because now we know we can do this when needed.
Emily & Barry
We're a long-married, early-retired couple who are currently traveling as nomads with no fixed home base. After years of living in North Carolina (Emily's home state), we spent 18 months living oceanfront on Ambergris Caye, Belize, a year road-tripping the US in a Honda CR-V, a year in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, and are now roaming North America in our 32' motorhome, Pearl, following warm weather whenever possible.
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