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On the way to Missouri

 

Coming across South Dakota & Nebraska we didn't find much there but a lot of sky and no trees. But we started seeing billboards for "Wall Drugs" about 100 miles before we got there so we took the bait and stopped. We we're glad we did.  Wall Drugs has been around for decades and like everything along the remote interstates started out small. It's now a giant complex of buildings and shops and they have about everything you can imagine.  For the whole family, too.

 

Then!  It was on to Missouri

 

Working our way South near the Missouri River in & out of Iowa, it started "greening" up really fast.  By the time we entered N.W. Missouri it was really pretty.   About 70 miles east of Kansas City we stopped for five days at Carol's Uncle Pivis and Aunt Viv's farm. (he doesn't even know how he got that nickname, but he's had it forever).  He's farmed that rich river bottom land all his life, all 500 acres of it, but now he's turned it over to his kids and grand-kids. We had a great time and Carol got to visit with first-cousins she hadn't seen in 40 years. Her aunt & uncle even had a big fish-fry/get-together for us all.   I fished in his so-called "pond" (about a 1/4 mi in diameter) which has about everything in it.  Some really, really big ones, too!  They're all super-nice people and we hated to have to go....

 

Some crappie & catfish we got to try before the others arrived. The fish were out of his pond and the veggies out of the garden and corn out of the 200 acres of it across the street.   Yum!

 

Uncle Pivis firing up the deep-fryer

 

Some of Carol's aunts, uncles, cousins, and their kids.

 

Next stop, Springfield, Missouri

 

I was born & raised in Springfield but hadn't been back since I was 13.  Holy cow! Do things change in 50 years! I had forgotten how beautiful Springfield and the Ozarks were. A kind lady let me in to see the house I grew up in, that was cool!  We also went to "Fantastic Caverns" just outside of town as well as "Bass Pro Outdoor World" (the largest in the U.S.). It all brought back a lot of memories....

 

Bass Pro Outdoor World is the most immense place I've ever seen. Three huge floors plus a basement full of hunting, fishing, camping gear.  The bottom floor must have at least 50 bass boats.  And the "big as life" outdoor settings are fantastic. The one Carol is standing in front of has real bass & trout in it. The place is awesome....

 

Honey, get my fishing pole, there's real fish in here!

 

Bear!  What Bear?...

 

Fantastic Caverns, just outside Springfield.  Carol got to go into this one as it has huge rooms and you get to ride through it (Carol is claustrophobic and can't handle the "tighter" caverns)...

 

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