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Report 2041: Driving the Great Mississippi River Road

By BJinNM from New Mexico, Fall 2012

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Page 4 of 33: Day 4-A Second Day in St. Joseph, Missouri

photo by BJ Firestone

Missouri River

At last we had a non-driving day. It was really great to be able to relax and just enjoy our surroundings. We started the day with an amazing breakfast courtesy of our B&B and then came back to the room for showers. There was just one problem, it was a hand held shower which in my case made for a comedy of errors. I finally realized why there was so much soap left on me when I saw that the tub was surrounded by water. I had apparently missed me and cleaned the floor, walls, curtains and rugs! Not my finest hour!

We then left the B&B and made our way to the Pony Express Museum. The fact that St. Joseph was the eastern terminus for the Pony Express was the reason Alan wanted to visit here. The museum was very interesting and I learned more than I will ever be able to process about the Pony Express. For instance, the Pony Express was only in existence for 19 months and, as soon as the transcontinental telegraph was completed, it stopped services. It took ten days for a ride to get from St. Joseph to Sacramento and during the ride, the Rocky Mountains, the desert through Utah and the Sierra Nevada Mountains all had to be crossed. Pretty amazing!

We then went down a few blocks to the old Patee Hotel which is now a museum complete with a mockup of St. Joseph in the 19th century. There is also a full size operating carousel and a train pulled by a steam engine along with old cars, Civil War memorabilia, and tons of other "stuff." Next door is the house where Jesse James was killed by a member of his gang who wanted the reward; so, of course, we had to visit there!

We then went looking for the Pony Express Monument which turned out to be just a block from our B&B. We then started to look for a place to eat especially since we had missed lunch. Finding a place for dinner on a Sunday night in St. Joseph reminded us of when we first moved to New Mexico and we would try to find somewhere in Albuquerque to eat on a Sunday night. Nothing but chains along the Interstate seemed to be open. We finally went to the Casino and had a good meal while sitting next to the Missouri River! Great view. Based on BJ's behavior with Solitaire on the computer and Alan's relationship with Zuma (the computer game, not Zima the drink), we decided not to go into the Casino.

We then drove to the Nature Center next door and were able to walk right to the river. It was a lovely evening and the Missouri is a beautiful river.

Tomorrow before we leave St. Joseph we hope to stop in at the Glore Psychiatric Hospital Museum to see all the truly horrible ways psychiatric illness used to be treated. Then it is onto Hannibal and Mark Twain country. We have been listening to the Teaching Company's course on Mark Twain and should finish it before we get to Hannibal.

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