It was hot this morning in Independence, MO. We thought about riding but by 8:30 it in the mid 70’s with very high humidity. The air conditioning of the truck looked like a better choice. We had the first continental breakfast of the trip and turned the driving chores over to Spencer and Laura. It is hard for me to relinquish the control of the keys but this time it was the right thing to do. They had done all the planning for today’s points of interest so we put the trip in their hands in all aspects today.
We left the motel and headed directly to the World War I Memorial in downtown Kansas City. It was a good visit and we spent almost 2 hours there. The first thing was to ascend the 217 feet to the top of the memorial tower. I was concerned about how small the elevator was but I made it to the top after a half hour wait in the line. The sun was bearing down on the metal-capped wall on the observation deck. It didn’t take long to realize that resting my elbows on top of the wall was not a good idea.
The way down from the observation deck was the same elevator that we came up on. We had to take the winding staircase down to the elevator platform where we stood and waited for the next car. The staircase was narrow and heating up quickly. I was getting uncomfortable by the time the elevator showed up to take us down. I think I beginning to be allergic to heat and humidity. Down we went.
We spent some time looking through all the displays and sat in the café to drink something. Of course it was next to the gift shop where we scored the second hat pin of the truck and the very first smashed penny of this trip. That smashed penny made up for the slight feeling of claustrophobia that I felt on the elevator. This was our first history lesson of the day. One of the volunteer guide’s told me that he lived near the Scottish – English border. He mentioned this because there was an entire generation of young men were wiped out in that area by this war. Some really brave young men sacrificed a lot to defend our way of life in the early 1900’s.
We left there and headed to Monroe Elementary School for our second history lesson of the day. This is the school where the famous desegregation court case originated (Brown v. the Board of Education). There was some really nice chronologically ordered information displayed throughout the ground floor of the museum. Some of it I didn’t seem to exactly fit my recollection of the way things were in the USA during the 50’s and 60’s. This wasn’t my story to tell so I moved on.
The final history lesson of the day was one I was familiar with. We pulled into the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum in Abilene, KS. The place was getting ready to close so we did a quick walk-around of the property and took a few pictures. Ike was the first president I could really remember from my childhood. We were able to see a small portion the site. It was getting late in the day and the caretakers were getting ready to close. I did manage to score another hat pin and a smashed penny.
From there we cruised to our hotel in Salina, KS after a stop at Freddy’s Hamburgers. I’ve never been to a Freddy’s but I certainly will go back if given the chance. The temps today were blistering – 97 was the highest I saw. It doesn’t sound like we’ll be hitting a cold front anytime soon. Tomorrow we will spend all day getting across the rest of Kansas heading for Goodland. We do have a couple of stops planned and currently we going to be riding for the first leg. Wonder if I can find an air conditioner for the trike.