Borrego Springs, CA

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Some sight seeing in between deluges

Yesterday I decided to try to visit a few of the local historic sites since it was the only day this week that was forecast to be sunny. First stop was the General John "Black Jack" Pershing Boyhood Home State Historic Site. It is located about 23 miles from the refuge in the small town of Laclede. I got the scoop on what to see at the visitor's center and decided to start with the guided tour of the house. Since I was the only one visiting, it was certainly a personally guided tour for the sum of $2.50.
General Pershing moved here with his family when he was five years old, and lived there for about twenty years. This was a large three bedroom home for those days (the 1860's) and his family fairly well filled it since there were six other children.
Also on the grounds is the Prairie Mound School where Pershing taught until he entered West Point.

The school now houses a museum through the right door and bathrooms through the left. The museum is self-guided and is solely about Pershing's life. He was a great military man. I can't imagine teaching 45 students aged 6-21 in this small schoolhouse.
Next to the home is a statue of "Black Jack" which is surrounded by granite tablets naming war veterans. Gen. Pershing got the name "Black Jack" because he commanded the Buffalo soldiers (African-American troops) while he served in the west in the late 1880's.

I think I'll return to this site again while I'm here because I forgot to watch the 40 minute movie on his life. I'd also like to get some better pictures when it's not overcast. I guess you can figure out that the predicted sunny skies only lasted about ten minutes. :(
About five miles west of Laclede, is one the four covered bridges that can be found in Missouri. So, that was my next stop. This bridge is certainly way off the beaten path, but worth the trip.
It's three miles off the highway down a gravel road, and then the hike through the woods to the bridge's location.

As it turns out, Locust Creek was diverted quite a few years ago so the bridge now spans dry land. It is the longest of the four remaining bridges and measures 151 feet. I'll also probably return to this site since my pictures of the side of the bridge didn't turn out.
I thought the toll rates for crossing this bridge were interesting. I wonder what farmers did in 1868 if they had an odd number of cows, hogs, or sheep? Maybe they had half pennies in those days.
I didn't spend a lot of time here since the thunder was beginning to roll and I was being eaten alive by mosquitoes. I'll remember to bring some bug spray the next time!
I then drove to Brookfield for a bite to eat and a few groceries. While I was in Wal-Mart, the heavens really broke loose and I was pretty soaked by the time I reached the car. It rained all afternoon. I attended a Friends of Swan Lake meeting in the early evening and it stopped raining long enough for me to put up my black oil seed bird feeder. You might think that would be an easy task, but it was a bit of a challenge. The two trees outside my rig have their branches trimmed to a height of about fifteen feet. In order to get a light rope over the branch to hang the feeder on, I tied it onto a two pound barbell and gave it a toss. I thought I was going to bonk Emma on the head a few times as she thought we were playing a game of fetch! Just as I was getting the hang of tossing it with the right amount of lift, the rain came down in buckets. Emma and I ran for the rig. When it stopped, out we went again. It took about a half an hour and two more dashes inside before I was finally successful. :0 I sure hope those titmice appreciate this.
This morning I had a long list of things to do including applying for social security benefits (again). I decided to try to do it over the phone since I wasn't successful visiting an office in April and my internet connection is not reliable enough to do it online. After an hour on the phone I was successful! Hooray!! I was really ecstatic that my cell phone stayed connected that long.
I only have one thing left on my list to do: dump the tanks. It's not raining out right now, so I that Emma and I will spent a little time out on the patio.
Thanks for stopping by....talk to you later, Judy
p.s. Please excuse the run on paragraphs, once again. On days that I upload pictures, I just can't seem to get any spaces between paragraphs. I don't know what's up with that.


  1. I have the same problem with the paragraphs. I found that putting a period on the empty line between paragraphs does the trick and is hardly noticible.

  2. Thanks for the hint, Myrddin. I'll give the period a try the next time I post pictures.

  3. Your correct, they used a half penny; the U. S. minted a half penny until 1857.