Wednesday, July 11, 2007

House Trailers or Mobile Homes?

My wife calls them house trailers and was corrected the other day by someone who said they were mobile homes. Well, in the central eastern portion of Missouri they are house trailers and aren't very mobile. I'll get to this in a bit.

We left Sunday A.M. for our anniversary to stay in a bed n breakfast about 1 1/2 hours outside St. Louis. We often stay in b'n b's for our anniversaries and do them blind so it is a gamble. We stayed at the and was not disappointed. It is only about 5 years old and was made from an old laundry quarters of Ursiline College. The Nostalgic Place actually is not a part of the college grounds any more and the college was sold to an individual in the mid 90's and is now a combination of housing, antiques and a great lunch place called The Abbey. Word is that Microsoft "almost" bought this place as a retreat/training ground, but it was just a bit too far outside of St. Louis. Imagine what that would have done for the economy.

This is all located in an area where 3 "towns" are located within 3 miles of a highway stretch: Pilot Knob, Ironton, and Arcadia Valley. This place was booming in the 1880's as iron and lead were found in the small mountains. Great timing as the Civil War had just begun.

We visited Elephant Rock state park where huge pink boulders of granite cover one hillside. This are was mined for granite until the mid 20th century. When the iron in this area was found the farthest that railroad tracks journeyed west was to Pittsburgh. That quickly changed. We also visited a Johnson Shut In's State park that had recently re-opened for a few months. It closed in December of 1995 because the water reservoir on the mountain burst spilling billions of gallons of water which destroyed the park. Rumor has it the electric company did this on purpose because it was not a cost effective electricity plant. Miraculously nobody was killed.

There really was not much to look at in this area. Most homes were house trailers and on many occasions it seemed when a family upgraded to a new house trailer the old one was simply discarded on the hillside nearby. I noticed 2 different occasions were the family was on its 3rd house trailer with 2 of them nothing but scrap metal on the property. It didn't even look like they were used for storage.

We did find a GREAT place for dinner called Baylee Jo's. We had a pick from 3 places and the first place we walked in and walked right back out. BJ's had great food and was priced right. They even treated us to FREE ice cream since it was our anniversary. We did have to witness a biker lady heaving up something out on the parking lot. That part was FREE too!

Bummer thing about going on Sunday is that the most of the few antique shops were closed Sunday and Monday.

We also hiked about 1 1/2 miles down a rocky trail to see some special water fall, but nobody told us that all we would see was a trickling of water. 2 days later and my calves are still killing me.

Count down to Texas has started. My dad is still in the hospital, possibly until Friday, so thanks for your prayers. He seems to be doing better and I pray he quits smoking. We'll most likely leave for home Friday real early OR drive over night Thursday. Who knows????

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