So, the last update was about Friday! I was in Grand Rapids, looking forward to the weekend. Now I'm in Abilene, looking back at the whole 19-day Odyssey and reveling in it all. I have put up some pictures, just haven't blogged about the events. On Saturday, we attended a birthday party for Austin Fisk. Pictures of that event are on facebook at this link, which is supposed to be viewable by all. We had the party at the park near th house, the one I had walked around on Monday. (Evidently I didn't blog about it, just put up a photo description of it. You can see that at this link.) Anyway, we got to the park and were setting up some tables when another group said they had reserved the tables in the park. However, they said they thought there was plenty of room for all of us, and we stayed where they were while the other group went a good distance away to other tables, nearer a building those people actually had thought they were reserving. Later still a third party showed up and there was plenty of room for all three groups. Discussion from early in the day centered on the possibility of rain. I must say, I was skeptical. I didn't expect it really to rain - the sky just didn't look serious. However, what kind of an expert on rain am I??? I certainly haven't had a great deal of recent experience on the subject! Needless to say, I was quite wrong. It happened after the party was basically over, but we waited for another family coming from a good distance. When they did get there - after the deluge - they turned around and went home. I'd already left, but got wet getting from the car into the house, and plenty of other people were there wet as well. Still, it all goes to make the birthday party all the more memorable, and nobody melted.
Sunday, Jeffrey and I planned to go to Lake Michigan, and we were delighted when Sam decided to go with us. Wow! That's a LAKE???? Those pictures are also on Facebook. We talked about not wanting to walk on hot sand, which was NOT an issue. While Sam describes the water as a "balmy 72 degrees," I thought I was going to FREEZE! It did get easier, after a while, but I had NO need to get really wet and then be in the brisk breeze. We did wade for a while, though, and out a very good ways, the depth was very wade-able. Sam and Jeffrey got further than I did, but then again, I had my camera and didn't want to get it wet, and the waves were something sometimes! We decided to walk over to the lighthouse, and that was a neat experience. All in all, I'm in love with Lake Michigan and determined to go back, taking some or all of the Frisco Rollins clan with me.
We got back to the house. I'd decided to leave that afternoon and get on the road and make some of the distance rather than trying to drive 16 hours in two days. I got well into Illinois, close to Missouri, and spent the night. After that, I started my day I call Meandering in Missouri. I admit, I bookended it with casinos, coming out about $11.50 ahead the first time and losing $20 and leaving the second, but between those was lots of fun. I thought I was going to do genealogy, and set out to Perryville since Perry County was further north than Cape Girardeau. It took a while to find the library in Perryville, even with an address, but when I asked someone, he said it was right there - inside the school. What a neat idea! Speaking of neat, I was very impressed with that area of Missouri, how good looking the houses and yards were. I didn't see anything any Chamber of Commerce would set as a goal of cleaning up.
In the library, it didn't take long for me to remember how boring genealogy had gotten for me something like a dozen years ago, after I'd spent that many years totally obsessed with it. And I found nothing more about any of my Perry names (for the possibility somebody wants to hand me my history, Christopher Hayes, Joseph McFerron, Thomas A. Bull, Samuel Anderson, Virginia/Jane Bull/Anderson/Wilson.) And it's a neat line. The Bull line is kin to all the Roosevelts - Theodore, Franklin, and Eleanor, and the Wilson whom my great-great-great grandmother married second was the uncle of Woodrow Wilson. Anyway, back to not enjoying the genealogy, which you can see still does interest me...
I started toward Cape Girardeau, but there was a sign about the original historic town of Alterburg, and I bought it. To my great pleasure. Then I found a sign to the Tower Rock Nature Area and couldn't ignore that - despite the dirt road to it. I had a great time, got to Cape Girardeau, finally read my emails and found out I couldn't meet a friend on Tuesday, so changed my route and went down to Arkansas and across toward Frisco. Pictures of the Meandering in Missouri are here. That route reminded me of the treks I made years ago when I went from Quanah to Nashville a number of times, always getting lost in Memphis, but finding Nashville enough times to earn a Masters degree from Scarritt there. So, the route was enjoyable, and I spent the night in Des Arc where the motel warned about the mosquitoes I'd already battled with getting gas into the car. I told the people at the motel my great-great-great-great grandfather died in Des Arc. They didn't seem interested enough to know he tried to save a son from a wagon wheel breaking and dumping the wagon. He saved the child but died in the process.