December 4, 2000
So far, I have made appearances in three states (Missouri, Indiana, and Kansas). What I mean by that is that I went into the state, took my picture, and then turned around and went back. Of these three states, I spent the most time (relatively) in Missouri.
I was in Missouri for a good, oh, I'd say, 20 minutes. I crossed over the Mississippi River on I-155 from Tennessee. There was a similar welcome sign on that bridge but it was inaccessible. I continued on I-155 westbound through Caruthersville, and then headed on I-55 south.
In retrospect, I could have gone north to Cape Girardeau and crossed into Illinois to get a picture there. It would only have been about another hour or so. Looking at my map showed how close the southern tip of Illinois was to the northwestern corner of Tennessee, closer than I had realized. Even so, as one of the problems with a wintertime road trip is fighting the rapidly approaching dusk, it would have made things a little crazier than they deserved to be.
Anyway, I didn't get to see much of Missouri. What Missouri showed me was basically a perfectly flat landscape along the Mississippi Valley in the, um, "tab" of Missouri. It was interesting to see, as I was in the area as dusk was approaching, the sun set over such level terrain because there is so much sky to work with. Being from the east originally, I never really get to see the land this flat. There also weren't very many trees to break the monotony.
January 2, 2001
I spent two weeks in Kansas City, Missouri, in June 2001.
Jefferson City, Missouri
September 7, 2005
I only had two days in St. Louis, and I spent one of them driving 270 miles round trip to Jefferson City.
Jefferson City, on the banks of the Missouri River, didn't strike me as being much of a city. The capitol does occupy a prominent position overlooking the river. As I pulled up, all of the good parking spots were taken, some of them by school buses. When I walked up to the Capitol, I saw about 100 kids, fourth or fifth grade maybe, seated in chairs as Governor Blunt was announcing to them and to the assembled media contingent a new college savings program. So I'll remember that about Jefferson City, as well as how hot it was that day.
Among the monuments surrounding the Missouri State Capitol are a granite Ten Commandments, and one of the fifty Liberty Bell replicas that I also saw at the capitols of states like Arizona and Oregon.
The original capital of Missouri was St. Louis. It was moved to St. Charles temporarily for five years before finally settling in Jefferson City in 1826. The first Capitol in Jefferson City burned in 1837, the second was built in 1840 and burned down following a lightning strike in 1911. The present Capitol was completed in 1917 and its dome is 238 feet tall.
September 10, 2005