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  1. #21
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Southern California
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    4,536

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    DAY 11 -- TRUCKLESS!

    We packed up our stuff, said goodbye to our daughter, granddaughter, daughter's MIL (who is residing with them), and son-in-law, and headed for Columbia, MO -- an hour and a half away up US-54 and US-63. Both are interstate quality, four-lane divided highways with very minimum numbers of traffic lights. We had only one problem with the truck bucking -- it feels like it is trying to get enough fuel but can't. That happened right after we got on US-54, then didn't happen again.

    Crossing the Missouri River on US-54, just before the US-63 exit.
    photo(28) by jeanniesisters, on Flickr

    Arriving at my SIL's home, we dropped our stuff and she escorted us over to Machens Ford. Two years ago, they repaired a major "ding", changed the alternator and did an oil change for us. This time, it isn't such an easy issue. Since the truck "check engine" light did not come on, no other lights were coming on, and the problem is intermittent, they may have a struggle to find the problem. They will throw it on the diagnostic machine, but the older Ford powerstroke diesels aren't as good with the diagnostics as the newer ones (or so says the Machens guy). I told him that I'd checked a Powerstroke forum and another guy with the similar problem had reported that his was a clogged fuel filter, which the service manager took in his stride. (We've found that forum to be full of good info.) Anyway, throw in another oil change too, we told them. They will have the truck at least until tomorrow, possibly Saturday or even Monday. My SIL has an extra vehicle sitting here so if we really need to go somewhere, we can. (My BIL was trying to get me to go to Six Flags Mid-America: no thanks, I am a big chicken and would be a waste of money to pay all that money to sit and not ride the rides thee!)

    The five of us went out to Rocheport to a winery, Les Bourgeois. They have a picnic area right next to an A-Frame where they sell wine, beer, and soft drinks. You are allowed to bring in your own food, just not your own liquor of any sort. My SIL packed lunch, and we bought two bottles of wine to share.

    photo(30)

    The views of the Missouri River are excellent, and there was a lovely breeze making a picnic more pleasant. Look up the river to see a trestle bridge; that's I-70. Yup, it was that close.
    photo(31)

    Looking down the river, in the direction that Lewis and Clark went, about 110 years ago.
    photo(32)

    After a nice afternoon, we all came back, snoozed a little, visited, and had
    a nice dinner together. My BIL grilled outside, despite a brief rainstorm that threatened to change that plan.



    Donna
    Last edited by DonnaR57; 06-19-2014 at 05:43 PM. Reason: Oops; duplicated a picture!

  2. #22
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
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    4,536

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    DAY 12 -- TRUCK CAME BACK, FIXED!

    Upon awaking this morning, we went out and took a mile+ walk around my SIL's neighborhood, mainly for the exercise but also to "warm up". The A/C at her house works wonderfully well and my feet are always cold. Walking helps warm them up.

    We went out for lunch at CiCi's Pizza, which is running a lunch buffet for $5 apiece -- all the pizza, soup, salad and dessert you can eat for that price. Drinks were extra. Right after we returned to the house, Machens Ford called.

    The truck threw a code on the diagnostic machine, indicating problem in one of the modules that feeds fuel to the engine. The service manager was hesitant to recommend replacing the module, because of the cost ($1200) and the possibility that this was NOT the problem. They had cleared the code and tried to get the truck to recreate the problem and throw the code again, but it did not. (Of course! Isn't this always the way!) So, we said we'd pick up the truck, and hung up. Then we got to chatting and decided that this made so much sense to what the truck was doing, so we called the service manager back and authorized the service.

    Two hours later, the truck was ready. It seems to be running great, and has fresh oil, oil filter, and all the fluids checked and topped off. Yes, it was expensive. I look at this as insurance that at least THAT part shouldn't fail now. It is also a small world -- our service manager spoke with a MO accent that sounded like my late MIL's, so I asked him where he was from. When he told us, both of us grinned, and in conversation, it seems he graduated from the same HS as my husband and his sister, and just two years after my SIL.

    Along our walk, we saw lots of different homes and landscaping. This toadstool caught my eye, because it was bigger than any I'd ever seen. It was easily the diameter of a CD!
    photo(34)

    I also experimented with my smart phone camera, to see if I could focus in on some of the flower arrangements we saw.
    photo(35)


    Donna

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,739

    Default Ouch !

    Pleased you got the truck sorted out Donna, sad to hear of the cost ! Those pesky components are so expensive !

    Enjoying the report and the photos.

    Dave.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
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    4,536

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    Yes, Dave, the cost was bad. But not nearly what we'd thought it would cost (like a new transmission or new fuel pump).

    DAY 13 -- IT'S A DISNEY DAY

    You may be wondering, "what does Disney have to do with Missouri? There are no Disney theme parks there!" Well, the town that Disney always called his hometown, even though he was born in Chicago, was Marceline, MO. It's about 80 miles from Columbia, and I have wanted to go up there for years. It turns out that the whole family wanted to go, so 6 adults, one pre-teen, and one toddler (in a car seat) hopped in my SIL's van and headed up US-63/US-36/MO-5 to Marceline.

    Our first stop was at the Walt Disney Hometown Museum, located in one of Walt's favorite places in town, the Santa Fe Railroad Depot.
    June 19 to 21 015

    As soon as I saw the front window, I was enchanted -- a window, just like the ones on the 2nd floor windows of Main Street USA in Disneyland!
    June 19 to 21 018 by jeanniesisters, on Flickr

    The only Disneyland ride ever to be taken down at DL and sent somewhere else was the Midget Autopia, which was open from 1955 to 1966. After Disney decided it didn't belong in his park because adults couldn't ride it, he had it packed up and sent it to Marceline. The ride was there in the park until it pretty well fell apart.
    June 19 to 21 045

    Inside the museum, we were given a tour by a docent who had met Walt on a number of occasions, then told to go look and take all the pictures we wanted. This surprised me because a blog I'd read had said that no photos could be taken inside. So I took photos!
    June 19 to 21 023

    Upstairs in the museum were all sorts of models of Disneyland (CA), including this one of the Castle:
    June 19 to 21 035

    After touring the museum, we went to eat lunch at a place called Suzie-Q's. The food was good, plentiful, and inexpensive! Everyone ate well but left room for dessert -- later.

    Our next stop was to let our granddaughter get down and run, at E.P. Ripley Park. If that name sounds familiar, he was a president of the Santa Fe Railroad and knew Walt well. It's also the name of an engine at Disneyland.

    June 19 to 21 059

    This wishing well caused my daughter and I to break out in a rendition of "I'm Wishing" from SNOW WHITE.
    June 19 to 21 062

    This gazebo made the two of us break out in different music -- I was doing "William Tell Overture" and she was whistling "Turkey in the Straw". So what made us do that? We both know this gazebo as the inspiration for the Disney animated short, "The Band Concert".
    June 19 to 21 063
    Last edited by DonnaR57; 06-21-2014 at 06:47 PM.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,536

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    DAY 13 - CONTINUED - MORE DISNEY

    There were a lot more things in the park, like more trains. Considering that the Santa Fe RR lines run right through Marceline (but don't stop any more), it's not surprising to see this in the park:
    June 19 to 21 066

    It is said that Disneyland's Main Street USA (and to a degree, WDW's Magic Kingdom's Main Street USA) was patterned after Marceline. See any similarities? I sure do!
    June 19 to 21 055

    June 19 to 21 054

    June 19 to 21 053

    Off we went, back in the car, up to Broadway and out to where the Disney Family Farm had been. Walt's Dreaming Tree and a re-creation of the family barn where Walt had held a barn animal circus, was located. You park and then follow the signs back. I felt badly for the Dreaming Tree: it is dreaming of a new life on earth, maybe, because it's pretty dead and gone.
    June 19 to 21 077

    The barn is there, re-created back in 2001. Evidently Walt's barn in California was being moved out to Griffith Park (where it now resides, open only 1x per month on a Saturday), and the folks involved with that called Marceline. "We'll send you the plans we found, have the lumber ready in Marceline and we'll send folks out there to build it on the family property." And there's the barn!
    June 19 to 21 083

    My husband and I are now making plans to find a way to visit the "other" barn in Griffith Park, and the Family Museum in San Francisco. This has us fascinated!

    We ended the day with ice cream at Yumeez in town, which makes its own ice cream. It's a change from Central Dairy in Jefferson City, which we didn't get to this trip. On the way home, the skies looked menacing, and it did pour on us for about 3 minutes while on US-63.

    This is definitely a MUST SEE for any Disneyland, Disney movie, or general Disney fan. I'm glad I finally got to Marceline!


    Donna
    Last edited by DonnaR57; 06-21-2014 at 06:59 PM.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
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    DAY 14 and DAY 15 - FAMILY, FRIENDS, FEASTS

    These two days were just full of visiting with family members in the central Missouri region, friends from the area, and of course, food. I married into a family of folks who love to cook, and are good at it. So every gathering has food involved. It's all delicious and there is always plenty of it!

    On one day, it was a big family gathering at my SIL's house. It lasted for most of the afternoon and early into the evening. My poor granddaughter was so tired when she left, that she fell asleep in her car-seat 5 minutes after leaving here! I ate more than I should have, and was glad that we'd done a 1.75 mile walk that morning and vowed to walk 2 miles the next day. (And, as it turned out, yes, we both did.)

    The following day, my BIL, husband and I set out and headed for my husband's hometown 40 miles from Columbia. We visited grave-sites, then went over to see the neighbors that are still there. Went to lunch, and then visited 4 more family members and friends. We stopped at the grocery store and later at Wal-Mart, but had to get my BIL back to Columbia to take an exercise class. Then we had to prepare ourselves for the following day's departure to head east again.


    Donna
    Last edited by DonnaR57; 06-23-2014 at 04:06 PM.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Southern California
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    DAY 16 - BACK ON THE ROAD AGAIN

    Early in the morning, we bid a sad goodbye to the family in Columbia and set off eastward. Our goal was Springfield, OH, around 500 miles almost all on the freeway. We stopped in Wentzville to eat breakfast and wait out the Rush Hour of STL. While in STL, we made a good decision: we took MO-370 to I-270 to I-70, avoiding downtown St Louis. Sure, we missed the Arch and the thrill of downtown traffic, but it was not missed.

    The Missouri River, MO-370.
    photo(36)

    The Mississippi River, I-270. Looking at the old Chain of Rocks Bridge (US-66), now used as a pedestrian bridge. My dad has stories to tell about towing a trailer over that bridge!
    photo(37)

    A huge cross, similar to the one in Groom, TX, just west of Effingham, IL.
    photo(39)

    The day was notable for two things: Weather, and Traffic. The latter was not bad in STL, surprisingly light for a weekday morning. It got heavy across Indiana and into Ohio, heading east, and it didn't look like westbound was much better! The weather started out cool and comfortable, even cold at some point, and got progressively worse into eastern Illinois and western Indiana. All of a sudden, the skies opened up and dumped, and it went on for what seemed like miles, but was probably close to 20-30 miles! We were literally following the tail-lights of the person in front of us, who was following the tail-lights of the person in front of them, etc. Not exactly safe and definitely, nerve-wracking! Just as suddenly as we drove into it, we drove out of it and into light cloudy skies. RELIEF! till our cell phones suddenly made this God-Awful noise at the same time ("stereo!"). When I grabbed both of them, it was a TORNADO WARNING! I read it aloud to the driver, and we both looked around and saw nothing. When I went into the Warning, it seems that we'd left it behind and it was moving to the north and east. The cell phone warning tells you to take cover, but it assumes you know where to do that. What on earth would one do on the highway?!? (Maybe I should watch shows like STORM CHASERS, though we don't get Weather Channel any more.) Evidently the tornado was moving across Plainfield, west of Indianapolis.

    For the rest of the way to Springfield, we'd hit pockets of drenching rain, light rain, and traffic. We were so relieved to pull into Springfield, having briefly discussed cutting it short at Dayton-Huber Heights. Instead, we just went on and made ourselves comfortable at the Quality Inn (went in on a coupon and he still asked if I was a Choice member; yes). Then went to Rally's and picked up two sandwiches and brought them back to the room with us. This Quality Inn had a lot to offer, was clean, and the check-in folks were friendly.


    Donna
    Last edited by DonnaR57; 06-24-2014 at 04:24 PM. Reason: Added photos

  8. #28
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,536

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    DAY 17 -- GETTYSBURG OR BUST!

    We pulled out of Springfield a little later than normal, knowing that we weren't going to have any more time zone changes (we were already in the eastern zone) and the mileage was going to be under 450. Stopped west of Columbus to let the traffic roll by, since the hotel breakfast just didn't have much appeal, and ate a light meal. (That was a really nice Quality Inn, and I plan to do a TripAdvisor review for it.)

    On I-70 heading east, we had 3 more issues with the truck. Twice, it did its hesitation routine -- when hubby was accelerating. He was accelerating again when it did its big THUD, and then moved on. We were nervous for the next 50 miles, but it never repeated either. Now we wonder if there's an issue with the accelerator. All that money ($1200) for naught. Well, it was our own choice; Machens service manager had been hesitant that this was really the problem.

    Though our original intention was to just take I-70 until it ran into the turnpike (I-76) and then get off at Breezewood and take US-30 into Gettysburg, we'd changed our mind some weeks before. We took I-70 as far as Washington, PA, then dropped south on I-79 to Morgantown, WV. From there we picked up I-68 east, then I-70 east again, to Hagerstown, MD, where we picked up I-81. Then, US-30 east from Chambersburg to Gettysburg. So we "shunpiked" in the eastward direction. (Going westward, the PA Turnpike is the most logical way for us to get where we're going next, so we will use it. Class 2 and all, yuck.) This was a beautiful drive -- I-68 is listed as a Scenic Drive on all AAA maps, and on our Rand McNally atlases, and for very good reason!

    The Ohio River.
    photo (4)

    Cumberland, MD - we'd have stopped, but it was starting to rain. Thankfully, it was the last rain of the day. After that, we started to see clear skies ahead!
    photo (3)

    Our reservations were at EconoLodge Gettysburg, which is on the east side of town. Got a nice room on the first floor -- the owner of the place wasn't going to give us a first floor room, but after she left, her employee gave us a "non-accessible" first-floor room anyway. We were able to park right outside the door. After unloading, we walked over to the Giant Foods store, and picked up some things for dinner. This after some discussion about where to have "a nice meal", what night, and which meals to "eat in". So our dinner after traveling was a Stouffer's Delight and a salad. Yum, and fairly healthy, too!

    Fuel prices have climbed since leaving MO, so we've spent a lot of time on GasBuddy, seeking the absolute best diesel prices in the area. When we rolled through Dayton on Day 16, we found a Meijer grocery store selling diesel for $3.69, and discovered that we'd been getting 18.5+ mpg (which made us happy). Then, the prices kept climbing, some of them higher than at home (compared via GasBuddy), and home is usually among the highest in the country! Finally found a couple of stations in Cedar Springs, MD, selling for $3.85, so we bought. We will continue to search for the best price -- when one regularly buys 20 gallons at a time, one does not want to get down the road and find a place that's 20c cheaper per gallon!


    Donna

  9. #29

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    I just joined today but have been looking at the forum for a while. I have enjoyed your pictures through Missouri and Illinois because I have been through there so often. When I went to Marceline I was told Walt had three new parks planned when he died and one would have been Marceline. Florida was completed because it was so far along.

    I have seen some complaints on the Internet about the condition of the Interstates in Indiana. Was this your experience?

    Howie

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,935

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    Hi Howie, and Welcome to the Great American Roadtrip Forum.

    Along with you we have all been enjoying this report, and yes, MO is a place I too have crisscrossed many a time. As for roads in IN, no doubt Donna will jump in with her experience, but this year, more so than previous years, I have been acutely aware that the further north I go the more one can say, the roads need attention. I found this as much in New England as I did in MN and IL/IN.

    Glad you enjoy reading the forums.

    Lifey

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