Courageous Travels: Jefferson City, MO Trip

Day 1

Hello Courageous Travels!
The Travel Group is visiting Jefferson City, MO this weekend! We started off our day picking up our travelers and volunteers. Unfortunately, traveler Michael was not feeling well so he couldn’t join us this weekend. Michael, we sure hope you feel better soon! We first met volunteer, Treva at Camp Courageous this morning before heading to Walcott, IA. We met up with travelers Dawn, Doug, Brian G., Don and Harrison along with volunteer Nila at the I 80 Truck Stop. Then we made our way to the Culver’s in Coralville where we met up with travelers Shambria, Joyce, Lynn, Brian V. and Jim. This is both Brian G’s and Brian V’s first trip with us! We sure are glad to have them travel with us! We grabbed some lunch, which was delicious and then hit the road!
It was only a 4 hour drive to Jefferson City and the drive went well! We made it to Jefferson City shortly before 5pm and headed straight to dinner at Cajun Catfish House. Volunteer, Carina lives in St. Louis so she met up with us at the restaurant. The group welcomed her when she arrived and then we checked out the menu! This restaurant was full of fishing decor! The travelers were pointing out all of the different things we saw such as a giant metal catfish, a pufferfish, lots of fish hooks, fishing nets and more! The food was delicious and the travelers really enjoyed this meal! Once we were finished eating we made our way down the road to our hotel. The group is now resting up for our big day exploring Jefferson City tomorrow! This is Courageous Travels’ first visit to this city and everyone is excited to see what this capital city has to offer!

Day 2

Hello Courageous Travels!!

The Travel Group had a wonderful day exploring Jefferson City! We started off our day with a delicious breakfast at our hotel! The travelers were excited to see chocolate waffles as an option!! After we ate we hopped on the bus to begin our fun filled day! Our first stop was Central Dairy. What better way to start our day than with ice cream?! Central Dairy opened in Jefferson City in 1934 and has been a popular destination ever since! There were over 40 different flavors of ice cream and sherbet to choose from!! The most popular flavor chosen in our group was brownie fudge with M&Ms. The ice cream was sure was delicious!
After we finished our early morning treat, we made our way down the street to the Missouri State Capitol Building. Before our tour started we did a little shopping and explored half of the Missouri State Museum, which is located inside of the capitol building. At 11am we had a guided tour of the capitol! Our first stop was the House Lounge. Inside this room 3 of the 4 walls were covered in a giant mural that showcased the social history of Missouri. The mural showed the history of Missouri starting with the Osage Indians. It also showcased the importance of agriculture, steamboats and the railroad to this area. This mural was impressive and our tour guide told us that this large mural only took 6 months to complete.The colors were so vibrant you would have thought that it was painted recently. The reason the painting looks this way is because of the technique that the artist used. The artist mixed egg yolk with the colored powder to paint the mural!
We learned that the current capitol building was actually the 3rd capitol building. The first burned down and the second was struck by lightening and partially burned. The current capitol building was built in 1913 and first used in 1917. Our next stop on the tour was the House of Representatives Chamber. Our tour group got the special privilege of getting to go in on the ground level of the room. We couldn’t step out onto the floor of the House of Representatives Chamber but we were able to view the room from the side. It was a large room with many beautiful stained glass windows and 26ft pillars that weighed 26,000 pounds each!
Next we visited the rotunda which displayed many bronze head statues of famous Missourians, such as Walt Disney. Our tour ended near a really neat painting. The painting seemed to to change before your eyes depending on where you were standing! The travelers thought this was pretty cool!! After we thanked our guide for a great tour we visited the other half of the Missouri State Museum before heading downstairs for lunch. Although the cafeteria is not open on the weekends, the wonderful employees at Chet Monet had prepared sandwiches, chips, cookies and bottles of water for our group! Thank you to Joan for getting this set up for us!
Once lunch was over we made our way to our next stop, Jefferson’s Landing, which was just a short walk from the Capitol Building. When we exited the capitol we were so excited to see that the sun came out and it was a lot warmer! Right outside of the capitol was a Lewis & Clark Monument with some pretty fountains around it so we stopped to take a group picture. We continued our walk down the street to the Lohman Building. The Lohman Building was built in 1839 and was a General Store. This building is the oldest commercial building in the city! Inside, it’s set up to look like a general store from the 1800s with clothing, tools and food. In this building, we learned that the Missouri River is the longest river in North America! It winds over 2,000 miles from the Rocky Mountains down to near St. Louis! We also learned that Jefferson City’s first hotel operated on the upper floors of this building.
After we explored the exhibits we watch a 20 minute film that shared more history of Jefferson City, the Capitol building and the buildings that make up Jefferson’s Landing. We learned how important the railroad (which is right outside of the Lohman Building) and the steamboats were to this city. The city needed a permanent place where goods could be loaded and unloaded from the steamboats and it was decided that the area at the end of Jefferson Street (which is the location of Jefferson’s Landing) was the ideal location and the Lohman Building was constructed. After the movie, we made our way across the street to Union Hotel which now houses the Elizabeth Rozier Gallery. This gallery has rotating exhibits that emphasize Missouri art and culture. The current exhibit was war art. One room showcased many different artists and their war art creations. In the other room, we had the chance to create some art of our own! Many of the travelers drew a picture and added it to the board! We sure have a talented bunch!
Our last activity of the day was a visit to Runge Nature Center! Travelers Brian Victorine and Brian Greenlee had been patiently waiting all day for this activity! The nature center had many exhibits that showcase Missouri’s natural habitats. There were many interactive exhibits where the travelers could guess which animal made certain tracks, which bird laid which eggs, and there was an exhibit where you pressed a button to play a sound and we had to guess which animal made that sound. Travelers Harrison Rollins and Don Cole guessed all of the bird eggs and animal sounds correctly! There were also many live animals such as a variety of fish, turtles, salamanders, snakes and even a tarantula!! The nature center also had a really great animal viewing area. There were very large windows that overlooked a small creek and wooded area with bird feeders, flowers and even a cactus! There were binoculars available too so the travelers took turns using them to hunt for animals. We spotted a few squirrels and a male and female cardinal!
Another cool aspect of this nature center was that you could go and select a educational video to watch in a small private viewing area. So I set it up so our group could watch a video called Ponds and Rivers. This video talked about the differences between ponds and rivers and the animal and plant life in each. We learned how important rivers were because most civilizations grew around rivers. We learned that if you can’t jump from one side of the bank to the other then that is a river. We learned that rivers move faster than ponds and that other than humans, beavers are the only other mammal that makes changes to rivers. We also learned that ponds are one of the richest habitats and that the baby kingfishers will eat 18 fish per day! It was a very interesting video and the travelers sure enjoyed it! Traveler, Shambria said she had a really great time today and was excited about all of the great pictures she got to take!
After a quick stop at the gift shop we made our way outside. The nature center has over 2 miles of trails! We took a short hike on the paved trail called the Naturescape. The trail took us through a small garden, around a small pond and through the woods. It was a nice walk and it felt great to get some fresh air! By that time the sun was behind the clouds but it was still an enjoyable walk! We kept our eyes open for animals! We spotted a squirrel going down a tree with a giant apple in his mouth! Along the path, there were areas that you could climb on tree trunks and build with pieces of wood and there was even a little deck overlooking another trail. This trail lead us directly to where our bus was parked so it worked out perfectly!
By this time, we sure had worked up an appetite so we headed down the road to a restaurant called Domenico’s. This restaurant had a little bit of everything! Pasta, chicken, seafood, veal, steak, you name it and they probably had it! Everything sounded so good it was hard to choose what to eat! The food was amazing!! Everyone thoroughly enjoyed this meal! After dinner we went back to the hotel to get packed up and rested! Tomorrow morning we head back to Iowa, after stopping at a large souvenir shop along the way!

Day 3

Hello Courageous Travels!!
The Travel Group had a fantastic weekend in Jefferson City! We all woke up well rested and ready for the day! We had another delicious breakfast at our hotel before packing up the bus and heading to Kingdom City. Our travelers sure love to shop so we planned to visit a large souvenir shop called Ozarkland. This store is in a building shaped like a giant barn and sold just about any souvenir that you could think of!! The travelers had a great time exploring this massive store! Everyone found something that they had to take home!
While everyone was shopping I went across the street to Subway to pick up our lunch which I had called in ahead of time. The employees at this Subway were great! They were very helpful and had our large order ready when I got there. I grabbed our sandwiches and put them in our cooler and went back to pick up the group. We then said our goodbyes to Carina and started our drive back to Iowa.
We had heard that they were calling for a few inches of snow throughout our route in Iowa so we headed back a little early just in case we ran into any bad weather. Luckily, all we experienced was a little rain! We dropped off travelers in Walcott and Coraville before heading back to Camp. Thanks to all of our travelers, Don, Doug, Dawn, Brian G., Harrison, Shambria, Joyce, Jim, Brain V and Lynn for traveling with us! We are glad you all had a great time! Thanks to our volunteers Treva, Nila and Carina for all of your help this weekend!!