Books Really Do Open Up The World!

Yesterday I wrote about a former library book from the River Bluffs Regional Library. Of course, being a complete nerd, I had to Google the library to see where it is and was pleasantly surprised to learn that it’s in a town that looks like a place I would want to visit.

St. Joseph, Missouri is located on the Missouri/Kansas border and isn’t too far from Nebraska. One claim to fame is that the notorious outlaw Jesse James died here. Another is that the Pony Express began here. The town is also home to the Kansas City Chiefs Summer Training Camp. In its early days, St. Joseph was the last supply point along the Missouri River before heading off into the Wild West.

The city boasts a number of museums, including the Jesse James House and what looks like an amazing memorial dedicated to the late great newsman Walter Cronkite. There’s a gorgeous 1927 era theater and an 1850’s era hotel turned museum. The Wyeth Tootle Mansion is a 40 room mansion with three floors, a tower, and rooms adorned with intricate woodwork, hand-painted ceilings and imported stained glass. Their website claims that “it stands today as one of the best examples of St. Joseph’s late 19th-century wealth and opulence.”

It’s a college town and they claim to have a good bit of culture and nightlife. It’s also part of the Lewis and Clark Trail. A Pony Express Museum, a complex system of city parks and trails and other outdoor activities described on the tourism website make it sound like an amazing place to visit.

Can you tell I’m dying to go?

It’s an almost eleven hour drive from where I sit writing this. Looking at the map, I’m already thinking about the fun things I could do along the way if I drove. If I went next month I could fly to Kansas City for less than $300 round trip. Obviously, I’m not going next month since I have bigger fish to fry this summer but, boy, it sounds like a fun place to add to my to do list.

I like to plan things and am not always great with spontaneity but how fun would it be to pick up and go, inspired by a little kid’s book? What’s the craziest thing that inspired you to do something out of character?