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Weekend road trip.

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HectorFuego
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Weekend road trip.

#1 Post by HectorFuego » Sun Oct 14, 2018 11:46 pm

Took a little road trip last weekend. Started around 1:30 PM on Friday and drove from Kansas City to Springfield, MO. Stopped at the NRA museum in the Bass Pro Shop there, and saw some interesting firearms. They had a couple of original Hawkin rifles, the air rifle Lewis and Clark took with them up the Missouri river, and some beautifully engraved rifles, shotguns, and pistols that may have been test fired but will never be fired again. Also saw some movie guns, e.g. the rubber M1 Carbine and Garand from "The Pacific", the "Quigly Down Under" Sharps donated by Tom Selleck, and the .338 Lapua used by Bradly Cooper in "American Sniper."

From there we went a few more miles to Branson, but by then it was too late to do much except eat dinner, and go to bed.

The next day we visited the Titanic Museum which was kinda information overload. A surprising number of actual artifacts recovered from the ship, plus some beautiful reproductions.

That night we went to the Jim Stafford show, which was right across the street from our hotel. I enjoyed him years ago, but forgot about him until just recently when I rediscovered him thanks to Youtube. Still as funny as ever. Momma Fuego got a picture with him and he's very approachable and quick witted. He is an amazing guitar player and we got to see him perform this live.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJTQO248jBs

Our goal for Sunday was to drive to Hutchinson, KS to tour the Cosmosphere, but we started to late too have enough time to make it all the way through the exhibit so we settled in for the evening, and picked it up on Monday.

Some of the highlights of the Cosmosphere were (the real deals - not replicas):
- An SR-71 Blackbird (it was bigger than I expected).
- The control panel from an SR-71.
- The Murcury 7 capsule which was recovered from the bottom of the ocean (after it landed in the ocean the hatch blew prematurely before the floatation collar had been attached).
- The actual Apollo 13 command module which had been completely restored.
- The "White Room" where many astronauts stood just before entering the space capsule
- Numerous artifacts from the German WW II rocket program, and the Russian space program.
Another information overload situation, but I highly recommend it.

From Hutchinson we drove to Bennigton, KS. My wife and I are into genealogy and my great-grand parents and great-great grand parents are buried in the cemetery there and we put some flowers on their graves. One of them immigrated to the U.S. as a child nearly 200 years ago, so it was nice to make that connection.

At that point we were ready to call it done, and drove home. Lots of fun, yet tiring but in a good way.

Enjoyed all our stops, and can recommend them all, but Jim Stafford was the highlight.

Hector
If you can't kill it with a 30-06 you ain't in North America.
The first rule of intelligent tinkering is, "Save all the pieces."
It'll feel better when it quits hurtin'.

tired bear
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Re: Weekend road trip.

#2 Post by tired bear » Sat Oct 20, 2018 1:04 pm

Visiting the cosmosphere has been at the top of my wish list forever. Can you give me some info about the price of admission, if there are any quality motels and restaurants close by and about how long would it take to tour the whole facility if I started really early? It'll take me more than a weekend to make the trip and the wife is really picky about accommodations.
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HectorFuego
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Re: Weekend road trip.

#3 Post by HectorFuego » Sat Oct 20, 2018 1:34 pm

We stayed at the Quality Inn about a mile away to the east. It was about $100/night after taxes and fees. Breakfast buffet there is free there from 6:00 to 9:00 and it was pretty good. Chain restaurants are nearby. We ate at Chili's.

If all you do is take the tour of the museum plan AT LEAST three hours. You could spend an hour in the German WW II exhibit, alone. There are movies and other activities that you could do, which would add more time and cost. We just did the tour so that's all I can speak about with authority. I believe it was about $15 per head to tour the museum. There is a small cafe/coffee bar in the museum, so if you wanted to take a break you could stop there for a while. We were skimming over exhibits toward the end because we were getting tired.

I've always been fascinated by the SR-71 an it's the first thing you see when you enter the building. Lots of info on that plane. I didn't realize it cost $200,000 per hour to fly it.

From there you go to the German exhibit, then Russian, then U.S.

While you are in Hutchinson you could also take the salt mine tour. IIRC, it's the only one open to the public.

Hope that helps.

Hector
If you can't kill it with a 30-06 you ain't in North America.
The first rule of intelligent tinkering is, "Save all the pieces."
It'll feel better when it quits hurtin'.

tired bear
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Re: Weekend road trip.

#4 Post by tired bear » Tue Oct 23, 2018 12:47 pm

It does, thanks. Now if I can only make the trip. :pray:
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Re: Weekend road trip.

#5 Post by Hammy » Tue Oct 23, 2018 4:49 pm

I remember when they found the Mercury capsule, I've wondered where it ended up at, now I know. Maybe in the next couple of years Mama Hammy and I can take a run at it. Thanks for the info, it's always a source of amazement to me what pops up on this site.
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tired bear
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Re: Weekend road trip.

#6 Post by tired bear » Thu Oct 25, 2018 7:08 pm

I remember when Liberty Bell 7 sank, watched it on live TV back in 61. They restored it before placing it in the Cosmosphere and that, to me, is a shame. It should have been left as is since it was, or is, a relic. I have a full length video showing the search, locating and recovery of it and it wasn't in too bad a shape when they got in on board ship. Preserving it after nearly 40 years in salt water was a must but the pics I've seen show they rebuilt it to a like new state . Just doesn't seem right. That video can probably be seen in YouTube now-a days, I highly recommend it for you space history buffs.
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