The WINs spent a week in Columbia, MO, following the Missouri River and the Lewis and Clark Trail. We were supposed to stay in a campground right along the river, but it was flooded, so we all piled into the local Elks Lodge. What an accommodating group they were!
Last weekend, we went to the Best of Missouri Life Festival in nearby Boonville, a celebration of wines, food, art, music and cultural heritage of the state.
Daniel Boone, on the left, was there, along with his friend, whose name I forgot.
The best part of the festival was the "Food and Wine Pairings." I went to the one with free pork sliders made by local chef.
And to go along with the sliders, a perfect local wine, also free!
In the middle of town is the old Cooper County jail and hanging barn. Built in 1848, it was actually used until 1978, when a federal court declared it "cruel and unusual punishment."
It's not hard to see why - yuch! It's most famous inmate was Frank James, brother of Jesse. Sympathetic citizens raised his bail in a matter of hours, and his case was dismissed for lack of evidence.
And no festival in Missouri is complete without at least one Clydesdale in attendance. These horses are so big, I guess you need a ladder to mount one.
They are 16-18 hands high at the "withers," where the neck meets the back. That's about 5 1/2 - 6 feet.
Columbia is sometimes called "College Town USA," because it is the home of the University of Missouri. Founded in 1839, it was the first public university west of the Mississippi River.
These 6 columns are all that remain from the main building, Academic Hall, which burned in 1892.
Makes a great sunbathing spot, I guess.
Nearby is Thomas Jefferson's original tombstone from 1833, that was at his grave at Monticello. It suffered so much damage from people chipping off pieces for souveniers, that it was taken off display after only a couple of years, and replaced by a sturdier marker.
The original was donated to the University of Missouri in 1885. Notice that Jefferson's epitaph, which he wrote himself, says nothing about his being President of the United States.
Jefferson was an incredible person in our history, and definitely my favorite president.