A busy week.....
Trip Start Mar 04, 2005
253Trip End Dec 31, 2014
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I was really looking forward to our time here in Kansas City, Missouri. I had done my research ( of course...I've changed after all but only so much! ) and quickly came to realize that there was alot to do here. In fact there is more to do than we can manage in the weeks time we had. That just means we will have to plan on coming back sometime down the road. That's a repeat I won't mind doing!!
I think it is important that I share with you some of the things we learned about this area. Maybe they will surprise you like they did us! So, here goes. Kansas City’s principal asset is its location. Among large American cities, it is the closest to the geographic center of the continent. With excellent rail, river, and freeway connections, the city serves as a transportation crossroads for much of the country’s heartland. In fact, the city refers to itself as “The Heart of America.”
Union Station, which we visited, is the heart of the cities Rail Center and has more than ONE BILLION tons of freight - everything from coal, grain, car parts and double stacked containers - travel through it every year! This makes Kansas City the number one rail center in the country.
Another surprise to us was that Kansas City played an important role in the development of jazz music in the United States. Kansas City jazz has its own distinctive musical style using more saxophones and always having background riffs. Kansas City was the home of ragtime composer Scott Joplin and saxophonist Charlie Parker. The 18th & Vine neighborhood contains the Jazz Museum ( along with the Negro League Baseball Museum ) and is still home to several Jazz and Blues Clubs.
Kansas City, along with it's neighbor Indepence, Missouri functioned as jumping off points for the Santa Fe, Oregon and California Trails. These trails, originally used by natives and trappers, were used by the emigrant wagon trains in the 1840's & 1850's. These cities would have been bustling with emigrants stocking up on provisions as they gathered to start out on a trip of up to 2000 miles across the continent!
Independence, Missouri is also home to the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum. A visit to this museum, along with the family home, is a must for anyone with a love of history. He was our 33rd President and served two terms during a difficult time in our countries history. After learning about the President we both decided he was someone we would have liked to have known!
Kansas City is, at least for me, what this traveling lifestyle is all about. Not once in our travels have we had someone say " you really should go to Kansas City". In fact, I'd be willing to bet you haven't either. This city is full of history, great bbq, baseball and friendly locals. So, let me be the first to say you really should go to Kansas City!