We Like Ike! – Abilene

Abilene, KA

After an exciting visit to Oakley, Monday morning we packed up and headed east on I-70.  After driving a little over 200 miles, we pulled in to the Covered Wagon RV Park in Abilene, Kansas.  This park is certainly nothing special but it does have what we need: a level site, good electricity, and good WiFi.

The Covered Wagon RV Park

While in Oakley one morning our TV and some other electrical devices suddenly shut off.  The remote control panel in the coach showed that the inverter (a device that “inverts 12 volt battery power to 120 volts when you are not plugged into an RV park) was not working.  John cleaned all the terminals on the house batteries (two separate batteries supply power to the engine – they are fine) and the inverter began to work, but was not charging the batteries as it should have been doing.  We knew it was almost time to replace the house batteries (four 6 volt batteries) and thought that might be the problem.  So after getting set up in Abilene, John found a store that had the batteries we needed, and installed them that afternoon.  But the inverter still would not charge.  Anyhow, to make a long (boring) story a bit shorter, we found an authorized inverter repair shop in Columbia, MO and called them for an appointment.  We’ll head there Thursday morning and park in their lot, so they can work on it on Friday.  So . . .

We have the inverter shut off, which means no TV!  And last night was the finals of The Voice, which we had followed all season.  But, we found it was easier just to get the results off the Internet, and didn’t mind missing the show at all.

So this morning, with no Today Show to watch, we headed into Abilene to find a cafe for a little breakfast.  Sure enough, as we drove around the main business area (pretty deserted, as most small towns are) we found Amanda’s Cafe and Bakery!  It was the perfect place to enjoy a little food (a small wrap) and good coffee, with WiFi.

We enjoyed Amanda’s Cafe for an hour or so before heading to the reason for our visit to Abilene.  This town is the boyhood home of Dwight Eisenhower, and is the site of his Presidential Library.  The library is on the grounds of a site that also has a Visitors Center, a museum, and a chapel where Ike, his wife Mamie, and their first born son (who died in infancy) are buried.  It is all located around his family’s home, which is kept in the same condition it was in when his mother passed away in 1946.

Below is a picture taken in 1922 of the Eisenhower family on the front porch of their home. David and Ida Eisenhower are surrounded by their six sons, with Ike easily identified in his army uniform on the steps.

Below is a picture of another great American leader sitting on the same steps easily recognizable in his retirement uniform (shorts and a tee shirt).

The museum was quite interesting (at least to one member of the group).  About two thirds of it is dedicated to WWII, with a display of photos and weapons, as well as a long timeline with explanations of events of the war.  The one member of our group enjoyed the museum so much we stayed in it for over three hours (three hours and fifteen mins. but who’s keeping track)!  Seems this was make-up time for all the hours he spent in the last year look at rock after rock after rock after . . .

A statue of Ike dominates the center of the complex

If your into presidential or WWII history, the Eisenhower Presidential Library, Museum, and Boyhood Home is definitely a place you should visit.  After our visit to the repair shop in Columbia, MO, we will backtrack about a hundred miles to Independence, MO for a visit to the Harry Truman Presidential Library.  It will be interesting to make a comparison between the two.

More on that later . . .

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17 Responses to We Like Ike! – Abilene

  1. Gay and Joe says:

    Too bad about the battery. Glad you have a place to get it fixed!
    Amanda’s Café look like a great place to start the day. Love the retirement uniform!

    • placestheygo says:

      Not sure if you saw the other responses but we are back on track. John was able to make a quick fix last night with help from guys on the Discovery Owners Group forum. We are headed to hike the Konza Prairie!!

      We also ended the day at Amanda’s with coffee and a gooey brownie!!

  2. Dave says:

    Hope the inverter is not a big expense…did you look to see if there was/is a gfi/gfci that might have popped? We have that problem with ours, so we just plug the TV into another outlet that is not on the inverter via an extension cord.

    I love the Truman Library, never been to the Eisenhower Library yet, but since I lived in Arkansas for 22+ years, I have been to the Clinton Mobile Home….err…Library a number of times. My favorite, however, was the Abraham Lincoln Library in Springfield…probably because the politics of that which is displayed does not come into play as do the others I have visited. Also, be sure to look to your Right as you get close to Independence coming from the Kansas City time….Royals Stadium and Arrowhead Stadium are both right there off the freeway. What a sight to see….

    Dave (Marcia and Bubba and Skruffy)

    • placestheygo says:

      Thanks, Dave! We are back in business and back to our original plan!!! John posted about our problem with the inverter on the Discovery Owners Group forum. Finally, tonight the electrically guru came back with a reply. It turns out if was fried wires inside the inverter that John was able to retape together. Everything is back on! We have decided to stop at the garage that was going to work on our inverter after we finish Independence, MO and have them just make sure all is all right. Let’s hope all is still good in the morning!! YaH!!!

      John, also, enjoyed the Lincoln Library. He laughed as I read your comment when I got the Clinton part!!! John said to tell you that there is no politics in the Eisenhower Library either.

      I guess we road through the parking lots of both stadiums one time. Gee, I don’t remember! But we plan on visiting again this trip.

  3. Desert Diva says:

    I hope the repairs don’t “break the bank.” I love little coffee shops that are privately owned from the “big bad wolf.” (Starbucks) Thanks for the 411 on the library/museum – I need to put it on my list…

    • placestheygo says:

      I must tell you that my breakfast response to my husband was…since there isn’t a Starbucks maybe we can find a little cafe! I am a Starbucks snob, I must admit. But it is great to visit a local cafe. They usually have interesting food choices. This particular one got two visits from us. We also stopped after our tour for coffee and a gooey brownie.

      Inverter is repaired thanks to my husband and help from the Discovery Owners Group forum!!! We are back on track!!

  4. Erin says:

    Good to read in the comment that you’re back in business electrically … I imagine you have a surge protector, but I thought I’d mention it as that was the first thing that came to Mui’s mind when I read that portion of the blog to him.

    We visited Ike’s childhood home on our 1991 re-location drive to DC (from Utah) … time was limited so I don’t think we visited the Library.

    • placestheygo says:

      One of the first items John purchased when we got the MH was a surge protector. It has saved us a few times. Definitely a must. All is still good this morning! The Discovery Owners Groups forum has helped us with prior problems. It sure is nice to have some very knowledgeable people involved.

  5. Lisa says:

    Love those RV forums! That’s great you no longer have to backtrack to see what you want to see.

  6. Glad you were able to repair the inverter. Jim always consults the Lazy Daze owners forum whenever we have problems like that. Most of the time someone else has had the same issue and can at least give you ideas about what to check. Isn’t the internet great?

  7. I would like to meet that great american leader in his retirement uniform, he looked presidential. Steve is quite active on the iRV forums and he does get a lot of help there whenever something happens in our homes.
    We will drop by Ikes place when we head that way, thanks for the mini tour.

  8. I must disagree…the finale was great. I couldn’t stop laughing at Cher. She thinks she is still 35. I am not sure how many face lifts she has had but she doesn’t have one tiny wrinkle…how is that possible at her age? So glad Danielle won.

    I would love this museum. Probably Paul only a little bit. I always make him take a book when we go to a museum. That way he can have something to do while I get more educated!

    Hope the repairs will go well.

  9. Sue says:

    Not to be a wet blanket, but Dave wonders what “fried” the wires in the inverter in the first place?

  10. DJ says:

    If you have some time to kill in Columbia, there’s a great place to eat/drink called the Flat Branch Pub and Brewing…

    • placestheygo says:

      Thanks for the heads up. But, we won’t be stopping in Columbia. Someone from the Discovery Owners Group that has experience with inverters commented with an answer to our problem late Wednesday night. John made that fix of fried wires and we are back on track with our plans.

  11. Pam says:

    A little behind on blog land reading, but it was fun to catch up on your Kansas adventures. The only thing on our list for Kansas has been the Eisenhower home and library; however, I am a huge Oz fan and would love to see the museum.

  12. LuAnn says:

    Good luck on fixing your MH issue. As for Abilene, you have written a great post and given us a reason to visit Kansas, as I have never really had much interest in doing so. Thanks!

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