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.
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 . . .
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 . . .