With just two more days here, we finally got out and about and explored a little bit. Sara went with us. We picked her up about 12:30 and headed west to Abilene - Kansas, not Texas! :)
President Dwight D. Eisenhower was born and raised in Abilene, Kansas and his library, museum and boyhood home is located there. We were too cheap to pay to get into the museum, but we toured the grounds, library and home. There is also a Place of Meditation where President and Mrs. Eisenhower are buried with their first born son, Doud. Doud died when he was less than three and a half years old.
The grounds are just gorgeous and it is the original location of DDE's boyhood home. The rest of the buildings were erected around that home. I was disappointed in the library. Upon entering the library, there are several exhibits in front of you. Most are small and consist of various military clothing and items found during missions.
There is a large exhibit at the back of the foyer dedicated to the Big Red One - 1st Infantry Division (this is where Kevin's stationed). This exhibit shares the history of the 1st ID as well as its involvement in the invasion of Normandy.
Upstairs is an exhibit of the connection between "Ike" and baseball. I guess that's interesting if you're a baseball fan, but it wasn't something I was expecting at a presidential library. There were a few portraits of DDE and that was the extent of the exhibits! I thought there would be exhibits of the different laws and such that President Eisenhower signed while in office. Nope, none. Randy said they were there, just behind closed doors. Well, that's dumb.
The boyhood home of DDE was a bit more interesting. As I said, it stands in its original location and all of the furnishings, pictures, etc., are from the Eisenhower family. There were family pictures as well. DDE was third of seven brothers, one of whom died very young. Mrs. Eisenhower raised six boys in this small home. Eventually, Mr. Eisenhower's father also came to live with them, so there were nine people in the home. Very cozy! :)
After we finished strolling the grounds of the Eisenhower Center, we drove around Abilene a bit, just to see some of the beautiful homes. One of these, Lebold Mansion, was built in 1880 and placed on the National Register in 1973.
Back in Junction City, we stopped and grabbed an early dinner, then went to Heritage Park. I have wanting to get pictures of this park since we were here in December. It's just a beautiful park, very well maintained. This weekend it has many, many flags placed in it in remembrance of those soldiers from Fort Riley who have fallen in the war on terror. There are flags placed elsewhere in the park as well, such as at the Viet Nam Memorial and Memorial to Police Officers. Very moving.
We took Sara back home, hung out for a bit, then we came on back to the rig. It was a great day. Tomorrow we're meeting Sara for breakfast and then we'll come back home and get the rig ready to travel Sunday. We want to get on the road pretty early, between 6:30 and 7:00, so we'll need to get ready tomorrow night.
As always, there are more pictures on our Webshots site. Until the next time . . .