We arrived home yesterday afternoon after a fairly long trip. Before the wedding, we drive out to the countryside to see Big Brutus, the second largest earth mover in the world. It was used in the late sixties and early seventies for strip-mining for coal, before environmental concerns sidelined the giant machine. It’s now a coal mining museum.
We also found another giant cow in town, of the same variety we already saw. But we took a picture anyway. They’re the same mold, so they must have all be manufactured in the same place, probably for dairies in Missouri and Kansas.
The wedding on Saturday was beautiful, and the reception was very nice; we talked a lot to my family a caught up with them. Sunday we had breakfast at my Aunt Susan and Uncle Ron’s house, then started home by way of Kansas City for a change.
I had some giant things plotted out there, but we only located one of them — three giant Badminton birdies on the lawn of the Art Institute. We went on a fruitless tour for a muffler man, and decided against visiting the World War I museum, due to concerns about time. So we headed back across Missouri on I-70, which had the advantage of bypassing lots of the road construction we were stuck in on I-44.
We stopped at Ozarkland (crappy tourist giftshop) and Nostalgiaville (fun pop culture memorabilia) which were at the same exit for King City. Nostalgiaville was interesting, but not enough to really get off the road for if you’re pressed for time.
We didn’t see as many giant things on I-70, though. We did catch site of a muffler man next to the road, that from what I can tell, hasn’t ever been documented before, but it was almost dark and in the middle of a thunderstorm, so we decided against trying to turn back and hunt it down.
We stayed on the outskirts of St. Louis, then headed home. We did hop off to visit Mid-America Motorworks, which has a Corvette/Volkswagen museum. It’s a big parts manufacturer and distributor for people restoring classic cars, and they have have some big car shows every summer and sponsor lots of car shows around the country. The had some of the special effects VW bugs from the original Herbie movies, and a couple from the recent Herbie: Reloaded movie, too, which was fun to see. And lots of really cool corvettes.
As we were leaving, we were photographing a restored Microbus outside the building, and the companies’ photographer came out to talk to us.
He takes pictures for their website and catalogs of all their merchandise, including car parts, the classic cars, clothes etc. Stephanie knows an enormous amount about cars, so they got talking, and he took us into his studio to show us how he takes pictures of everything. It’s a really awesome setup. So we got a behind-the-scenes tour of how they produce their catalogs and websites.
As we were leaving (again), the president of the company stopped by, and we also took pictures of his corvette. Then we finally got back on the road for home. We snapped pictures of some odd things along the way, like a house on stilts and a couple of cool round water towers, but that was pretty much it.
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Have you ever been to Wilmington, IL, where I grew up? There’s a muffler man there at a local restaurant, redone to look (sort of) like an astronaut. I worked at that restaurant for over a year as a teen. Mom will be moving to Wilmington probably this summer, so you’ll have an aunt & cousin in town to stay with if you go there to see the “Gemini Giant”! Here’s a link:
I haven’t been to Wilmington, but I’ve heard of it. I didn’t know you worked there — that’s really cool!