Saturday, November 9, 2013

Autumn Drive to Fort Scott

The day after we arrived home from the trip, DH jumped into a big project. He wanted to replace a bedroom window and repair a wall crack, and all this meant removing wallpaper, sheetrocking, mudding, sanding, and repainting. He ordered the window and set to work on the room. It was a royal mess for a week. It is almost done now except for the window which has not arrived yet.

During the week long mess inside there was cold and rain outside. This weekend the sun has returned with some mighty nice warm air, but more rain and very cold is forecast for next week. So although we were quite tired, DH thought we ought to do something. I thought just sitting on our deck for what will possibly be the last time this year sounded good, but he wanted a ride—a short one though. He said let’s check out Ft. Scott.

Ft. Scott, Kansas was founded when a frontier fort was built near the Marmaton River in the mid-1800s. The fort was again important during the Civil War when the border between Kansas and Missouri was volatile. We grew up about 60 miles from the town in Kansas and now live about the same distance away again only in Missouri. The town is an old Victorian beauty now struggling like other small towns to maintain itself. The lovely homes are mostly well attended and the slightly bumpy brick streets are worth the drive.
The fort is now a National Historic site and lovingly restored. The fort’s grounds butt up next to the brick street of the old town. Painted Lady store fronts house businesses, eateries, antique shops and specialty stores. Today was perfect for strolling in and out the few stores that appealed to us. We stopped just to sit in the warm sunshine on nice benches the town had provided.

At noon we drove down National Street hunting Nate’s Place which a storekeeper had told us about. Two matching mansions now serve as a bed and breakfast and a restaurant. We had a nice lunch there, although DH thought the place was confused somewhat in its identity. Lovely old Victorian rooms became the dining areas with red velvet chairs and lush, extra-large napkins. The menu, however, focused on mainly breakfast foods like eggs and pancakes with a few sandwich choices. I got the special of the day which was salad, lasagna, and garlic toast. It was very good and the lasagna portion was the size of a king-sized bed.
Once we had found a few junky treasures and had a big lunch, we found ourselves tired and spent. We came on home to collapse in our chairs. It was a good day although the threat of coming winter lingered at the back of our minds all day. We relished each vibrant tree and fallow field we passed knowing that soon the celebration of autumn  will draw to a close making way for  winter solstice to drape us in darkness.



Lisa Ricard Claro said...

I love your last paragraph. It fits the morning here as I sit at my kitchen window watching the leaves blanket the yard and flutter from the trees. Nice post, Claudia.

Linda O'Connell said...

Your road trips make me want to travel. I love day trips and once we came home from Florida through all small towsn. itw as so fun.

Marylin Warner said...

I LOVE your account on Ft. Scott, Claudia. We might have been there at the same time! Ft. Scott is my hometown, and it's where my mother now has an apartment at Presbyterian Village, so I drive from Colorado Springs to Ft. Scott each month!!!
It really is a delightful old town but struggling to maintain that beauty now. I still love the brick streets and the dozens of authentic Victorian homes scattered well away from the main downtown. You wrote a lovely account. Thanks you.