The Road Home

Here's a look at the first issue of the Stars and Stripes newspaper.

Here's a look at the first issue of the Stars and Stripes newspaper.

Bloomfield has a unique cemetery where you find how soldiers died.

Bloomfield has a unique cemetery where you find how soldiers died.

You thought I was kidding about the smiling dog, didn't you?

You thought I was kidding about the smiling dog, didn't you?

After a night in Poplar Bluff, our group began the long drive home from Southeast Missouri, but we still had a few stops to make. The first area on our itinerary was Mingo Wildlife Refuge in Puxico. After speaking with Vergial,  one of the park rangers there, we took out on a short walking tour, then a short driving tour of the area. It’s amazing how diverse Missouri is. Mingo is mostly swamp lands, and the area is quite different than anything we’d seen in our earlier travels. My only regret is we didn’t get to spend more time on the 21,000-plus acre refuge — or see a bobcat, even though MoTravelMama, Danny and Leah didn’t seem all that excited about seeing a wild cat — but at least that gives me a reason to want to go back. After Mingo, we drove to Bloomfield and paid a visit to the Stars and Stripes Museum. If you dont’ know, Stars and Stripes is the U.S. military’s newspaper. It’s now at the U.S. Department of Defense, but it began during the Civil War, when two soldiers found an abandoned newspaper office in Bloomfield, then pulled an all-nighter of sorts to put out a four-page edition. The history of this place is incredible and the displays are a history/military buff’s dream come true. Need more information? Ask Deloris, I’ll bet she can help you find it! It’s interesting to note both Mingo and the Stars and Stripes Museum are looking to expand their facilities in the coming years. Actually, I think Vergial said work at Mingo, where a new visitor’s center will be built,  is set to begin later in the fall. Also in Bloomfield, we paid a visit to the Civil War Cemetery, where the markers include the information on how the soldiers died. As an oddball side note, there was a dog at this cemetery and he was very friendly. I told him to sit down so I could take his picture, and he literally sat down and smiled at me. Once MoPhotoGirl shows me how to upload photos on this blog, I’ll post them. From Bloomfield, we traveled to Sikeston for lunch at Lambert’s Cafe, the home of throwed rolls, and Danny ordered a chicken fried steak that was about the size of a football. Amazing and fun place to eat, check it out if you’re there! From Sikeston, we pretty much shot straight home, as we all were quite tired from three/four days on the road. It was fun trip and I hope to be sharing pictures with you soon. Thanks for reading and don’t forget to visit our Web site, www.VisitMO.com, for more information on traveling around Missouri.