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View from the Cab: A trip to remember

By: Kent Casson

Our family has plenty to celebrate this summer.

We just returned from a wonderful vacation to the land of Ozark Mountains, or Branson, Missouri. We were pleasantly surprised with a nice green yard to return home to and the need to mow the very next day. Crops are green and conditions aren’t as a bad as we feared a month ago. Life is good.

Branson provided plenty of family fun for our extended weekend following Independence Day. The live shows did not disappoint and Kasen was even asked to go on stage for a skit before one of the evening performances. He did a great job in his stage acting debut, if I do say so myself. The kids enjoyed plenty of time at our hotel water park and we all had fun on the Duck ride tour through the historic downtown Branson area before heading out on the river.

There was no shortage of good foot there either. Favorites included the fresh rib place, historic ice cream stand and the local donut shop which had endless flavors and delicious coffee. The kids especially enjoyed the Titanic museum which featured items from the ship and various replicas. We all had a certain character to track during the voyage and unfortunately, mine did not make it.

The drive was a long but scenic one. I forget how many trees and hills cover the great state of Missouri – unlike our mostly flat areas of Illinois filled with endless fields. We even drove a few miles to the south into Arkansas to say we visited the state (without even getting out of the car).

On our way down to Missouri last Wednesday, we made a brief stop at the Gateway Arch in St. Louis. I hadn’t been up in the arch for several years since I was a kid. I vaguely remembered the long ride up to the top. Our family squeezed into the elevator and cruised several hundred feet above the ground to catch a glimpse of both the Illinois and Missouri sides of the river. As The Who sang back in the 60s, we could see for “miles and miles.”

The little burger and ice cream place in Hamel, Illinois was also worth the stop. This is one of those Route 66 treasures you don’t hear about too often.

Now as we are back home into the normal routine, we are watching the corn and soybeans continue to enjoy the recent rainfall while we all prepare for the Livingston County Ag Fair. The kids have been walking the calves and finishing projects ahead of a very busy week at Pontiac’s 4-H Park.


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