Ponying Up to St. Joseph

Having left Lincoln, Nebraska and continuing southeast, we camped for two nights at Indian Cave State Park. The park is known for its large limestone cave and the remains of a 19th century ghost town called St. Deroin, that prospered before the Missouri River decided to expand and take a part of the town with it. Mia and I did a lot of hiking on the hills around the ghost town to take in the village remains with its river views. There were many flocks of wild turkeys running through the woods and along the park roads.

St Doiron School

After leaving the park we crossed the Missouri River and decided to have lunch in St. Joseph, Missouri. I had read many books and journals about St. Joseph being one of the most popular starting points for settlers heading west to seek their fame and fortune so I wanted to investigate. Looking for a place to stop for lunch, we drove downtown to a beautifully restored 19th century building and had a Cajun lunch at a place called Boudreaux’s Louisiana Seafood & Steaks .

It turned out to have some of the best Cajun food we had eaten outside of Louisiana! We dined on several small plates so we could try a little bit of everything- the Seafood Gumbo and what they called “Barbites” were especially good!  We snarfed down this slice of Bourbon Pecan Pie:

While parking the RV before entering the restaurant, I was walking Mia when I ran into a gentleman and engaged in a lively conversation. Across the street from our parking space was a very large federal style building. When I asked the gentleman by the name of David Gall what the building was he replied it was the Buchanan County Courthouse and pointed at  a window high up in the side of the building.”that’s my office” he exclaimed! He then handed me his business card to contact him in case I had any other questions.

When asking what he did for a living he stated that he was the County Treasurer! He was very proud of his city and gave us several visitors tips—later on when we returned to the RV I found a flyer in the driver’s door telling me about the history of the courthouse. It was fascinating!
 
One of the attractions he told us to visit was the Pony Express National Museum. St. Joseph was the staring point for the briefly lived cross country express mail route to San Francisco in 1861.The original barn and office of the Pony Express was turned into a cute little museum. I learned a lot about the riders (including a man we had run into several times on this trip, “Buffalo Bill”

It was a great place to visit before we continued east towards our next stop, Crowder State Park outside of Trenton, Missouri.

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