Where Does Your Backyard Go?

Many people take overseas vacations and there certainly is nothing wrong with that type of vacation. Others take cruise ships to the islands, and Disney Cruises that make it a vacation for the kids too. It’s been my experience that even though a fun vacation may have been just that, you still arrive at reality as soon as you walk through your front door.

So many conversations have been shared between friends, relatives, and workmates about how long it is going to take them to get back into the swing of things. I’ve even said things myself such as “I need to take another week of vacation to recover from this one.” Even if you don’t travel overseas or take cruises, but stay in the US, inside that front door of reality, you feel the same way; exhausted.

Our son was visiting us from AZ a few years ago and had with him his family. When his wife had to go back to work, he stayed on with his daughter the rest of the week. He’s not one to sit around and watch TV. When he asked what there was to do around here, I had to really think about it. I got online and had to actually search for things to do near home. I had no idea what was nearby.

We live in a small community so we always assumed that there wasn’t much to do or see close to home. We only did the tourist thing when we were actual tourists. When we lived in Denver we didn’t do much there either.

When I began looking for things to do within 50 miles of home, I was just amazed at the amount of interesting things to see and do. I found 3 museums, one cave, 2 art galleries, and 7 antique stores. These were all within 5 miles of home. In addition to those things, there is a beautiful park not too many people around here even know about. Then I also found there were 2 dinner theaters, 2 zoos (one is a drive through), and 3 more museums within 50 miles from home. I believe that we didn’t get to see everything there was to see or do.

These are only day trips, and many things are free or on a donation basis. We visited these places, one by one and found they were quite informative and even held our 4 year old granddaughter’s attention; best of all, we were not exhausted when we walked back through that door of reality.

We went to the cave for exploration and after the tour, found the gift shop delightful. There were shoes that women wore in their day. The more I looked at them, the more I wondered how long it took them to lace them up. The cave was also interesting as to how it came about, who bought it and how it came into existence as an attraction. The Indian legends told  These stories are not in our social studies books and they never will. If they were included in the history books then the white man would have to tell  the real horror that the Indians suffered. When the truth is told, the Indians got treated far worse than is spoken of in those same books. It made me ashamed to be a white person and made me stop and honestly ask myself how I personally would have treated Indians.

The Civil War museum told the story of how this city fared in the war. The people of Carthage, MO were divided during the civil war and the whole city was burned to the ground. There were only 2 buildings still standing when the smoke cleared. They are still standing this day.

The Mining Museum was extremely interesting because it told the story of how Joplin came into existence and what sustained the economy that allowed the area to grow. When you search your backyard, you find treasures that entertain, educate, and fire up a new respect for the settlers of the area. Work was hard and the equipment was exhausting and punishing to the human body. These strong young men grew old before their time. Just take a look at the pictures of the men and women who settled in the area to make the city grow.

These are just a few things that I found within 50 miles of my backyard.

Where does your backyard lead you?  Are your exploits confined to your literal privacy fenced yard? If they are, why not reach out to your community and look for things to do no more than 50 miles from home. I’ll even wager that your community would love to have local people spend their money at home.