Day #70 – A bit of history – France and Germany

LOCATION:  North central Missouri
CAMPGROUND:  Graham Cave State Park.  The campground is quite dated overall.  The sites are short, unlevel, and the pavement is broken. Our site has electricity.  Central water and dump station.  Old bathrooms/showers.  Decrepit fire pit and picnic table.  $28/night.  3 stars out of 5
WEATHER:  More rain!  High 70
DISTANCE DRIVEN:  1 hour

We enjoyed a quiet night at the winery and took our time getting ready this morning for our next stop.

The campground is almost empty, but wouldn’t you know….there was a big rig parked in the site right in front of our reserved site.   They had left their pick-up sticking out in the road and George had to really wiggle our truck and Joy around to get into our site.  The site is very uneven, so we had to lay down some boards to prop up one side.  Hence, our front door is quite high!  That 3rd step is a doozy!!!

We spent most of the day in nearby Hermann, a cute town along the Missouri River settled by Germans in the early 1800s.  The town has been preserved to maintain its German vibe and architecture.  These are some of the downtown buildings…

We stopped in the German meat shop to buy the Best of the Wurst! 

The town is full of small inns and B&Bs. The grocery store clerk told us that they stay full almost all of the time.  Whenever a house comes on the market, someone buys it and turns it into a guest house.  Tourism is thriving here, it seems. 

The mill has been turned into a restaurant/brewery…

Winemaking is big here.  This is one of the many wineries..

This little town saved the French wine industry!  The German settlers could not grow many crops here in the 1800s, but grapes did very well.  So, they created a vibrant wine business and it became one of the largest wine-producing regions in the world.  When France’s vineyards were being destroyed in the Great  French Wine Blight, the farmers here shipped hundreds of thousands of rootstocks from Hermann to France to be used to graft parasite-resistant roots onto the dying French ones.  Hermann saved the day!

Back to the campground, we struggled to get a fire going between rain drops and wet wood.  George perservered and was able to grill tonight’s pork chops.  These are chops we bought at one of our Harvest Host farm stays.

DINNER:  After grilling the chops, I coated them with a mix of ground walnuts, parmesan cheese, Greek seasoning, and minced garlic.  I wrapped them up in aluminum foil to finish them off.  They turned out great!  Sides were salads and a baked potato. 

BOOK:  “Italian for Beginners” by Kristin Harmel.  No, this is not a language instruction book.  It is a sweet love story but it is fairly predictable.  The setting in Rome is nice.  4 stars out of 5.

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