We all have our favorite things we did over the past year. For me some of the favorite things I did was going up in a hot air balloon, take a ride in a biplane and two World War II planes. I was an engineer on a steam train, went to the coolest auction ever, the Salt Lick Auction. In 2016 I got a ride in an International Harvester rare Red Baby truck and got a chance to travel to Florida and see beautiful Jacksonville Beach and Amelia Island with my husband, son and daughter-in-law. We took a ride on the Incline Rail and a boat ride. My mom and I traveled to see the art work in Cedar Rapids and I stayed at the lovely Red Cedar Lodge and made new friends along the way. I ate my way through Ann Arbor and gloried at the sites in North Little Rock. The beauty of Eastern Oregon literally took my breath away. All of these things were memory makers and along with spending time with my family and grandchildren were at the top of my list.
In 2016, we had our losses and we had our joys. Looking over my stats for Traveling Adventures of a Farm Girl, I was excited to see what the top ten blogs were that you, you my readers turned to. Not every story selected was written in 2016, these just represent the blogs that had the most traffic, the most interest.
The most looked at story in 2016 was about Hobo Jack and his display at the Wayside Antique Mall. Jack is a true character and since he has been on American Pickers twice, I was not surprised to see him at the top of the list.
The second most read blog was a surprise; it was about the E Town River Restaurant in Elizabeth Town a southern Illinois town. This restaurant along the river offers up good catfish and a fun atmosphere.
Number three was a story about the replica of Loretta Lynn’s cabin at Butcher Holler. Since Loretta Lynn is one of my top favorite country singers of all time, I can see the attraction. We visited her home in Hurricane, Tennessee and I loved the stories about her as much as the stop.
Number four is my blog about the Iron Furnace. This historic site is located in Southern Illinois’s Shawnee Forest and has a fascinating history. While there is not much to see these days, just traveling to the site and reading about the area that once was a bustling industry is something to learn about.
Number five goes back to my antique tractor readers and is a story covering the amazing Danny Norman’s awesome Ford collection. If it was a tractor, part, literature or memorabilia, most likely Danny had it. He was such a fun person to talk to that he made the story.
Number six hails back to my trip this summer to the Cedar Rapids area. I visited many amazing sites, but my readers picked a fun stop at Uptown Marion’s square to read about. This is a neat square with train history and a lot of nice shops and an amazing coffee house. Located not far from the historic Brucemore, Marion is a great place to go any time of the year.
Seven is all about hospitality. The story is about a visit with the Heitz clan. We had a chance to go to the Heitz family’s farm and dine with them during a trip to Charles City, Iowa. Charles City shows up again with the Floyd County Museum topping out the list at selection number ten. The Charles City area has such deep agricultural and artistic roots that several stories came to from my visit with the wonderful Midwest Travel Bloggers.
Number eight wasn’t about travel at all, but about making holiday memories with your children or in my case grandchildren. I received the plush doll called Adventure Santa and the storybook that went with it. Adventure Santa suggested several things to do from visiting the Village of Pawnee square to see Santa and enjoy the festivities to baking cookies and reading stories. Every time the grand kids came over during this holiday season they wanted to know what Adventure Santa had to suggest and he appeared on these visits with his idea in his backpack!
Number nine goes back to a very special time for us; it is about Planning for Antique Tractor Shows at Penfield, Illinois. The Penfield show in 2016 was where the Graham Bradley club came back to the Historic Days show where it all began. This group has forged friendships and deep roots that make us almost a family over our enjoyed hobby of antique tractors. The Penfield show was also an emotional trigger for me this year because it was the last time I saw antique tractor collector Darius Harms. He is a man that got so many antique tractor shows rolling and involved me with several.
Going on down from numbers eleven to fifteen, you would think there would be a pattern, antique tractor stops, museums or fun trips and travel advice, but it is a blend, these almost top ten stories include the Darst International Harvester Museum, a story about an Allis Chalmers toy maker, a walk through downtown Baker City, Oregon and balloon ride along with advice about cell phone parking near the St. Louis airport.
Thank you all for reading about my adventures this past year. I hope that your adventures whether traveling or just in life have been grand. Please continue to follow me into 2017 and if you haven’t subscribed, I’d love to send Traveling Adventures of a Farm Girl updates right to your email box!