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New Years Day in La Plata 1/01/2010

A Trip to the Heartland

by Chris Guenzler

I woke up at 7:30 AM and prepared for my day. I got the key to the van and first gassed it up before I drove out to the Chris Guenzler Million Mile Lookout Point. This year started out like U2 sings "All is quiet on New Years Day" so I worked on the story from last night. They had turned off the heater last night when they left so it was ice cold out in that lookout point this morning.

First I had an Amish Buggy coming and going one minute before a westbound train was coming.

BNSF 832 West.

A unique load. From the Lookout Point I drove to the Amtrak Station as I had a pick up to make for the Depot Inn & Suites.

BNSF 7592 West came by the La Plata Station just as Amtrak was coming into the station.

Amtrak Southwest Chief came into La Plata on time this first morning of 2010.

Nathan Chidester, who will host Lets Talk Trains tomorrow and a friend of mine, has arrived into La Plata off of the Southwest Chief from Kansas City. I loaded his stuff into the van and we headed over to the Chris Guenzler Million Mile Lookout Point.

BNSF 7699 East on a coal train. We returned to the Depot Inn & Suites and Nathan checked in and I put my stuff in the Victorian Suite for the rest of my stay here. At 11:00 AM I was in the lobby waiting for our group to assemble. Steve printed out the directions and I took four people out to the van to drive them out to the Heartland. I drove US Highway 63 across the BNSF mainline and turned east onto Missouri Highway 156 which took me east through Novelty and onto Newark where we turned right onto State Highway E to County Road 150 which took us to the Heartland.

The Heartland A Community of Hope 1/1/2010

The Heartland Water Tower with the cross that can be seen for miles.

A manger scene greeted us as we arrived.

The Solid Rock Cafe.

We had lunch at the Solid Rock Cafe.

Views of the Solid Rock Cafe.

In the same room to the west is the Heartland Ford Museum. As I waited for my meal, I took pictures of the cars and things in the Heartland Ford Museum. Now I will show you the collection below.

A very nice collection of Ford Cars, Trucks and things at the Heartland Ford Museum.

A gas pump.

Our group having lunch. After lunch we took a tour of the Heartland.

In 1986 Charles Sharpe created the Heartland to fulfill a vision for meeting the needs of northeastern Missouri and regions beyond it. It is a community where hurting adults and children can experience restoration through a relationship with Jesus Christ, and learn discipline and obedience through a work program. This is all done through the work of CNS International Ministries. Here you have the Heartland Christian Academy, Heartland Christian College and the Heartland Recovery Centers which is a haven of spiritual healing for the youth, women and men. It is also home to the Heartland Community Church as well as a farm, diary and cattle ranch. Now we will be taken on a tour of the Heartland.

We drove along a street of residents.

The Heartland Steakhouse. The Heartland Community College is the building to the west.

Views across the lake.

Views across the frozen lake.

The Sharpe Resident across the lake.

The Sharpe Resident at the Heartland.

Bible verse on a rock in front of the Sharpe Resident.

The Heartland Christian Academy.

A painting in the Heartland Christian Academy.

Two views of the water tower. We left the grounds and continued our tour heading to the north and then east.

Heartland Creamery.

One lane bridge before we passed through Newark.

Our next stop was the Heartland Goat Diary.

Baby goats.

Ray Burns entertains the baby goats.


An operational steam tractor.

Goat Dairy.

Heartland Diary.

Flags flying on a very cold January afternoon.

Sharpe Farm Airport.


Corn Silo.

Food for the animals.

Dairy Cows.

Mother Cows ready to have their babies.

Baby cows.

One of the long barns at the Heartland Dairy.

Cows on the rotating milking platform.

The cows on the rotating milking platform.

Our tour over we returned to where we started.

The Lone Tree.

We have returned to the Heartland Community. It was a very educational tour of the Heartland. My van headed back to La Plata but we made a few stops along the way.

How about this mail box!

The sign for the community of Novelty.

Back in La Plata, the Amtrak Station.

Union Pacific 9713 East came through La Plata by the Chris Guenzler Million Mile Lookout Point. We returned to the Depot Inn & Suites and stored our camera gear. Next Bob, Elizabeth, Nathan and I headed to Kirksville and I showed them the BN Station there before we went to a Ruby Tuesday Restaurant where I enjoyed a Top Sirloin. Back in La Plata later, Bill Compton had arrived so I showed Bill, Bob and Elizabeth the Exhibition of Amtrak History and the model railroad. I returned to the Victorian Suite where I wrote today's story and uploaded it before taking a Sauna Bath and calling it a night.

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