French Bottoms, an area of river bottom along the Missouri River near St. Joseph, was by settlers from France as early as the 1850s. The flood of 1952 damaged many buildings but also changed the course of the river, cutting off access from the rest of the state of Missouri. To reach the area today one must drive across a bridge into Kansas and then a couple of miles north back into virtual enclave.
Rosecrans Municipal Airport was created in 1939 in the area and named after Sgt Guy Wallace Rosecrans, the only airman from nearby St. Joseph killed in World War I, and it became an army airfield as well shortly thereafter. Scheduled airline service ended in 1969 but the airport remains active, primarily in use by the Missouri Air National Guard.
Kansas City is 1500 miles away from San Francisco but unfortunately last week it took far longer than the usual four to six hours of traveling. Weather caused delays with both the inbound aircraft, as well as the flight to Denver, causing a diversion south into central Texas to avoid thunderstorm activity. Mechanical issues with the airplane caused another significant delay while maintenance personnel tracked down fluids leaking from the wing. Unfortunately this led to my missing the connecting flight, and with high load factors another vacant seat between the two hubs was not available until the following afternoon so I was forced to spend the night at an area hotel.
The next day my new connecting flight was also delayed, this time first by air traffic compensation for weather causing capacity issues at SFO. This flight was also afflicted by mechanical issues though, this time a faulty avionics component. After an hour or so of troubleshooting, we were forced to deplane and find another aircraft. After an attempt to board quickly, the pilots timed out regardless forcing a wait for a new flight crew. Lunch was to be served, however we were cautioned against eating the food that went unrefridgerated for hours having been transferred from the previous plane.
More than 24 hours later, and about the same amount of time it would take to drive non-stop between the two cities, I arrived back in California. It was very unfortunate to lose a whole day out of an already short trip.
The Bay Area is home to many great restaurants and food outlets, including excellent Thai cuisine. Since moving to Kansas City, I've been on the lookout for good Thai. I generally first try pad see ew (ผัดซีอิ๊ว), a noodle dish made with dark soy sauce, broccoli, egg, and tofu, setting a baseline for comparison. Thus far I'd say I'm partial to Spices, a restaurant whose strip mall location I stumbled across accompanying a friend to the iPhone repair store a couple of doors down.
Extra: Driving north along the California coast from San Diego to the Bay Area I stopped for lunch in Lompoc, a smallish city just outside Vandenberg Air Force Base. I had to the restaurant once before, having arrived in town late at night and finding the non-chain location near the hotel we had selected for the night. The restaurant is basic and limited to counter service but the food is tasty.