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Issue #183, Epic Road Trip, June 5, 2018: Missouri, Arkansas and Mississippi

June 5, Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi

I’m sitting in the car in the Timberlake campground in Brandon, Mississippi, while Paige cooks waffles in the cricket. We woke up to rain this morning after an arduous drive from Missouri, which took about seven hours. It was a fairly muggy night, too. I just took a walk around in the rain. Lots of geese scampered to get out of my way.

Backtracking a bit: we didn’t leave Alley Springs Campground in Missouri until around 11. I actually wish we could have stayed there a little longer, but my itinerary called. After loading the bikes back on the Cricket (it turns out that cramming them inside is not very convenient) and making a brief stop at the RV dump station, we were on our way south and east, dropping through the hilly and forested country that makes up southern Missouri and northern Arkansas.

Missouri forest
Plentiful to settlers
Who cut it all down

Paige was navigating, and I was driving. We turned off into the Mark Twain forest through endless hillocks and gullies, with houses here and there, hoping that we would be able to find a gas station where we could fill our rapidly depleting tank. Several times we had confusion with our cell phone maps, as the satellite connection kept dropping out, but fortunately we have our good road atlas, and we used that too. It’s funny that we used to only rely on paper maps. Maybe we still should!

Missouri backwoods
Mostly deciduous trees
Some random houses

We reached Pocahontas, Arkansas, where we had some exchanges with the locals about our Cricket - one at the gas station, which we were happy to find - and another at a park where we stopped at for lunch. The kids were especially rowdy. They couldn’t look at their tablets during the windy, curved roads, and their subsequent banter drove Paige nuts.

Irish wilderness
Driving through Mark Twain forest
Kids sparring in back

Once in Arkansas
Sign proclaims Jesus is lord
Kids getting antsy

Worn-out gas station
Hard to find a working pump
Stray dog looks at us

Tobacco in lip
He admires our cricket
Arkansas gas mart

In the park, one lady came by and wanted to take a photo of us and the Cricket. She even thought she knew Paige, so we entertained her. The foliage is different here, lots of big deciduous trees and bushes. I tried using a plant-identification app to figure out what the trees were (but wasn’t successful).

She takes our photo
Delighted by cricket
And possibly us

Paige took over driving before we passed through Memphis, because I felt so sleepy I could barely keep my eyes open. She does not like highway driving with the cricket, so I took over again after we made a stop at a worn-out gas station off the highway somewhere.

Breakfast in Missouri
Lunch in Arkansas
dinner in Mississippi

Dazed but still alive
Driver of wrecked Prius slumps
Next to totaled truck

solo/group kukai
jonathan machen