Wednesday, July 18, 2007


July 17, 2007
near Gascozark, MO to Mulberry Grove, IN

243.7 miles
Not a cloud in the sky
to total overcast
(maybe that's a seasonal thing here?)

Apologies in advance - this wasn't a good day for pictures . . . which is a shame because it was a really pretty drive. But my squiggly dotted road simply wasn't conducive to photo ops - much of the road was rough and narrow, with no shoulder, and most of the road was super curvy. I had to spend most of my time concentrating on driving with both hands on the wheel!

Plus, the sky was really hazy - didn't learn of any fires, but that's what it looked like. Maybe it was just dust, 'cause the wind was gusty most of the day.

One thing I've noticed about this area is that they have their priorities well thought out - lots of big billboards advertising adult superstores, which were almost always located right next door to a church, usually a Baptist church, and a used car lot and a liquor store. One stop shopping!

Started seeing a number of vineyards - some had obviously been there for some time. But the names of the wineries were not familiar to me - like the 4M Rosati Winery??

Near the town of Cuba, MO ("nestled comfortably in the beautiful Ozarks") is a place called Bob's Gasoline Alley. I couldn't figure out how to get over to take a look at this spot, but this guy had obviously spent a lot of time collecting old signs and gas pumps and miscellaneous other goodies relating to the gas stations of old. Remember the gas pumps where you could watch the gas pass thru a little glass window? He looked to have about a half acre full of memorabilia - neat place!

Around noon, it started to cloud up - looked threatening, as yesterday, but never delivered.

Passed by Steelville, which bills itself as the "Floating Capital of the Missouri", The Home of Hospitality", "The Population Center of the U.S." and the "Gateway to the Ozarks." Pretty heavy boasting for a town of 1451 persons! It's located in the really lovely Huzzah Valley and also is home to the Bass River Resort, which appears to offer just about every type of water sport a vacationer could want!

And just in case those vacationers enjoy themselves a little too much, there are Baptist Churches handy for asking forgiveness - about one church every two miles along this road! There are almost that many signs advertising Busch beer - I didn't even know it was still made!

Maybe that combination contributes to why this is called the "Trail of Tears". All kidding aside, this is another tale of the very sad abuse of the Indian nations. Fascinating reading can be found at

As one man said:
"Long time we travel on way to new land. People feel bad when they leave old nation. Women cry and make sad wails. Children cry and many men cry, and all look sad like when friends die, but they say nothing and just put heads down and keep on go towards West. Many days pass and people die very much. We bury close by Trail.
-- Survivor of the Trail of Tears"

I love bridges, as I'm sure you've noticed by now.

I skirted most of St. Louis, thankfully, because even the traffic I encountered was heavy! Crossed the mighty Mississippi into Illinois,
where there is another St. Louis! It's called East St. Louis. I didn't know that, but apparently most folks don't, because when I looked it up, this is what I found - "The city's downtown is a long way from the St. Louis riverfront... physically and metaphorically." It's considered by some as simply a path to the real St. Louis suburbs. Not very nice, me thinks.

I passed thru Pocahontas on my way to Mulberry Grove - Timber Trails RV Park. This is quite a park. Amidst the rental spots, there are 142 RVs parked here permanently by people who come out from the city each weekend for a get-away. The owners have built the park around a couple little lakes, with huge trees and playgrounds. There's a sand volleyball court right beside my spot. I'm glad I'm here mid-week, but it's a heck of a place for a family to come play!

The Animal Rescue Site
LogoThere is
person with my name in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?