Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Peculiar? Fair Play?

July 15, 2007
Louisburg, KS to near Gascozark, MO (where?)

234.6 miles
Puffy Clouds and Gusty Winds
for awhile anyway…

There sure was no mistaking when I crossed from the wonderful highways and byways of Kansas into Missouri – went from pleasure to pain – it happened right at the sign welcoming the driver into Missouri – the roads went from wonderful to junk. I’d love to know the reasoning behind where money is spent. Sorry for the little rant – if I could get from Kansas to Maine without leaving Kansas’ roads, I’d do it for sure!!

One of the next things I noticed was the town of Peculiar, MO. There must be some history behind that name! So I looked it up for you, and for me -

In pre-Civil War times the pioneer settlers decided their drowsy, maple-shaded hamlet ought to have a name. After several sessions in the general store they narrowed the choice to three names, but couldn't settle on any one.
All three names were sent to the post office for consideration. All three were in use elsewhere. They decided to appeal directly to the postmaster general, agreeing to let him make the final decision. 'We don't care what name you give us,' they said, 'so long as it is sort of peculiar.'
Probably with tongue in cheek the postmaster general wrote a long and courteous reply. He said he had given their predicament grave consideration. 'My conclusion.' he wrote, 'is that in all the land it would be difficult to imagine a more distinctive, a more peculiar name than Peculiar.' and Peculiar it has remained ever since. {Found in a newspaper clipping}

I can’t get over these magnificent immense green lawns at all the homes – even shacks have beautiful lawns. I love ‘em! Guess I’ve been in the desert too long, that I enjoy the lawns so much!

Saw my first herd of goats today (do goats come in herds??), and the babies are adorable! Kids playing like kids!!

I’d been noticing that lots of the homes had their own ponds and creeks, and was thinking of all the stories I’ve heard thru the years about ‘down at the ol' watering hole’ - wait, wrong story . . . I think I mean 'down at the ol' swimming hole' – something I wasn’t fortunate enough to experience in the areas where I grew up, when I started noticing that the creeks and ponds looked pretty gucky (scientific term for less than pristine).

Then crossed some lakes that looked kind of stagnant, and rivers that were over their banks, the Truman Lake and Reservoir were obviously flooded. I looked it up online when I parked last night, and this indeed was one of the areas hit so badly by rains in early May that suffered major flooding. The water is still here more than two months later – must have been really awful at the time!

I’d really like a translation of a hand painted sign that said “4 Sale – Used Rabbits”. Huh?

And then, near the town of Lowry City, there were several highway signs saying “Share the Road” with a picture of a horse drawn buggy. I’m still trying to find out if this is an Amish area – no other indications, but it’s a classic Amish looking buggy! The info page on Lowry City doesn't mention an Amish community, but does say they have 5 registered sex offenders - just what we all wanted to know.

A couple more good names of towns – Humanville?? And Fair Play?? And Russell Stover candy must be made around here because there are dozens of big billboards advertising Russell Stover stores! Actually, in researching that question, I see they are based in Denver, CO and recently acquired Whitman's Sampler too. Guess they're just really popular here abouts!

Then I saw my first regional McDonald’s specialty (well, not really the first, because Hawaii’s McDonald’s made a few concessions to local tastes) – Micky D’s sweet tea!! For 89 cents!

This cloud showed up on the horizon about 1:30.
Uh oh!

Oh yeah – it rained on me! It rained so hard that most everyone pulled over to the side of the road. And my windshield wiper worked!! Then it cleared up and was MUGGY, MUGGY, MUGGY, and still is today, the next day! I’d forgotten how oppressive serious muggy is!

I found tonights RV park on the map – Gasconade Hills RV Camp – sounded nice, but I was beginning to wonder if there was going to be anything at the end of this road, and really hoping there would be, because there was no way I’d be able to turn around. 

Thankfully, the park did materialize, and it’s very nice! Spent an extra day to do laundry and plan out the next week of the trip. It’s right on its own little river – still way full and gucky looking – but they offer fishing and canoeing and like that. Very intermittent internet access, but what else is new?

Hopefully I can get these two days of travel posted before I get out of here in the morning! Later!

Gasconade Hills
A Paddlesports Resort
28425 Spring Road
Richland, MO 65556


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