In yesterday's post (I know, I know, it wasn't just yesterday I posted the last one but WIFI is a little scarce around here.) I talked about driving US59 up through Texas, but that was only the beginning of the day. By the time I stopped for the night (And wrote yesterday's post instead of going right to sleep like I was supposed to.) I had also traveled diagonally across Arkansas and on into West Memphis then, having entered the state in the very southwest corner, jogged north to exit it in the very northeast corner, though there's little to differentiate that part of Arkansas from the scraggly little tail dangling off the southeast corner of Missouri. I finally ended the day at a truck-stop in Missouri poised to cross the river into the very southern tip of Illinois this morning.
I don't know exactly what it was that soured me on the area, but I just find the eastern half of Arkansas and the lower tip of Missouri, and especially the bottom lands there along the river, a place best left behind as quickly as possible. I know, I know, there are some spots in eastern Arkansas worth visiting, the Cache River National Wildlife Refuge comes to mind, as does crossing the old vertical lift steel through-truss bridge that carries, or used to anyway, US 70 over the White River, but from the coarse and gritty truck-stops just east of Little Rock, (And equally coarse and gritty CB chatter. I've never encounter so many unhappy truckers as around here!) across the suspension busting hump-de-humps of I40 (They've since fixed that but the memory of humping my way across the state on badly worn and sagging concrete while surrounded by a preponderance of trucks all jockeying for space lingers on.) to the bill-board near Sikeston encouraging you to turn in your neighbor's meth lab, (I'll bet that was a realtor's nightmare to see go up!) this remains a place I'd rather just leave behind me. (Driving it in the dark with Neil Diamond's Hot August Night album cranked up loud helps but I can't completely turn off the memories of all those past daylight crossings.)
Even when I'm just passing through drive-by style, that long, rolling
|That's the Mississippi under me and the Ohio across the point there,|
Speaking of construction, they have the highways around Effingham all tore up right now too. Even so, I managed to snake my way through and came out heading north on I57. Sometimes
|Cairo has its moments|
|But this is how you get out of town. Must be frightening to see that door dropped!|
|Just a couple small-town Illinois photos|