Oh, the Midwest!

Green rolling hills. Miles of corn and soy beans. Plump tree canopies. Signs along the side of the highway like Burma shave ads: I have a gun\it’s pretty and pink\it makes the bad guy\stop and think\gunssavelives.com. Lone homes and barns nestled among trees and surrounded by land.

More and more traffic as we head north and east. More and more roadway construction.

We left one week ago Tuesday and entered our eighth state, PA, after going through TX, OK, AR, MO, IL, IN, OH. Since I’m so delayed in submitting posts, we are in the ninth state, arriving in Ithaca, NY yesterday the 16th.

It’s been a challenge to write. In Glasgow, MO we were up too late with Ed’s high school buddy and his wife. We all got on so well – like no time had passed since Ed and Steve had seen one another, and all of us like old chums. So enjoyed Ruth and Steve and the small town atmosphere. There’s a bar overlooking the Missouri River where we had wine and appetizer before dinner. A restaurant across the street. A bakery, unfortunately closed on Sunday. A breakfast and lunch place and a pizza parlor. For a town with a population of about 1,000, it feels vibrant.

There was a fund raiser for the Catholic school with live music outside. Maybe 150 people there, young and old. Older, I mean. Great band from Booneville playing rock classics. Ruth and I singing along. 

The Orchard House, our inn in Glasgow. It’s across from the Catholic church. Used to be the nuns’ home. During the civil war a battle was fought right in front of this place.

Glasgow has the world’s first all steel bridge ever built.

I love this architecture. Sadly, many of the buildings are vacant and in disrepair, the beautiful tin ceilings falling in.

After breakfast together we bid adieu and hit the road for Hannibal, another town on the Missouri River.

Tom Sawyer’s fence

We toured the Mark Twain museum and home and Becky Thatcher’s home. It was all entertaining and induced in me the desire to read more of Twain’s work or reread his classics. Maybe they are all classics now.

I hadn’t realized, or had forgotten, that Tom, Huck, Becky, Aunt Polly, Injun Joe, and Jim were all based on people in Twain’s life. The museum illustrated this with brief biographical bits, easily digested. A short film provided background. Many Twain quotes rounded out and brought to life the fulsome nature of the man and his time.

With all the censoring going on in our time, the over-the-top PC environment, the negative take on US history, and too easily offended, I appreciated this quote:

It was a difficult day for me leg and foot wise. Walking was a challenge, which it hasn’t been. I was pretty low and exhausted that night, thus failing to write again. The third night not posting was due to a longer day’s drive than expected through too much construction and stop and go traffic. And now I’ll stop excusing myself as it’s clear there’s always something and two more days have passed already!

Such a difference between walking the Caminho and driving. Obvious, I know. On the Caminho we walked with our thoughts. In the car, we listen to audio books, podcasts, music. We are not meeting fellow travelers. While I love visiting the sights, I love the small towns we travel through, I miss foreign exchanges.

I’ll close for now with a few photos from Eureka Springs – a week ago already!

Music in the park
The surface of this bridge is wood slats. They make a satisfying rumble as wheels roll over. This is outside of Eureka Springs in Beaver.

Until next time…

3 thoughts on “Oh, the Midwest!

  1. Nancy Warnock Harmon September 16, 2021 / 1:17 pm

    I’m really enjoying your posts, Paula and Charlie. The descriptions of the Midwest bring up lots of similar memories from our travels to Kansas and Tulsa. I find the green almost psychedelic after the colors of NM. We love the back roads, too, and always discover treasures as you are doing. Roger and I were both raised in the Midwest so it feels and smells so familiar. Thanks for the great photos and travelogue. Stay safe and well.


    • pgsteele4 September 16, 2021 / 8:25 am

      Hi! The green is ever so vivid! Neon. Especially on slightly overcast days, it seems to be lit from within. Roger back? Hoping all went well in Kansas with his brother.


  2. Anne Miller September 16, 2021 / 7:22 pm

    We are both enjoying your posts so much . I’m sorry to hear about your pain in your leg! I wondered how sitting in the car for so long would be for you. Paul and I are in kanab, Utah visiting Zion , Bryce and the north rim. Our first vacation in a long time. Safe travels to you. Take care. Anne
    Sent from my iPhone


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