Day 3: December 30, 2005
Into Missouri



As I was taking a picture of the dirt on my window, this trolley rolled into the frame. You can ride the trolleys up and down Main Street for one dollar a trip or $3.50 for an all day pass. I really intended to use them this time but ended up walking everywhere. I believe that's Court Park or Court Square behind the trolley. Confederate Park is on the other side of the hotel with a statue of Jefferson Davis and the Hernando Desoto ("Big M") Bridge in the background.

I really struggled with whether or not to try to work in a run south to Clarksdale, MS, but in the end decided, against it. So many roads and so little time. That's one that will have to wait till another day. Instead, I got on US-61 and followed it, I-55, and a bunch of semis over the river. In Arkansas, I turned north on AR-77 which is part of the Great River Road and which Alex thinks might have once been US-61. Just above Turrell I turned onto the current US-61 as it separates itself from I-55. The road closely parallels the railroad through here with long straights and gentle curves. The second photo shows straight pavement and straight rails separated by a straight row of telephone poles. Looks like they're going wireless.

That's the Osceola water tower in the background of the third picture and I am facing north. This is near County Road 732 and there is an identical sign assembly on the opposite corner. Standing in the intersection is kind of like being at the north pole.

Through the arch and into Missouri. Cool!

In New Madrid, I stopped at the museum. The section nearest the camera was once a tavern but no evidence of that remains. Once upon a time, New Madrid was going to be the capital of New Spain but that didn't quite work out. Then, in 1811, it was practically destroyed by an earthquake caused by the fault to which it has given its name. I knew about the earthquake but I didn't know that New Madrid was also the birthplace of the sewing machine. At least some folks believe that local inventor James Kimball built his first machine before Elias Howe was granted his patent. Kimball fought and lost and completed just three of his machines. This is the lone survivor. From the museum, it's just a short walk to the top of the levee and a big wooden deck. It was just a bit chilly today but the deck offers a great view of the Mississippi.

Rain started as I pulled out of New Madrid and continued to Sikeston. I headed west to Dexter where a motel and a couple of barbecue joints had been recommended. Going to roost early will put a strain on reaching Rolla tomorrow but driving in the rain wasn't all that much fun.

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