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Trip back - page 3
Here are a couple of views of Kentucky Lake -- which is basically a really wide part (due to a dam of course) of the Tennessee River.
Fancy Farm KY is the home of the Golden Gophers. That useful information was gleaned just by looking at this water tower.
These water tower shots work well when they are set against the backdrop of an especially contrasted sky with patchy clouds.
I crossed the Ohio River near Cairo Illinois, which is at the junction of Kentucky, Missouri, and Illinois. This is also where the Ohio River feeds into the Mississippi.
There is a little spot there called Fort Defiance State Park, where the Ohio and the Mississippi Rivers converge. I watched this barge come down the Ohio River, make a slow 90 degree right turn, and head up the Mississippi to some point upstream, like maybe St. Louis.
And here it is! The mighty Mississippi River! The only angle I had here was right into the sun, but I think the glary look is acceptable here.
I got into Poplar Bluff, MO, and stayed at the Super 8 Motel, which was a damn sight better than the Super 8 in Nashville.
Day 6 – Poplar Bluff MO to Joplin MO
Today I drive across the state of Missouri. I was going through large patches of the Ozark Mountains and had hoped that they would be showing some fall colors by now… but alas … they were largely still green.
This pretty much represents my trip through the Ozarks. Low rolling hills mostly green, with small scatterings of yellow and maybe a touch of red now and then.
Other than a handful of sightings of Amish horse and buggies on the highway, the drive across Missouri was pretty uneventful.
One thing for sure, there is no shortage of small farms in this state.
Here is just one farm scene that I thought was slightly interesting.
I have always been fascinated by 1930’s era outlaws, and I have always identified the town of Joplin for one thing -- the site of a Bonnie and Clyde shootout. I had just recently learned (when I got online in Nashville 2 nights earlier) that the apartment that they had rented in 1933 where the gun battle took place, was still standing. You can read more about that shootout here.
So I put visiting this location on the top of my list of “Things to see and do when in Joplin”
Here is the spot of the Bonnie and Clyde shootout 75 years ago, with a close-up of the bullet hole above the door that the neighbors told me was from that shootout.
I met with the owner later, and she gave me a quick tour of the place. Actually, this comfortable Bonnie and Clyde themed apartment is available for rent at a pretty reasonable rate. You can check that out here. Darn it!! And I had already checked into the Motel 6.
They have fixed it up to look like Bonnie and Clyde were still living there, with pictures of them hung on the walls and placed around the house.
The bathroom was my favorite part though. There were three large framed pictures of Bonnie. The owner made it clear that the bathtub was one of the original pieces that dated back to 1933. So this is the actual bathtub that Bonnie Parker took a bath in -- I was told.
One of those pictures was that famous one of Bonnie smoking a cigar. This is probably the most recognized outlaw picture from the 1930's.
To see the wanted poster after the Joplin shootout, click here
Day 7 – Joplin MO to Dodge City KS
I set out across Kansas, and a lot of it was rather uneventful. Just miles and miles -- of miles and miles.
I came across a field of sunflowers. They did not have the bright sunny disposition one might expect with sunflowers, but looked kind of depressed with their heads slumped over.
The sunflower heads had a rather unusual appearance, like some sort of headlight. I was told later that these particular sunflowers were just right for the picking of the seeds.
The round bales of hay seem to add character to the otherwise dull fields. I thought the bright indirect lighting was perfect for these scenes.
I was on Highway 54, about 100 miles or so past Wichita, approaching the outskirts of the small town of Greensburg, when I noticed instantly that something was wrong up ahead.....
.....all the trees seemed to be clipped down to not much more than stumps.
As I turned down the main street, it was then that I realized this was the town that was in the national news for a week or so, after it was destroyed by a colossal tornado on May 4, 2007. This site shows a radar image of the tornado.
I had been to S. Florida shortly after Hurricane Andrew hit in 1992, and had seen some of the damage there, but this concentrated destruction rivaled the worst of Andrew. There had been a lot of cleanup in the 5 months since the tornado hit, but the widespread damage was still apparent.
Here are some more scenes around Greensburg Kansas. It was late in the afternoon, and there was a heavy gloomy dark sky overhead, which seemed to reflect the mood of the land below.
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