Saturday, May 23, 2009

600 miles in less than 2 days...

Just as we did last year we drove our red diesel truck so we could carry our own fuel with us and save on gas. I couldn't handle another trip to Kansas so we decided to head south and check out the mountains. Forget flat land!

But first things first. I am the official coffee pourer.

And we carry our own stash of snacks. Boiled eggs, cheese and crackers, bananas, chicken salad sandwiches, water etc. And of course we can't forget the roll of toilet paper. Where we're going isn't likely to have those convenient rest stops and convenience stores.

Arkansas here we come. And oh yeah, I brought along my new GPS to try out. We call the lady that tells us where to go "the hooker lady." And she got pretty confused back in those Arkansas hills. Sometimes she was telling us we were in the city when we could see nothing but trees and hollers!!! So don't throw away those maps just yet!!

But first, we drove to my favorite heirloom seed store which just happens to have chickens, and ducks and turkeys and all kinds of critters everyone needs on a small farm such as ours. And I always get ideas of how I want to build things on the 80 acre homestead. If you haven't ever been there, check it out. Just outside Mansfield, Mo.

They have these cute little chickens this year. I want to get some banty hens but these are even smaller than banties I think.

And see what I mean by getting ideas on how to build shelters for my chickens? This is a great idea!

Roosters! I must have some of these. Just want a nice one though!

Come to mama!! I'll take you home so Rachel can name you too. She named my chickens while I was gone. Names like Henny Penny, Extra Crispy, Original, you get the drift. Straight out of Colonel Sanders...

Had them eating out of my hand in no time.

Turkeys! They could keep my 4 ducks company.

And I need two of these also!

And maybe one of these. Isn't it beautiful?

Uh oh, there goes Tool Belt Jim to check out the little cabin. He's been wanting to build a cabin for a long time. I think down by the pond would be a good place.
You can tell he is studying this out.

Remember using these old tubs and a hand wringer washer to wash clothes with? I helped my grandma when I was little hang the clothes on the line after she washed them. And I also remember taking baths in these same tubs because we didn't have running water in the house.
The Amish seem to do most of the building around this little farm. This is a cute little house they are putting a roof on.
After leaving Mansfield, we turned south and headed toward the Mark Twain National Forest.
We stopped at a roadside park area that was just beautiful. Here's Tool Belt Jim checking out the coolest overhanging rock ledge.

A little creek ran through it...

And moss grew on the rock and almost dripped water it was so wet. How neat is this!

A little stream ran right along side the roadside rest area.

I was going to jump across here but the moss was so slippery I didn't dare.

Taking a minute to just relax and enjoy the view. My kind of place!

This must be a popular place cause several people had stopped here. This photographer was setting up to take some pictures of the water but I got a great shot of both her and the water! I remember being told one time that "every picture should tell a story" and "don't take pictures of people posing." I'm trying to remember that good advice. Just love this shot!

Time to hop back in the little red truck and head on down the road.
This was our next adventure. We were way off the beaten path here. And meeting cars on this little dirt road up in the mountains didn't thrill me either.

Creative way to build a fence. Good solid fence posts too!
These signs kept us on the right track. Don't want to get lost out here anywhere.

Wanted my picture taken standing on this sign. Tool belt Jim took my "take action shots" words to heart. Wasn't planning on it being of me trying to get up here though.

It's not as easy as you might think! Nothing to grab hold of.

But I made it!

The view was beautiful and you could see for miles.

Which is why these are up here. Don't want any forest fires going undetected!Tool Belt Jim has to stop and read every historic marker to see what happened in the area in the past.

More neat fence.

After leaving the Forest we headed on down Hwy 125 to Protem, Mo. Last town in Missouri before heading across the river by ferry.
Here Tool Belt Jim got another cup of coffee for the road. Or the ferry. Which by the way, hope you're not in a hurry by the time you get here. There's only one way to get across that body of water and if you don't catch it just right, you're left waiting for the return trip.

Here's the ferry bringing a load of cars over from the other side.

This is the rig that's going to push us across the lake to the other side.
We're loaded and ready to go. Just after we pulled out a group of motorcyclists pulled up but they were too late and would have to sit and wait until the ferry loaded up the cars from the other side and brought them over before they could get across.

Here Tool Belt Jim talks motorcycles with a fellow traveler. This gentleman happened to be going to Harrison Ark. where we planned on spending the night so he told us a shortcut which would save us some miles. Only problem was he told us the wrong direction to turn and we ended up going in one big circle. Lesson here is stick with the map.

So this ends Day one of our great adventure in the mountains of Arkansas. We stayed at the Quality Inn in Harrison and ate at a wonderful restaurant right next door. I had the best cheeseburger with a side order of cornbread and beans. Tasted wonderful. And that bed was like sleeping on a cloud. I was in bed by 9:00 and never woke until 7:30 the next morning when Tool Belt Jim said it was time to hit the road again.
DAY 2: Tool Belt Jim wanted to go to Alma, Ark. to stop at a series of stores there called A-Z Stores. So once again, we took back roads and found another wonderful roadside park area.
Traveled more windy roads and seen more great scenery along the way.

Tool Belt Jim climbed that contraption from a few pictures previous but I don't do heights well so I stick to looking at the scenery with both my feet firmly planted on the ground.

It was time to refuel so we stopped at another little rest area to fill her up. I am very impressed with the rest areas and roadside parks that we came across. You could spend the day just enjoying the view and relaxing by the side of the road, especially when a little creek ran through them.

Here's Tool Belt Jim refueling. Notice jumper cables are hooked up when he refuels. Don't ask me why. I leave all that to the one in charge of those kinds of things.
And after stopping in Alma and buying a Blue Willow pitcher and a little rooster salt shaker (which I collect both of), we headed back North on Old Hwy 71 toward Fayetteville Ark. And ran across another delightful roadside Park. This one couldn't be beat. Had restrooms as well as a covered picnic table area as well as wooden rocking benches that you could sit in and watch the little creek beside it. Someone was having a little birthday party there. Was only a few miles from Fayetteville so bet it gets a lot of use.

Geese were swimming on the creek below the shelter house.

Isn't this a beautiful place?

I notice Tool Belt Jim is really getting into these "action shots."
When we travel, we try to bring back a rock from every place we have been and I line the concrete retaining wall with them. So when Tool Belt Jim told me we would stop and get a rock from this little roadside area I knew just the one I wanted. Now for how we can get it home! Any suggestions?
From here we headed over to the interstate which we took the rest of the way home. The only rain we ran into was just about an hour from home and it was a gully washer. Only lasted about 15 minutes but had cars pulling off the road to wait it out.
So that ends our short mini vacation. Tool Belt Jim said we covered almost 600 miles in this short trip. Don't want to offend my friends from Kansas out there but we have went to Kansas so many times that I needed a change of scenery. And this was just that!
Hope you enjoyed taking this little trip along with us!


Anonymous said...

Wow, what an excellent looking trip. It's been too long since Noel and I have just gone out driving.

I suspect the jumper cables have to be put on the ground to release any static electricity the truck builds up while driving. Wouldn't want anything to go "boom" while he's refueling! I guess diesel doesn't explode though does it?

Hey, we need to sell that house in Milo. It's in bad shape, we haven't been able to do anything to it at all since we left and I don't see us being able to anytime soon. We've just got too many things going on over here. You don't know of anyone that would be interested in it really cheap do you?

Hope you all are well!

CookinsForMe said...

Your trip looks like great fun! I love all the pictures. My sister and I are headed on a one week vacation soon to KY, TN, and MO and we're doing the same thing-chronicling the trip. I love your blog, Nana!