Wednesday, 20 June 2007

"Dead skunk in the middle of the road..." 274 Miles

An evening drinking beer from frosted glasses at "Mickey B's" in Iola, along with a bunch of farmers who were complaining about the low hog prices and chatting with the woman behind the bar in the tiny top and even tinier denim shorts.

"Like your curls," she said and then told me, rather too quickly I thought, that she was dating the son of a British ex-pat. I retired to my room in the "Crossroads Motel" (yes honestly, and no, they had never heard of the TV show).

Next morning, and another hot day. Off I went again east on the 54 to Fort Scott. Then I turned south to Joplin and looped through a bit of Arkansas and into Missouri. I was in need of light entertainment and knew exactly where to go.....!

The scenery was changing. Slowly it turned into the low (well for the US, not for us) rolling lush green Ozark Mountains. As the area is far more densely wooded, I started to notice more roadkill compared to my previous days driving. There was the odd small deer, a very smelly brown bear from the look of it, numerous racoons and sundry odd creatures I was not sure of. Pretty sure one was an armadillo though, and a skunk. I did wonder if they smelled better dead than alive.

Eventually I arrived at the "cheese" capital of the USA - Branson, Missouri. A resort town that boasts dozens of theatres and even more shows. Finding a room is, as usual, no problem and once I have showered and unpacked it was time to see what delights the town had to offer this weary traveller. First impression: the tourists do seem a little....erm, elderly. It seems a bit like Bexhill with neon.


Check out my route so far at www.bbc.co.uk/radio2. Click on my show page and then "The Great American Adventure". You'll find it eventually!

9 comments:

A London Connection said...

... and the cheeses ?

Steve said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
kathy Brooks said...

Alex

Are you really there or is it like
the moon landings only I haven,t seen you in any of the photos.

Missing you already

Kathy

Steve said...

I'm always amazed by the variety of road-kill you see when driving around the US of A. Stuff you see crumpled and ironed flat at the side of the road, you only get to see in a zoo over here. Bears, Amardillo, possums and skunks, and boy do you know it when you hit a skunk !!! Even dead skunks stink when you drive over them. Watch out for the skunks !!

Anonymous said...

Great to see you enjoying the trip. If possible,if you can visit a place called Gugisburg Swiss Inn at Charm in Ohio. It's in the Amish comunity and is a fantastic place to relax. The people are friendly and the scenery stunning,well worth a visit.

Anonymous said...

Fantastic! Are you going to go and see 'John Wayne & America's Yodeling Sweetheart', 'Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede Dinner Attraction' or 'The Baldknobbers Jamboree Show'? We demand a review!

judithollows said...

Cheese capital? I thought that is is in the north. Hereabouts (an hour's drive away) Branson is known as the Las Vegas of the south - a more 'family entertainment' version of the real thing because of the strong church influence here in MO and AR.
Did you see any of the shows mentioned by a previous poster?
Not seen bear road kill yet... Snakes are another flattened species - lots of them here - one slithered over my bare feet in the 'yard' a couple of days ago.

Batty of Bexhill said...

Hi Alex

How can you be so rude about my birth town, Bexhill? You know an American once said it was the only cemetary he'd seen with traffic lights?
If you travel through Illinois, you must visit the John Deere museum in Moline. They have farm machinery so big it wouldn't fit into some of our fields.
Enjoy your trip!
Barmy of Bexhill

Anonymous said...

Hi Alex, You really are seeing a lot of America!! Love reading your "blog", but, miss listening to you in a morning,

bye

Janet Cairns