Our Raft Encounters a Queen

Around a sweeping bend we noticed thick black smoke that signaled one of the rarest sights on the river, at least nowadays. Sure enough, a paddlewheel steamer appeared, churning toward us. As the distance closed between our two craft, the … Read More

Comeback in Harrison County

There used to be millions of ’em. Until General Joe Sheridan came along and slaughtered them all. His job was to move the native American tribes out of Missouri. So he killed off their major livelihood. Buffalo, he said, “are … Read More

Props

These props push barge tows up the Mississippi. Click on picture to appreciate their size.  

Run the Cat Roads

Cat Road

Before there was a lottery, and people had to grab cash the old-fashioned way, Bonnie & Clyde knew about Dearborn, Missouri. Dearborn is popular now because of America’s latest Powerball winner. But until recently, when the equivalent of one half … Read More

When Harry Met Elvis, Sorta

“Give me the Elvis.” I hadn’t expected to encounter food fit for the king. Not here, within a wedge shot of so much history. But that’s what makes the journey so rewarding. I finished my Elvis, a peanut butter sandwich … Read More

Retirement Reversal

He said, John, in your life, there won’t be 10 people who you can really count on. That may be true for most of us. But he was a teacher. And one of his most important lessons wasn’t something from … Read More

Deep Alone

Forecast promised rain. In fact, first wave of storms had just passed. Radar said next band of rain wouldn’t hit for an hour. So I headed for the trail. 10 am. Nobody. I had the trail to myself. The trees … Read More

Shaken, Not Stirred

The Undercliff Grill & Bar is cool and inviting, in its campy cave chic. The locals keep coming back for the food. I know why. The French onion soup comes protected by a helmet of Gruyère cheese that could stand … Read More

Bionic, When She Starts

Sometimes you get lucky. Erifnus broke down right in front of the house. Bad starter. But since she’s a 5-speed manual transmission, and we live on a slope, I rolled her downhill and popped the clutch. Engine started like she … Read More

Kudzu 66

Get your kicks on Route 66. But at least at this stop, a lube job is out of the question.