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Category Archive for: ‘Travel Log’

Downed Power Lines

Ice

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Long before The Weather Channel started naming continental storms, this one will be remembered as The Ice Storm of ’09. Its widespread devastation covered Missouri’s Bootheel like a glacier. In the two counties that form the heel of the boot, the ice brought down 12,000 telephone poles. For three days I drove the back roads of the Bootheel, and recorded …

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IMG 55191 E1356645731523

Maps

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My ride and me, we never used a GPS. No compass. No MapQuest. We abstained from sextants. For the first third of this journey, a state highway map was our only guide. Deeper into our drive, untraveled roads became harder to reach. Just to find fresh pavement, we sometimes traveled a hundred miles over routes already covered. But there was …

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Cat Road

Run the Cat Roads

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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 ton of gold fell out of the sky on Dearborn, the little town was quiet, out of the way, along …

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Breakfast of Champions

Raising Money for Highways

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State highway departments are running out of money. One potential source of funding borrows from a local government trick that’s been paying big dividends for decades: Naming rights for sports stadiums and bowl games. You know, the Edward D. Jones Dome. The Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. So why not sell highway naming rights to the highest bidder? States would get roadbuilding …

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Graveyard for Naughty English Teachers

I Can’t Get These Names to Stick

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Some roads evoke emotion, like the Trail of Tears through Belleview, Boss and Bixby. And some roads evoke wonder, like the Scenic Byway along Crowley’s Ridge. Traveling every Missouri road, I gave some personal nicknames to a few pathways. Winding through picturesque hills reminiscent of central Europe, the road into Sam A. Baker State Park becomes Little Swiss Parkway. On …

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