Friday, August 14, 2009
We left my Mom's pretty early in the morning and set off for
my sister Nancy's house in Altus, Oklahoma. You can make it
in one day, but it's a pretty long drive, so we split it up into two.
We decided to go a bit of a different route from the Chicago area
to southwest Oklahoma via the boot heel of Missouri and through
Arkansas. Instead of crossing the Mississippi River near St. Louis,
we crossed it near Cairo Illinois. We stopped briefly in New Madrid
Missouri and I was very disappointed. New Madrid was the site of
one of the largest earthquakes ever recorded. In the early 1800's
it made the Mississippi River run backwards and rang church bells
in Boston. A pretty big deal. However, no mention of it...not even a
sign near the courthouse could be found!
I was very impressed by the rest stops in Arkansas. The buildings
themselves were nothing to write home about but the grounds were
very nicely landscaped, with tons of flowers everywhere. It was very
We spent the night in Little Rock and made it there just in time to
see this really pretty sunset as we rounded a bend in the highway.
Today, when entering Oklahoma, we stopped at a visitor center and
they had this painting on the wall. It's a copy of a famous painting of
the Trail of Tears. The Trail of Tears is a infamous journey made by
the Cherokee as they were forced from their homelands in the east
and sent to Oklahoma. Many died along the way. Descendants of
these same Cherokee live in this area of Oklahoma today.
I am always please that Oklahoma recognizes that it was once
"Indian Territory". This is reflected on it's license plates, state flag,
and even it's rest stops as we enjoyed these picnic areas where we
ate our lunch.