Monday, July 18, 2011

Leaving Early, but Discovering The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

On July 16th 2011, we left Arkansas and our dear little family. A call from Ventura County Fire for a needed CERT class was not rescheduling as was indicated before we left, we needed to start home. Poor timing for us because our plans included a longer stay in Mayflower and time to sight see on our way home and also time to visit with our daughter and family that lives in Salina, Utah.

Huge Backyard and Every Heritage Tomato For Arkansas

This was a super long trip by car and after visiting her less than two weeks, it went way to fast. I was so upset at leaving my Bree, our new granddaughter, Susan, Jane, Charlie and Chip. I still am in awe of Bree's home. It was sparkling, newly painted and I don't think she needed my help at all. We did get to cuddle with the baby a lot. And the Jane and Charlie Show was the best ever! They are characters and really thriving and learning in Arkansas.

We hugged and took pictures and then we started crying so the pictures quit.

I started for the car and actually tried to climb in Bree's van. Yes, I was sad and messed-up.

OMGsh I'm Crying and Getting Into Bree's Van To Leave. What?
 It was overcast, humid, and hot. Steve had already started our car and the air-conditioning was ideal and just plain pleasant, but my heart wanted to stay. We waved and waved and it seemed like just seconds we were on our way up freeway toward Memphis, Tennessee. Steve wanted to cross the river on that big bridge and at least say he'd been in Tennessee.

The landscape of Arkansas changed a lot in just less than an hour. It started to be wide-open and farms with lots of different crops grew in between what looked. Our car was running great and the northern part of Arkansas, at least near the freeway seemed so familiar because of the crops and rows of trees separating each large crop. The trees were almost as tall as our Eucalyptus Trees here. The fields were mostly cotton and occasionally field corn.

Memphis Barns

The river was muddy from the recent big storms and was again, like the Arkansas River so big, similar to our lakes in Southern California. I was surprised that Elvis' mansion of Graceland was so close to the Mississippi. Memphis is so crowded with tourists and yes I took pictures, but Graceland was such a let-down next to the beautiful homes we had seen in Arkansas. We just turned-around and went back over the bridge. I was complaining about Elvis' house and told Steve that if he'd just slowed-down a little I surely would've yelled-out, "What's the big deal?" "Elvis isn't here and he's definitely left the building." I was reminded that no one would appreciate those remarks and they're "hokey" anyway. He's right and knowing me, I'm sure that why we speeded-up going past the rock walls of the not-so-great-house that Elvis built. I wasn't impressed because I expected so much more.

So crossing the bridge we decided to see more states than the ones on the freeway. Time to get "off the main road" and head-out on a real side trip. It was our very own detour, called Highway 61 and honestly is was fun. We started listening to The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and loved the fact the some of the area in the book was similar to what we were experiencing on our trip. The river runs in such a snake-like fashion and the bridge crossings came often.

The clothing style of northwest Arkansas just before entering Missouri, is pretty much the same for both the girls and the boys. It's cowboy boots and cut-off jeans. The girls shorts were a whole bunch shorter. We had to stop for lunch and we ate at the very best Bar-B-Que place. No one was there so we worried just a bit, but this place was wonderful, even President Clinton had eaten there. It was The Dixie Pig in Blytheville and it's pronounced as Bly....ville (one syllable) We ended-up buying the sauce there. So different than Bar-B-Que, ever and wonderful.

I was writing in my journal about our stop and then suddenly we go under a little arch and we're in Missouri, just like that.


There are a lot of states all stuck close together right here. I started taking pictures of old houses and then I had to take pictures of the barns. All so different. We went from Arkansas to Tennessee, back to Arkansas then to Missouri, then to Illinois, and Kentucky and then right back to Illinois. We had come to Cairo, Illinois. right where this narrow strip of land hugged the river bank and Huckleberry Finn and Jim missed their intended stop. The CD book was talking about it, right then. Of course we had to drive through the city to see what Huckleberry had missed. Oh, what a surprise!

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