The Ozarks

No photos today folks as my data transfer cable is defunct so will hunt out another one in Oklahoma City tomorrow. At least we are in Springfield Missouri; less than 24 hours from Tulsa! The Ozarks are billed by some as mountains but are really a plateau, which in south Missouri is 380m plus at its highest point. The highest point overall in Arkansas is 700m plus so not really a mountain. There are many rolling, wooded hills and valleys and the biodiversity is much increased from Illinois farmland – I am enjoying the change in terrain. Out of St Louis, our first stop near Eureka was at the partly demolished Meramac River Bridge. Times Beach near here was a favourite spot on the river until some bright spark tried spraying to reduce dust and unfortunately the spray contained dioxin. We passed through many small communities where the largest stand alone buildings are 1. the bank 2. the church and 3. the funeral home. Saw 3 guys leaning against a pickup with cans of beer in hand (it was still morning) who looked like ZZ Top on a bad day. Coffee stop in Cuba where they have several murals depicting historic events and their own free press. Most towns have a park with picnic tables under a roof or the trees which are great for a light lunch.  Just before Lebanon yet another memorabilia store is run by the former manager of Muddy Waters. He has a couple of guitars and several photos inside. Having made it Springfield we are now in the Route 66 Rail Haven which is a motel dating from 1938 now run by Best Western.