Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Some nice things

How's that for a title?

We got back to Columbia late Monday night. About 10 miles from our house, the "service engine" light came on. Not so bad, but it meant yesterday was eaten up with waiting around for a diagnosis (bad spark plugs) and repair (full tune-up).

Anyway, the topic is supposed to be nice things. In my last blog post, I seemed to suggest the trip would be featureless and boring, so I'm here to report on nice surprises along the drive:

(1) The Flint Hills in southeastern Kansas. I thought all of Kansas was a flat expanse of golden wheat fields. I was wrong. The Flint Hills roll along in such a fine green way that you could almost believe you were in Ireland. (Or at least I could, having never actually been to Ireland.)

(2) Lake of the Ozarks area, southwest of Columbia. Sure, it's meant to be a tourist trap (Ozarkland, anyone?), but even all those golf courses can't disguise the fact that this foothill area is really quite lovely: picturesque vistas; winding, branching waterways.

(3) Even northern and central Oklahoma, which I remembered from my childhood as a vast expanse of nothing, opened out into some lovely vistas and wooded areas. (I35 through Oklahoma, however, is a big mess: work areas every 50 miles or so that reduced the lanes and kept traffic backed up for miles. It took way too long to get through Oklahoma. So we skipped the interstate and took highways back: much better.)

What I'm basically saying here is this: we expected a long boring drive and were pleasantly surprised by scenic moments.


Becky Howard said...

My late mother-in-law spent her youth on what she described as a "dirt farm" in the Ozarks. The family transportation was a mule whose name, if memory serves me correctly, was Daisy. The idea of the Ozarks as tourist mecca sounds a bit strange to me. In the Howard family, the Ozarks is what one survives, not where one vacations.

Donna said...

The creation of the "scenic" and the tourist destination does a pretty thorough job of erasing people and the material difficulties of their lives. In our field, Katrina Powell is doing an excellent job of making visible the lives of Appalachian mountain people who were displaced by the creation of Shenandoah State Park.

Dave Taylor said...

Some of our friends must think we're completely daft, but we actually spend a few weeks every summer at our place at the Lake of the Ozarks (near Laurie, MO, actually), driving all the way from our home in Colorado. We like it and it's a beautiful lake, esp. during the week when all the "weekenders" aren't zooming about in their powerboats!