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Wednesday, May 14, 2014


Been thinking of an apt word to describe MISSOURI.  I have it:  L U S H.  Totally GREEN and LUSH !

Lid being removed from the ARCTIC OCEAN is allowing super cold deep ocean water to rise into the stratosphere where it is shoving the JET STREAM ever South, bringing unseasonably cold into the lower plains...yes, even unto the southern Gulf States.

It is COLD in MISSOURI.  Am using three duvet inside my backseat bedroom.  Got really chilled today walking the rolling hills of US Highway 54.  MISSISSIPPI RIVER comes ever closer.

Please say HELLO to DON and JEANNIE CLOUD of INDEPENDENCE, MISSOURI.  Dining last evening at SMITH'S RESTAURANT in COLLINS, MO, we got into a lengthy conversation, during which they treated me to a delicious Apple Salad...YUM !

Thankyou, too, for the $20.00 slipped into ASHLEY's hand for my treasure chest.

ASHLEY was our petite lovely waitress for the evening.

SMITH'S RESTAURANT, where we enjoyed so much good conversation, tasty food and tranquil overnight parking.

After a bowl of steaming hot oatmeal cereal, drove to WEAUBLEAU to walk BACK to COLLINS, some 5 miles distant.

US 54 transiting WEAUBLEAU main street.

CASEY's Convenience Store is showing up in most MISSOURI towns along US 54.

MODOT Mowing Machine.  Suggest the operators could use a bit more guidance.  Much of the roadside grass cut looks like a hack saw was used instead of the mower.  One of my very first negative comments...and gratefully, not at all of a serious nature.

Two more young ladies failing to return home safely.

This guy acted very gruff.  I stopped to chat with him, leaving him wagging his tail but still on guard as I said Good Bye.

Main Street...US 54.

Same  street...other side .

Carried on substantial conversations with business and City officials regarding years of City decline. 

As discovered in so many other towns visited, the economic downturn can be directly attributed to State DOT (Department of Transportation).  Essentially, roadway "improvements" too often include by-passing towns; not simply by-passing, but INTENTIONALLY cutting off access roads into and leaving town...and in some cases, deliberately putting up FENCES and solid walls to cut off visibility of town by passing motorists.

If what I am seeing and hearing is half true, middle America is receiving the bum's rush.

Farmers of these communities are apparently receiving free handouts (subsidies).  Their nearby neighbors are receiving the blind eye...or is it the eye of destruction.  Quite a contrast.


Please say HELLO to DICK THOMPSON, creator of DICK'S WILDROOT HORSERADISH.  Dick's products may be found at

CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH and part of it's extensive graveyard.

SPIA-2 parked at CASEY'S while I was out walking.

Drove to the city of WHEATLAND, MISSOURI, parked, visited several businesses and City Hall before walking back to WEAUBLEAU.

A most unique tourist attraction:

Original hand built log cabins from the mid 1800s, brought to WHEATLAND to form an in-situe village.

On the opposite side of the street stand a row of recently built / rebuilt commercial buildings, all fully occupied by active retailers (and the Post Office).  More businesses want space, but the town has none at the moment.

An example of a town picking itself by the boot straps to create a true recovery, including a modern Car Race Track, a state of the art CASEY's Operation, a Marina at one of the nearby Lakes Of The Ozarks, and a run in with DNR (US Government Department of Natural Resources) having to do with the town's newly created LAGOON. 

Intresting construction technique of mid 1800s

Speaking of Governmental involvement, I present the above CERTIFICATE OF APPRECIATION from His Nibs, President OBAMA.  Considering what the US Transportation Commission is apparently doing to speed up the demise of middle America's Rural Towns and Cities, I expect this Certificate of Appreciation my soon be used in a speach depicting the Boss' personal interest in the initiative of WHEATLAND to do a bit of creative self-help.

Or, did I miss something, such as a Grant from above that somehow trickled a Tractor and Loader to this Outpost of the mid-west.


Hope my fun above reflects well, SONIA.  Having visited lots of towns like yours, WHEATLAND is a bit more than a notch above the average.  Refreshing to see some REAL creative self-help. 

Nice paint job.

First of many AMISH traffic signs we will see in the coming weeks.

* * * * * * * * * *

Have been kindly invited by the local Supermarket, HERMITAGE, Missouri, "FIVE STAR SUPERMARKET," to create this update in their Deli Section...and for SPIA-2 to park over night.

In the morning, it is back to the ever-steeper hills of US 54.

p.s.:  A comment about our US Postal Service.  Received confirmation(s) that this September, most smaller town US Post Offices will be reducing operating offices to either 2 hours, 4 hours, or 6 hours a day.  Seems most have already reduced staff to a single employee.  Now, that employee will have significantly fewer hours in each day to complete their work. 

For now, outside deliveries are to remain status quo.

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