This was not a picture day as we were on roads without shoulders and hard to find turnoffs. When we punched in our destination today instead of choosing the fastest route…generally the interstates, I picked the shortest. It showed a variety of colors of roads but not knowing what they all meant, I picked the shortest. We found it odd that the shortest route was going to take what seemed a lot longer. This blog is “pambrownsadventures” and folks, today that is what we had. I had wanted to take back roads or lesser highways and today seemed like a good day as this is a stat holiday in the U.S. as well, so figured lots of traffic.
It wasn’t long and we were in the countryside passing by well kept farms. We travelled through towns we couldn’t find on the map (hello.. first clue) but the scenery and the fall colors were spectacular. I had noticed on the maps an area called “Ozarks”…I always thought the Ozark mountains were in Arkansas, but perhaps they also extended into Missouri. I eventually figured it out….they were the Ozark Lakes. The area is beautiful with many camp grounds and small motels catering to fisherman. It seems a great place for lake fishing and also lots of streams for fly fishing.
I was pretty pleased with myself as the traffic was light and the going easy with the exception of the ever changing speed limits. We stopped in a village for lunch ( sorry if it had a name we didn’t catch it.) The cafe was well kept and in behind us, came a fella who ordered take out. While he was waiting, two friends of his came in and they started talking. The first guy asked them if they were fishing and they responded ” Yup, already caught our limit, nothing else to do now, may as well go home and get the gun and go shoot squirrels.” A few minutes later I realized they were pulling his leg but it did provide a chuckle as they reminded me of typical “good ole boys.”
After lunch we continued on the guided route and seemed to get more and more remote. So remote we passed by two young amish looking girls in a horse and buggy. Brian got very out of sorts when the system started taking us on gravel roads with less and less population and more and more trees and hills. At this point the navigation system did not recognize the names of the road we were on..the sign posts said one name, the nav system another. We tried staying on the better roads ( gravel) but were getting no where. We stopped and reprogramed the system but she was undeterred…but now at least she had the right names. We kept following the instructions until we were asked to go down a hardly more than dirt road. By now Brian is less than in good spirits and was seriously questioning my ideas on the “scenic roads.” I’m being polite here……
There was a decent looking farm house nearby I so suggested we stop in and ask for directions.( Remember men don’t do this.) The only vehicle in the drive way was a motorhome and I went looking for the front door, hoping for the best. Around the corner was a little patio area, very cute but fenced off. I figured out how to undo the geri rigged locking system and went to the door and knocked. I could see movement in the house and eventually an older lady(85+ is my guess) peeked out the window. I smiled greatly and prayed…..she did open the door a crack. I told the lady I was from Canada and our car’s navigation system seemed to be getting us lost….
I told her we were looking for a main road to get to West Plains. By now her husband had joined her at the door. They explained they had just returned from a 3000 mile trip and they named their navigation system “Agnes” to which she commented, “damned thing couldn’t find anywhere!” We had a delightful short talk and then she said to follow the road to the left ( where the system wanted us to go) and follow it for a couple of miles and we’d get to the highway. Feeling much relieved,I thanked her profusely and left. Both she and the navigation system were correct and we were once again on the right track. I think after today, Brian will be a long time before he lets me pick”the scenic” route! All in all though, we passed through some beautiful places and the fall colors were simply spectacular. The above photo doesn’t really capture the colors.
We’re off to Dickson Tennessee tomorrow. It’s a bit west of Nashville. The navigation system took us through Kansas city with some route changes and we found it very harrowing to follow the directions. Brian did a better job of reading the system correctly, so good thing I was driving. We’re not always going to be able to avoid large cities, but if we plan to just pass through, that will be the plan. We expect to slow down as we drive the Smokey Mountains and will also be staying in Asheville NC to do some touring around. We are looking forward to arriving in Gibsonville on Friday where we can stay put for a few days.