Turning onto US-54 we saw the metal buffalo and missile nose cone in a front yard along the hiway. We soon noticed a roping practice steer head attached to a gate. Only thing unusual about this was that the steer head was painted pink, horns and all.
On US-71 (now called I-49), we saw a very large tow truck high in the air on a pole. Behind the truck and hooked to the truck's tow chain was a Volkswagen. Very strange way to store vehicles - or maybe just to advertise.
We drove through Carthage, Mo. just to see the mansions along Grand Avenue and the four story impressive county courthouse. Carthage was once a large active community. Now many businesses have left the downtown area, leaving few open businesses downtown. To me, Carthage is not in its glory days. After our Carthage driving tour we passed Fairview, Mo. A church there has a series of "Burma Shave" type signs - something about sinning and witchcraft about which the church sign warns that one will go to hell if they don't attend church.
We then stopped at the George Washington Carver Monument and Museum, Diamond, Mo. The Carver museum has always been a favorite stop. We went on the walking tour, visited with Curtis, who I had met during an earlier visit there. We talked about the Blind Boone Park and just got "caught up" on news.
West of Newtonia, Mo., and near Exeter, Mo. is the Promised Land Church and a wooden outhouse with crescents on the door for sale. Bill's favorite hiway "gem" is the Rebel (with flag) Recycling business near Exeter.
Near Cassville is a convenience store that promotes food and alcohol sampling - that is very unusual. On MO-37, in the Cassville, is the official Auto Trail of the Trail of Tears. Oh yes, on 37 out of Cassville is the True Love Cemetery, and the 9th squashed armadillo was along 37. Washburn, Mo. has a sign that reads Crazy Mule music for sale.
As we came to Pea Ridge National CW battlefield, we were traveling on the "Wire" Road" also known as the Butterfield stagecoach road. Wire means telegraph wire. Toured the battlefields, and Bill explained the positions of the units. We tried to make it to the overlook for our 2 PM Anniversary kiss, but had to settle for a bench near the visitor center.
Drove thru Rogers, Ark. after battlefield tour and saw that the town has the Happy Trails Rd and Beat the Book Store along US 62. And, we noticed a most unusual way to promote Frontline, a product for cats/dogs against ticks, etc. The business had a balloon statue of a cat holding out one paw wanting its Frontline. The statue was 10 feet tall or more sitting right on a corner in front of the business.
Our next Ark. stop was Bentonville, the mecca for all Walmarts. The Walmart buildings go on and on. Traffic is crazy, almost like driving in Los Angeles during rush hour. Bill looked on map and decided secondary streets were better to get around the main core of Bentonville. We went downtown Bentonville, visited the first Sam Walton store and sure had fun. The little "dime" store of his beginnings include "old-time" candy bars, old-time items, Nehi sodas in glass bottles and then good ice cream cones. Sure was fun in that store. A city park is just across the street from the little store, and, of course, since Ark. is Southern, there is a Confederate soldier statute in the middle of the Plaza. Beautiful downtown of restored buildings, outside dining areas, and a Native American museum just down the street.
After spending the night in Springdale (lower rates), we went back to Bentonville on back roads to the Native American History museum which is privately owned, no entrance fee, with exhibits, point displays, artifacts of every kind, arranged by general time period - very friendly folks. Bus tours are common plus at the other tourist attraction we went to. We were more than surprised to visit the Crystal Bridges museum. Several tour buses and more school buses, but the crowd wasn't bad. We were so amazed at the design of the museum - large very large, built in sections over water with a ceiling that looked like the back of an armadillo. The parts that go over water are actually designed like suspension bridges with lots of glass, so that's where the name comes from. The large museum rooms depicted American art of the centuries from 1500s to modern art. We stayed there a long time, but headed for Joplin to visit Percy, the boss of the Joplin city museum.
Not much to record along the hiway to Joplin. However, we soon stopped at an outside cafe along the city hiway route in Pineville, Mo. We had a late lunch at the best little cafe called Burger Time. The owner explained every piece of homemade cake and pie and how great his hamburgers were. So, we ordered hamburgers, homemade fries, and a slice of cake called "Won't Last Long" cake - meaning it's gone if one does not buy a slice - now. The cake looks like a dark spice cake with raisins and pecans and white icing….yum yum. Owner was right.
We arrived home May 1 about 7PM. Now for more tidbits of observations: