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25th April - Marion to Paducah

Hancock's of Paducah, Paducah, Kentucky
Hancock's of Paducah

Finally made it to Paducah. Just 80K's today with a stop in Metropolis just a few K's short of Paducah.

Metropolis is pretty cool, in his various portrayals, Superman resides in a fictional American city named Metropolis, and on January 21, 1972, DC Comics declared Metropolis the "Hometown of Superman." The city has a 30 foot painted bronze statue of Superman which sits in front of the county courthouse, and a statue of Noel Neill's Lois Lane from "The Adventure of Superman" stands just a few blocks away.

Metropolis is in Illinois on one side of the Ohio River and Paducah is in Kentucky on the other river bank.

We went straight to Hancock's of Paducah, I have never seen so many middle aged women! The quilt show starts tomorrow but like us many people are in a day early. by the size of the stash I suspect Rayls enjoyed Hancocks.

Then on to the National Quilt Museum, Rayls said it was a little disappointing.

By 3pm we were both bombed and went to the hotel in Calvert City just out of Paducah. Cracker Barrel for dinner and an early night ready for the big day tomorrow.

24th April - Marion

Just 150 Ks today as we close in on Paducah which is now less than an hour away.

We managed a quilt shop, a Hobby Lobby and a Joann Fabrics before we got to Marion.

Not much to report.... the suitcases are getting heavier and not much of the weight is anything I bought!!!! Rayls seems to be having fun, so all good!

The roadhouse scenery is very green and lush and there was some magnifcent lakes between Mount Vernon and Marion.

23rd April - Higginsville to Fairview Heights

Today was another travel day as we get closer to Paducah which is now just two and a half hours away.

Brekkie was at a Maccas, which was interesting with people coming in wearing camouflage gear and their faces darkened. They had been hunting turkey which are apparently plentiful. I have no idea about where Missouri stands politically but I suspect they are very pro guns and probably Trump too.

We drove 133 Ks to Columbia on I70 and had lunch there and Rayls managed a quilt shop and we checked out a mall.

We had intended to go down to Jefferson City for the night but decided to push on down I70 to make for less driving over the next two days.

Interstate 70 runs from I15 just a 100 K's or so north of Amy and Steve's house in Utah to Baltimore, near Washington DC on the east coast. It is 3400 Ks long and runs through 10 states with at least 2 lanes in both directions and no traffic lights. Today the speed limit was usually 115 Kph and driving is very easy. I70 runs through St Louis in sight of the famous arch. We didn't stop as we have been to St Louis before. St L sits on the Mississippi River and once you cross it you are in Illinois. We stopped just a few Ks past St Louis in Fairview Heights, 222 Ks since we left Columbia.

22nd April - Hamilton, Independence and beyond

Rayls with Rob Appell of Man Sewing, Missouri Star. Hamilton Missouri
Rayls with Rob Appell of Man Sewing

Rayls enjoyed her day at Missouri Star Quilt Company. It's actually a group of 13 stores that took her around 5 hours to look through. She seems happy with her "stash".

I took the time to drive 95 Ks to the Harry S Truman Presidential Library in Independence. Harry S. Truman was an American politician who served as the 33rd President of the United States, assuming the office upon the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt during the waning months of World War II. Interesting place, That's my 5th Presidential Library. I also went to the front of the Bush Snr Library in Texas back in 2001 but couldn't go inside. I missed JFK Library because back then I thought it was a library only and not a museum - still annoyed about that.

Rayls says Missouri Star are great shops, lots of very good staff and many many goodies. Whilse shopping in one of the Missouri Star shops she was lucky enough to bump into Rob Appell of Man Sewing fame. He was a lovely talented fellow who kindly chatted and even posed for a photo.

Afterwards we drove 100 K's towards Paducah and ended the night in Higginsville which seemed a nice place to stop for the night.

21st April - Joplin to Cameron

380 Ks today as we drove north from Joplin to Cameron. 

A major thunderstorm in Joplin overnight, lots of flood warnings - got two text messages telling us to get to higher ground.

We did 4 quilt shops as we headed north. Three of them in Missouri and one in Kansas. It was just a travel day to get us close to Hamilton for Rayls to visit Missouri Star Quilt Company tomorrow.

20th April - Little Rock to Joplin

Old Mill, North Little Rock Arkansas
Rayls at the Old Mill

Here I sit at 1:45am in Joplin, Missouri. We were here many years ago and there was a tornado warning, since then much of the place has been wiped out by a tornado. Tonight there is just a major thunderstorm out there with heavy rain.

The 2011 Joplin tornado was a catastrophic EF5-rated multiple-vortex tornado that struck Joplin, Missouri, late in the afternoon of Sunday, May 22, 2011. It was part of a larger late-May tornadoout break and reached a maximum width of nearly 1 mile (1.6 km) during its path through the southern part of the city. 158 people died.

Today we started out by going to an Old Mill near out hotel which is an authentic reproduction of an old water-powered grist mill, this striking structure appears in the opening scene of the classic 1939 film Gone with the Wind and is believed to be the only building remaining from the film. Built in 1933; designed to look old so it would appear as if it was built the 1800s. We were told to watch out for a water moccasin seen in the water just before we arrived. I had no idea what a water moccasin was but I kept a wary eye out for something nasty. A later google showed that a water moccasin is a venomous water snake, good to know!

Rayls at the first Walmart store in Bentonville Arkansas
Rayls at the first Walmart

The mill was a very beautiful spot. Well worth the visit.

Then 240 K's to Mountainburg where I hoped to surprise Rayls with a quilt shop. Boy did this detour take us off the beaten track. We were in the Ozark Forest, beautiful scenery but the roads (if you could call them that) were not so good. We may, or may not, have found the shop. There was no sign and it didn't seem all that welcoming so we drove off onto some more challenging roads and magnificent scenery. 117 K's later we arrived at Bentonville which is the home town of Walmart. We checked out the Walmart Museum which was interesting before doing an extra 97 K's to Joplin, Missouri.

So in short, nice Mill, no quilt shop but nice scenery and an interesting enough museum.

19th April - Memphis to Little Rock

Clinton Presidential Library, Little Rock
Gotta do better than the incumbent

Started the day in Memphis and ended it 220Ks away in Little Rock, Arkansas.

We had brekkie at a Maccas in Memphis and then arrived at Sun Studios a little after 10am. Sun is the birthplace of Rock and Roll and we did a very interesting tour. Inside the studio I stood in the spot where Elvis sang "That's Alright Mama". 

Then onto Beale Street which is a significant location in the history of Memphis, as well as in the history of the blues. pleasant walk, past the shops, restaurants and statue of Elvis. We also cheked out the shop at the Gibson guitar factory.

Just after 1pm we headed over the Mississippi River and into Arkansas. It is 220 K's to Little Rock where we visited the Bill Clinton Presidential Library, I enjoyed that and had my photo taken in the "Oval Office".

Off to a Cracker Barrel for dinner (no lunch today) and then to a Walmart for supplies before finishing the day at a Quality Inn in North Little Rock. Tired after a long day, a very painful sore throat and looking forwards to some sleep. Rayls is OK, seems over her cold and enjoying the holiday.