At twenty miles per hour, the windows are down and my seat belt’s off. There’s a wake of dust behind me. For two hours, I’ve had Missouri’s leaf covered Glade Top Trail all to myself. It’s a beautiful road wending narrowly atop the Ozarks. The hills are alive today. It’s peak foliage season and the weather is perfect. I’ve again stumbled upon one of life’s gems.
Seek and ye shall find… Or as Thoreau puts it in one of my favorite quotes, “Rise free from care before dawn, and seek adventures.”
Missouri, to me, is a crossroad. Lately, a disaster crossroad of tornados, ice storms, and hurricane remnants. But it’s also a cultural crossroad. Seems the south and the west meet in Missouri. Cowboy, redneck, and bible belters coexist here. A few of the folks I came to see on this three day trip to Branson – both of whom are Missourians – agreed vehemently with my perception. They were impressed by my one sentence digest of their state.
My ride along Glade Top Trail was a fantastic way to start my morning, but was in sharp contrast to late last night. On very little sleep, I transitioned from beer drinking Cardinal fan in a pub full of Missourians, to a quiet introspective seeker of geographic enlightenment high in the Ozarks. Perhaps the stark transition from left brain to right brain produced the whopping headache which turned into the only negative aspect of my fantastic morning. (OK, perhaps too much pub last night was the culprit.) Regardless, a little head discomfort can’t diminish the great memories I’ve captured in the Show Me state.
I developed a liking for Missouri (and the Cardinals) long before this trip. Now though, having cruised its byways and cheered with its fans, that relationship has been kicked up a notch.