Eagles, an Eiffel, & for Honey Boo Boo, No TrifleWestward Ho, Day 3: Clarksville, TN to Springfield, MO
Our focus again today was trying to move as far west as we could and still get into our hotel at a reasonable hour. Leaving Clarksville a little before 8:00, we drove west on US-79, soon spying some tobacco curing in a roadside field. Since we seem to have a fascination with all types of harvesting, we had to stop for a few photos. We thought it might be a sign of more tobacco fields to come, but saw no more.
|Large tobacco leaves hung out to dry|
|Confederate battery on the Cumberland River|
|Fort Donelson resident eagle|
paused long enough to locate a few letterboxes in the interesting burg of Paris, TN (pop. 10, 156, one of whom is Hank Williams, Jr.). Like so many of its sister cities with the same name, this Paris has embraced an iconic French structure as its city symbol. And it seems every Paris needs its own Eiffel Tower, or a replica. At 60 feet tall, this one is a 1:20 scale model, a bit smaller than the one in Paris, Texas, and without the cowboy hat on top.
Like other namesakes of the famed City of Light, Tennessee's Paris plays up the connection with all kinds of naming references, such as Eiffel Gardens, an assisted living property.
Unable to linger for the "Eye Full of Paris" celebration, we finally parted ways with the old US-79, which was meandering south. Our sights were set on a more northwesterly route, so we picked up a couple of state roads into Martin, where we caught US-45 to the Kentucky line and to US-51/60, which took us up past Wickliffe to the only bridge crossing the river from Kentucky into Missouri.
In an interesting geographical fluke, we drove 0.6 miles through the extreme southern tip of Illinois to get to Missouri. Finally in our launchpad state to the West, we laid down miles across southern Missouri on US-60, a road which we haven't traveled before and which took us all the way to Springfield, tonight's destination.
A jarring feature of this 260-mile stretch of four-lane highway was the overabundance of roadkill. Every mile we saw another 3 or 4 victims or more, and that was just on the westbound lanes. There's no scrimping on variety, either. The highway and shoulders were littered with raccoons, skunks, squirrels, armadillos, foxes, hawks, deer, some unidentified small brown weaselish mammal, and of course the hapless possums.
If Honey Boo Boo's family really does make this complimentary carnivorous delicacy part of their diet, they could fill a freezer the size of their house with the veritable feast along this stretch of US-60. With their earnings from the TLC show, they could probably just fly to Missouri and take the roadkill back to Georgia for free. After all, there's no baggage charge for carrion.
Two animals we did not see were the faithful highway crews that effectively clean roads in the South—crows and vultures. Though vultures inhabit Missouri only in the summer, crows are permanent residents. Maybe they heard about their competitors in McIntyre, Georgia, and have convened there to reclaim their rightful territory.
Tomorrow our goal is Kansas, the first state on this trip that we haven't already visited this year.
- Miles driven: 430
- Letterboxes: F 4, P 1
- Weather: Sunny, 58° to 79°
- States: 4 (TN, KY, IL, MO)
- Gas (premium): $3.58/gallon (Clarksville, TN); $3.53 (Rogersville, MO)
- Eagles at Fort Donelson: 2
- Cannons at Fort Donelson: 43
- U.S. Grant's successful battles before Fort Donelson: 0
- What we avoided near Dover: Land Between the Lakes
- Roadkill on US-60: 1,367 (westbound only)
- Crows and vultures working US-60: 0
- Miles driven: 1,257
- Letterboxes: F 9, P 3
- States: 7 (GA, SC, NC, TN, KY, IL, MO)
- Temperature range: 50° to 80°
- Gas prices (premium): $3.51 to $3.95
- National battlefields: 2
- State parks: 1
More Photos from Today
|River Loop Trail, Fort Donelson National Battlefield|
|Smart phones have given new meaning to jotting things down.|
|Good spot for a letterbox?|
|African American Monument in Paris, TN, cemetery|
|Not likely to cure anyone of smoking|