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Crossing Missouri
Missouri is one of those transition states, which seem to touch on several sections of the nation. Though nominally a Midwestern state, Missouri had traditionally been a part of the South. For a significant part of the nation's history, it had also been part of the frontier, and then of the West. Missouri is a part of the Louisiana Purchase, and had begun as a French possession. It is now securely American. This is traditional American farming, and manufacturing country today. It is also, Kansas City and St. Louis aside, the heart of the Bible Belt. The countryside is rolling and lush, the roads good, and the people friendly. My path took me out on what had formerly been much of Route 66. Sadly, I had little time to really see the place properly. Missouri, at least on this trip, was essentially a long ribbon of highway, dotted with truck stops, rest areas, and the occasional city.

A roadcut shows the underlying bones of the Ozarks. These are old, soft, well forested mountains, as opposed to the dry mountains of the Southwest, or the granite peaks of the Rockies.

This is a pretty disheartening site to a weary traveler. Oh well, there will doubtless be other rest stops along the way. During most of my traveling on Interstate 40, old Route 66 was visible as a thin ribbon of access road, running along side.

To the left and in the photo above, can be seen the twin ribbons of Interstate 40, accompanied by old Route 66. The older road sometimes wanders off on it's own; but always, it comes back to rejoin the Interstate, as if returning after scouting the terrain.

An open Missouri rest stop offers soft drinks, snacks, maps, and assorted guides and reading material. It also offers a bit of a break from hours of driving.

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