I haven't blogged in a few days because we have mainly been on the road with just a few fun stops.
After getting off the train in Durango we drove a few miles east and spent the night in Pagosa Springs, Colorado. Soon after we left the next morning we left the Rockies behind. In northeastern New Mexico we stopped at Capulin National Monument. It is an extinct cinder cone volcano. We drove up the road almost to the top and then did the hike around the rim.The view from the top was fantastic.
Capulin was pretty much the last mountain we saw as we drove towards Guymon, Oklahoma to spend the night, Guymon is in the panhandle of Oklahoma.
On Monday we drove from Guymon across the great plains to Joplin, Missouri. Joplin is in the southwestern corner of Missouri and is green and wooded. On May 22 last year an enormous tornado hit Joplin killing 160 people. We didn't see the tornado damage in Joplin but we did see some tornado damage along the road during the day.
Tuesday morning we visited the George Washington Carver National Monument just south of Joplin. The farm where Carver grew up is covered with trees, there is a stream running through it and there were birds and butterflies everywhere. It is easy to understand why he loved nature. The visitor center told the story of how Carver was born a slave, never knew his father, lost his mother early on and then went on to be a world famous scientist. Of course the fact that he graduated from my alma matter, Iowa State University is a source of pride to me. We learned a lot about his life and his many discoveries It was a cool, bright morning and we really enjoyed walking the nature trail.
From Joplin we drove through the Ozarks to Branson, Missouri which is only 112 miles. The scenery was hilly and green. We had a nice picnic lunch just outside of Branson
Just recently a tornado also hit Branson. There was some very impressive damage in Branson. It must have been very scary when the tornado went through. One of hte buildings hit was the Hilton. Lots of windows were blown out and are now boarded up and the Hilton is closed.
From Branson we drove to Memphis Tennessee where we spent the night with my sister lizabeth and her daughter katherine.. We had a wonderful visit and then left for Nashville yesterday.
We visited Nashville on our Honeymoon so it is fun to be back 9 years later. We went out honky tonking last night. That is visiting the bars down town to listen to the music. It was a much fun as I remembered. I don't know anywhere else in the world that you can hear so much great music. We must have visited 6 or 8 bars in two blocks and they each had great bands playing for tips. And we certainly didn't visit every bar! We also had a great dinner at a restaurant from our last visit because Duke remembered the meat loaf. It was a great as we remembered