Monday, April 02, 2007

Dallas-Hot Springs '07

I forgot to take note of the odometer when we left for Dallas a week ago Saturday, but according to mileage tables the drive one-way is 930 miles or so. Double that and round it up and I’d say we did about 2,000 driving trip, one that ended yesterday.

It was a trip from late winter into early spring, very roughly from 40 degrees north to 30 degrees. As we left, the trees in northern Illinois were still leafless and the grass still brown, but as we rolled south a green fuzz appeared and then young leaves and by the time we arrived to north Texas it was full-flush spring. A drive to green.

The route south and west took us through St. Louis and into a burg called Rolla, Missouri, for the first night. Look up Rolla in the likes of Roadside America and you’ll find that it’s home to a half-scale replica of Stonehenge. We saw that in 2001, and it isn’t the kind of place you need to see twice in any particular lifetime, so missed was the opportunity to build something interesting.

The second day took us through the mainly Indian lands of eastern Oklahoma and into Dallas, where my brother Jay lives. We stayed at his house for four days and five nights. In Dallas we encountered rain, bad traffic and fire ants, but also time with our relatives, visits to a few new places, and some good meals. It wasn’t exactly all vacation for me, since I continued to write and post articles from Monday to Wednesday, though typically not much in the afternoon.

On Friday we headed out for Arkansas, pausing in that state a day and a half to see a presidential site and the former hot springs resort town of Hot Springs, which is still a town, and still has hot springs, but doesn't really have that resort feel. The last day of the trip included a dash from near Cairo, as far south as Illinois goes, to Schaumburg, not quite as far north as the state goes, but close. Spring was repealed gradually as we headed north.


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