Day 7 - September 29, 1998

Missouri and Into Illinois

Missouri - leaving Joplin, MO (home of somebody famous that nobody in Joplin could remember), the rolling plains of the day before quickly became rolling hills with new and  interesting landscapes at every turn in the road.  Which is our way of leading up to the excuse for today's culture feature or lack thereof.  Today's culture shot was grabbed at the last minute because we were busy with: 

The roads (Missouri Rt 14 - about 90 miles worth and US 160 - about the same mileage) turned out to be some of the best Alfa roads we've ever encountered and we got too absorbed to think of anything else.    Both roads (especially Rt  14) were 60mph, winding, twisting, nicely-banked, up-and-down affairs with seldom any other vehicles present - a real delight!  Alfisti take note!  And the car's a real sweetheart.

And a milestone for the trip - we crossed the mighty Mississippi!  So we should be back within a week!  Gosh - this might end!?

This is where we went today
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Motel 6 (or so), Joplin, MO
We met this old duffer, one of the leading high-mileage bikers today!  He's got over 250,000 miles on his 5-year-old BMW (we thought WE were adventurous).  His comment, though, was that EVERYTHING, except the engine, has been replaced at least once.   Sound familiar, Alfisti?

Southern Missouri, Along Rt 14, MO
Rolling hills, trees, rivers - just a gorgeous country and a gorgeous drive!   John, flush with success from fishing the Arkansas River, snagged another big beauty from beneath the Spring River Bridge.

Mark Twain National Forest, Rt 14, MO
The boys take a noon-time break - bread and cheese and mustard.  During lunch along Rt 14, only 2 cars went by.

Eastern Missouri
Rolling hills turned back into rolling farmland in eastern Missouri as we got closer to the Mississippi River and the end of our Missouri portion.  There were fields of millet, wheat, soybeans, corn, and cotton.

The Mississippi River
The border between Missouri and Illinois (among other states)!  It's all downhill from here!  We pushed on another 80 miles or so and ended up in Harrisburg, IL, a small city (or large town)  in southern Illinois.

Beer(s) of the Day

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DOS TOROS - Dos Toros Brewing Co., St. Paul, MN

Well, we're in lower Illinois!  Whaddya expect?  It's the best we could do so leave us alone!  Not only was this the best we could find in Harrisburg, it was totally skunked!  Best served with, ummmm...    AND, check out the label - what ARE those two bulls doing anyway?   Totally useless beer, but we were thirsty and finished the six-pack.  Then we went out for Mexican food.  And Tecates.  A wasted beer day.

Culture Feature

More outdoor sculpture culture:  It got to be pretty late in the day and we still hadn't run across anything inspiring.   We were beginning to question whether there WAS culture available in southern Illinois, when we came across this treasure.  May you be so inspired to take up an art form yourself. 

Alfa Spotting!

We've been keeping track of all the Alfas that we've encountered on the trip (starting from when we left Alfa Parts Exchange back in Hayward, CA), and will be posting the current total, with model names and years, every day!  Here's the current tally:

Day 1


Day 2


Day 3


Day 4


Day 5


Day 6


(No Alfas, but did see three armadillo roadkills)

Day 7


(No Alfas, but one Fiat X-1/9 parked, but standing on its own wheels)










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