Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Day 4: Rolla MO - Joplin MO

There were Germans in the pool last night.  I looked this morning for towels, or traces of towels, on the sun loungers but nothing.  Another myth shattered.

First port of call this morning was Stonehenge.
Omnes: O noes! ML Maire haz lost his marbles!
ML Maire: Pish and, moreover, tosh!
No-one knows who they were or what they were doing...
This one is a bit bigger than Spınal Tap's, being a half-size replica and was constructed to demonstrate the cleverness of high pressure water jet cutting.  After which it was time to backtrack about twenty miles east to check out a couple of places that I missed yesterday because the Route 66 road signs erred on the side of non-existence.  First stop:
Cuba si, Yanqui no!
Now when faced with the prospect of something even vaguely akin to the NHS, such as the wossname proposed by Nice Mr Obambi, the average USAnian will retort, usually while dying in agony/penury/both, that "I doan wanna live in Cuba!"  I don't know how the natives of Cuba MO feel about either this or the tyranny of socialised medicine, but that's why1 I'm not Donald Trump.

Then a few miles down the road to Fanning Outpost, which resembles an old-skool heyday-of-Route-66 general store but is:
a) rather more modern, and
b) out of business, and
c) home to this:
A big red rock-eater rocking chair
World's largest, apparently.  Not far from here are also the World's Largest Gift Shop and the World's Largest Outpost Of The Scottish Restaurant2.  I am beginning to see a pattern here, namely that of separating Tourists from their Money.  There's some wik murals too, plus a whole bunch of cats.  Use the link to the pictures for gratuitous cat pics; the murals aren't so good because the lens steamed up and the sun was in the wrong place and ["cont. p94" - Ed.]

Next up, Devil's Elbow.  Which would have been reached a lot sooner had the signs been up to snuff; as it was Emily took me on a scenic twenty-mile loop of mostly gravel roads through the woods before reaching the spot, named for a tight bend in the Big Piney river which caused the devil of log-jams before The Man invented logging trucks.  It has a bridge.
And then to Uranus.
Omnes: He haz! He's really gone teh Bonkers in teh Nut!
ML Maire: Nonse!

The best fudge comes from Uranus...
Uranus also has a BRITISH double-decker bus with an "F" suffix number plate.  No, really.  I have pictures.

I almost missed Gary's Gay Parita, an old gas station and general treasure trove of period tqt3 because the Ratmobile had just issued a message to the effect that the right rear tyre was going soft.  It may be lying4.  Anyway, Gary's is now run by a cheerful South Carolinan named George, on account of Gary and Rita both dying within a few months last year and his being married to their daughter.  Old cars and bicycles and signs and helpful route advice.  Top place.
A literal shedload of tqt
And thus to Joplin, which nestles against the Kansas state line, with frequent trips outside to check the Ratmobile's rubberwear.  Note to self: look up location of local equivalent of Kwik-Fit before packing up Babbage-Engine in the morning.
  1. Lie
  2. Actually a bit further west over in Oklahoma, but I'll be in those parts tomorrow
  3. tqt = top quality tqt
  4. But the evidence suggests otherwise chiz

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