Day 9: May 4, 2016
Rolling On

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When I drove through Ravenden, Arkansas, on a cloudy day in 2009, I stopped and took a properly oriented photo. Today I didn't.

Remember those dips and curves at the west end of the state? There are some more to the east. I believe that, overall, US-62 is one of the best driving roads in the country and Arkansas' contribution has a lot to do with that impression. I guess those road guys do have to straighten up once in a while, though.

I caught this from the corner of my eye in passing and was probably a mile or so down the road before I convinced myself to turn back. The tall flume leading to the overshoot wheel was just too intriguing to pass up. I was a little surprised to learn that the plaque is not about the mill but about a Civil War battle that began near here.

I skipped the motel bagel this morning and figured I'd find an inviting diner along the road. In hindsight there were a couple early on that would have worked but I held out for something better. I held out too long and found myself looking for a place for lunch rather than breakfast. I realized that I would be passing by Lambert's in Sikeston, Missouri, but I didn't intend to stop. I remembered it as a fun place that served huge quantities of tolerable food for decent prices. and that didn't interest me when I first thought about it. Of course, by the time I reached Sikeston at 1:00, that was exactly what interested me.

I was barely seated when someone came by with okra. Okra is just one of the "Pass Arounds" that roving servers regularly offer. The person who brought my menu asked what I wanted to drink so, before I had even ordered, I had picture #2. The pork cutlet sandwich was one of two specials of the day and that sounded pretty good. Seconds before my meal arrived a roll was "throwed" my way and this time I caught it. (Not so in 2009.) Now I had picture #3. No, I didn't eat it all. In fact, I didn't eat all of anything. I did, however, eat too much of everything.

It was pretty much impossible to take pictures of the room I ate in without catching someone looking right at the camera and I feared more than rolls might be thrown my way. Instead I grabbed a picture of the unused adjacent dining room and the momentarily empty entrance (in this case, exit).

Nearing Kentucky, US-60 and US-62 share alignments including those narrow bridges over the Mississippi and Ohio. They are often referred to as the Cairo Bridges because their adjacent ends rest on a point of Illinois near the town of Cairo. Today I was struck by the fact that, although I often use that name myself, I'd never even seen Cairo. Now I have.

Cairo is not the image of prosperity. Here are some signs of better times that caught my eye. Note the Gem Theater beyond the arch. As told here, the statue was erected in 1906 to honor steamboat captain and businessman William Parker Halliday. The Customs House was completed in 1872. Apparently in those days considerable imports made their way this far up the Mississippi before being unloaded and taxed.

Heading south out of Wickliffe, Kentucky, I spotted this cross and then a sign pointing to a scenic overlook. There really is a rather nice view of the point where the Ohio River disappears into the Mississippi. The Fort Jefferson Memorial Cross was erected in 1999 using donations and money raised by selling bricks. The land it is on is owned by the city but is leased out with the stipulation that its use is "nondenominational and nonsectarian". According to Wickcliffe's mayor, the 95 foot cross is legit because "People are free to interpret the cross however they wish." Oy vey!

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