Sunday, September 1, 2013

The Land of Flyover: "What I Learned Driving Through the Heartland"

Big Spring, Missouri

Being from the Midwest, I admit it sets my teeth on edge when folks dismissively refer to the "flyover states." Or worse, when people condescend with the title "Middle America."

Kansas City, Missouri

So it's pleasing when I read an article like this from the Frugal Traveler: What I Learned Driving Through the Heartland. And, yes, there is irony in lapping up approval from a New York Times writer simply because he is of the New York Times.

Near Treloar, Missouri

Being a Missouri native, I especially liked his related piece, Music and Moonshine in the Mellow Ozarks.

New Haven, Missouri

I took issue with his statement, "With notable exceptions like the Ozark hills and the picture-perfect main streets of places like Cottonwood Falls, Kan., and Pella, Iowa, the center swath of the United States is not visually riveting — unless you find soy fields mesmerizing."

Warren County, Missouri

Missouri is blessed with thousands of miles of roads that track streams, large and small. Highway 79, following along the Mississippi River, connects the dots between quaint river villages.

Rolling woodlands lift one's spirits in the spring, for their graceful understory of white dogwoods and pink redbuds. State Road U, between Highways 94 and State Road M (Main Street in Warrenton) is a road that goes through such woods.

St. Louis, Missouri

In the fall, sugar maples and other deciduous beings dazzle the eyes with brilliant yellows, oranges, and reds that, when caught in the sunlight, can evoke a spiritual experience.

Overlooking Missouri River flood plain, Jefferson City, Missouri

The lush green of rounded pastures that are dotted with cows satisfy some instinctive esthetic for their shapes and colors. There's a certain bend in the road on Highway 178, between Interstate 70 and Jefferson City, where such pastures make you draw in your breath as they come into view. The same road has a section of ribbon candy road hills that, if you (carefully) drive just fast enough, make you feel like you're on a roller coaster. 

Warren County,  Missouri


No comments: