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Old 05-18-2007, 01:33 PM
 
Location: IN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vegaspilgrim View Post
Let's talk about specific towns: how would you describe the culture of, say... Joplin, Springfield, Branson, Cape Girardeau, KC, St Joseph, Columbia, Jefferson City, Hannibal, St Louis? Are certain of these towns grouped together different, or is every single one just as midwest as the others?
Joplin, Springfield, Branson, and Cape Girardeau are what I would consider part of the mid-south. KC, St. Joseph, Columbia, Jefferson City, Hannibal, and St. Louis fit more into the Midwest category, but these towns are located on the western and southwest edge of the Midwest core.
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Old 05-18-2007, 02:04 PM
 
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Default Big 10

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Originally Posted by Frank the Tank View Post
Also, look at college conferences:
Big Ten = Midwest
Big 12 = Plains (other than Missouri and Iowa State)
Big Ten = Midwest (other than Penn State!)
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Old 05-18-2007, 04:15 PM
 
Location: St. Louis, MO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plains10 View Post
Joplin, Springfield, Branson, and Cape Girardeau are what I would consider part of the mid-south. KC, St. Joseph, Columbia, Jefferson City, Hannibal, and St. Louis fit more into the Midwest category, but these towns are located on the western and southwest edge of the Midwest core.
I guess when you put it that way Plains10, I agree with you. Missouri is solidly Midwestern basically in its Northern half I think by today's standards. South of U.S. 50, as is the case with Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio begins a gradual transition from Midwestern to Southern which basically I would argue takes place over about 100 miles. The state does not really take on a true Southern persona until you are far south into Southern Missouri, around basically the cities you described, maybe the surrounding areas slightly north of there. Missouri to me does not take on a true Southern persona until maybe around Cape Gireardeau or approximately south of there...this is a rough estimation. You don't hear true Southern accents and don't see elements like sweet tea start appearing until you are really really far South into Missouri. Thus to me it really just makes a whole lot more sense to group Missouri in with the rest of the lower Midwestern states. The poverty-stricken counties may be more numerous. While that may make the numbers similar to the rural South, I think landscape, as we both said our horribly misguided governor, and other circumstances may be more to blame for this than Southern influence (i.e. Washington County, like in real upper southeast Missouri, almost east central Missouri...I know people from there and they don't seem Southern at all to me.)Of course, many of the counties you also pointed out (Reynolds County, Pemiscot County)..the people in there are definitely Southern that is where you find the sweet tea in Missouri and that is where I would agree the real rural South starts, approximately around where the Ohio River flows into the Mississippi (Mason-Dixon line). Southern Missouri becomes more Southern and less Midwestern the further south you go, but the Southern element doesn't really overpower the Midwestern one until you're really down there. I have been up and down all of I-55 in Missouri at least 20 times already so I know what I'm talking about likely better than anyone on here unless they have done the same drive. Southwest Missouri is not the same as Southeast Missouri. Southwest Missouri seems more like where the Plains and the South and Ozarks all meet. My father has said time again, that as a resident there of 25 years growing up, and me having heard it from the people who grew up with him, Joplin is kind of like the southwest and the south and the plains...it's located at the tri-state area...KAnsas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas, and honestly it seems to retain characteristics from all those states. Sweet tea is present there now, but according to my dad apparently 20 years ago it was not. Apparently enough people from Arkansas or the South moved there I guess that it made up there eventually. It is not Midwestern, however, I will agree on that.

Last edited by ajf131; 05-18-2007 at 05:50 PM..
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Old 05-18-2007, 09:10 PM
 
Location: IN
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Post What do you think?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajf131 View Post
I guess when you put it that way Plains10, I agree with you. Missouri is solidly Midwestern basically in its Northern half I think by today's standards. South of U.S. 50, as is the case with Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio begins a gradual transition from Midwestern to Southern which basically I would argue takes place over about 100 miles. The state does not really take on a true Southern persona until you are far south into Southern Missouri, around basically the cities you described, maybe the surrounding areas slightly north of there. Missouri to me does not take on a true Southern persona until maybe around Cape Gireardeau or approximately south of there...this is a rough estimation. You don't hear true Southern accents and don't see elements like sweet tea start appearing until you are really really far South into Missouri. Thus to me it really just makes a whole lot more sense to group Missouri in with the rest of the lower Midwestern states. The poverty-stricken counties may be more numerous. While that may make the numbers similar to the rural South, I think landscape, as we both said our horribly misguided governor, and other circumstances may be more to blame for this than Southern influence (i.e. Washington County, like in real upper southeast Missouri, almost east central Missouri...I know people from there and they don't seem Southern at all to me.)Of course, many of the counties you also pointed out (Reynolds County, Pemiscot County)..the people in there are definitely Southern that is where you find the sweet tea in Missouri and that is where I would agree the real rural South starts, approximately around where the Ohio River flows into the Mississippi (Mason-Dixon line). Southern Missouri becomes more Southern and less Midwestern the further south you go, but the Southern element doesn't really overpower the Midwestern one until you're really down there. I have been up and down all of I-55 in Missouri at least 20 times already so I know what I'm talking about likely better than anyone on here unless they have done the same drive. Southwest Missouri is not the same as Southeast Missouri. Southwest Missouri seems more like where the Plains and the South and Ozarks all meet. My father has said time again, that as a resident there of 25 years growing up, and me having heard it from the people who grew up with him, Joplin is kind of like the southwest and the south and the plains...it's located at the tri-state area...KAnsas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas, and honestly it seems to retain characteristics from all those states. Sweet tea is present there now, but according to my dad apparently 20 years ago it was not. Apparently enough people from Arkansas or the South moved there I guess that it made up there eventually. It is not Midwestern, however, I will agree on that.
Yes, I agree with your assesment for the most part. I have not been to all portions of southern and southeast Missouri so I will trust your opinions regarding that area. I would also like to know what you think regarding why 15 out of the 25 counties with poverty rates above 17% have increasing population. it really does not make sense that Jasper County would increase in population by 7.5% when the non-farm employment rapidly decreased and the poverty rate increased as well. Also, many rural Missouri counties have increasing populations when their is very little in the way of non-farm employment.
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Old 05-18-2007, 09:39 PM
 
Location: St. Louis, MO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plains10 View Post
Yes, I agree with your assesment for the most part. I have not been to all portions of southern and southeast Missouri so I will trust your opinions regarding that area. I would also like to know what you think regarding why 15 out of the 25 counties with poverty rates above 17% have increasing population. it really does not make sense that Jasper County would increase in population by 7.5% when the non-farm employment rapidly decreased and the poverty rate increased as well. Also, many rural Missouri counties have increasing populations when their is very little in the way of non-farm employment.
I guess maybe people from Arkansas could've crossed the border possibly into Jasper County? I just had a long talk with my father about this actually. For Joplin, I think i may be to give more of what his opinion is. He thinks Joplin is kind of like a mix of southwestern and southern. I agree it does not meet the definition of Midwestern. Sweet tea actually came up to Joplin I think 20 years ago or so...it's been gradually making its way north everywhere. Honestly that would be ok with me because I love sweet tea to death. My prediction is that in twenty years maybe it will have made its way further north through all the lower Midwest states (Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio) than it is now. it's time this country became more integrated. It'd be nice to have a little bit of everything from every part of the U.S. everywhere you go at least in terms of food. ANYWAYS...BACK TO THE RELEVANT STUFF. For the counties that are involved in poverty....Plains10 I honestly have to say that you are correct about many of the counties you list as being high in poverty. Many of them seem to be heavily concentrated in the southeastern part of the state, around where Missouri touches the southern states of Kentucky, Tennessee, and Arkansas. THere I would agree that yes those patterns are indicative of them being more like the rural South. In counties like Pemiscot county which actually skirts the Mason-Dixon or is just below it.....the land you are right is flat and honestly look like northeastern Arkansas and that is the true South down there. With counties like Washington County, I think the landscape has a lot to do with it. You have the Ozark foothills kind of mixing in with cornfields...the farms along I-55 tend to be placed like in between some of the cliffs...it honestly looks like Appalachia crossed with the Midwest...it's doesn't look like Kentucky or Tennessee because the mountains are MUCH bigger...MUCH bigger. My point...generally in mountainous areas like you said there are less crops. our political pattern is more conservative. To be honest, I think the biggest reason for poverty has to do with Missouri's government. We already agreed that Matt Blunt has cut funds for education, essentially taken Bush's approach to taxes, if that's how it works, maybe it has to do with Bush...last time I checked there were state taxes. I think it all boils down to landscape, education, and government (LEG) and for the counties of Southeast Missouri it does have to do with i agree the rural South, but mainly I'd argue also it has to do with the LEG. Those three factors i would imagine affect any state's level of poverty. Right now Blunt and Bush combined do the impoverished no favors in Missouri education and government. it's a bunch of factors and there are probably even more than I can think of, but those are the big ones I'd imagine. A new governor potentially could get the level of these counties down and make Missouri better as a whole state. Missouri already seems to have taken a positive step by electing Claire McCaskill to the Senate to replace Jim Talent, who I have met in person and despise. Maybe if the Democrats regain control of Missouri or if we get a governor not so loyal to Bush the state's situation could improve. Blunt has not acted in the state's interest generally I think the whole time he's been in office. Kinda makes sense given he comes from Springfield, a city which has more in common with Arkansas than Missouri and that he's from a rural area, so that essentially means bad news for St. Louis and Kansas City.
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Old 05-18-2007, 09:52 PM
 
Location: St. Louis, MO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plains10 View Post
Yes, I agree with your assesment for the most part. I have not been to all portions of southern and southeast Missouri so I will trust your opinions regarding that area. I would also like to know what you think regarding why 15 out of the 25 counties with poverty rates above 17% have increasing population. it really does not make sense that Jasper County would increase in population by 7.5% when the non-farm employment rapidly decreased and the poverty rate increased as well. Also, many rural Missouri counties have increasing populations when their is very little in the way of non-farm employment.
It could be that Missouri is also gaining in population because of the fact it is smack double in the middle of the U.S. I would imagine that rural Missouri, no matter how poor some of its, would beat rural Arkansas anyday so maybe people moved up from there? I mean as a state where the geographic center of the population resides, it actually might not surprise me that the rural areas could be growing population. I'd imagine that a lot of people would like to be decently centrally located...I'm just speculating I have no clue honestly, it seems quite odd to me as well. maybe it's cheaper for some people to live in the rural areas with the state of the economy these days....I honestly couldn't say what drives people's motives to do it...we'd have to ask them all lol. if you have a better idea than me, do tell.
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Old 05-18-2007, 10:21 PM
 
Location: IN
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Post I agree

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajf131 View Post
I guess maybe people from Arkansas could've crossed the border possibly into Jasper County? I just had a long talk with my father about this actually. For Joplin, I think i may be to give more of what his opinion is. He thinks Joplin is kind of like a mix of southwestern and southern. I agree it does not meet the definition of Midwestern. Sweet tea actually came up to Joplin I think 20 years ago or so...it's been gradually making its way north everywhere. Honestly that would be ok with me because I love sweet tea to death. My prediction is that in twenty years maybe it will have made its way further north through all the lower Midwest states (Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio) than it is now. it's time this country became more integrated. It'd be nice to have a little bit of everything from every part of the U.S. everywhere you go at least in terms of food. ANYWAYS...BACK TO THE RELEVANT STUFF. For the counties that are involved in poverty....Plains10 I honestly have to say that you are correct about many of the counties you list as being high in poverty. Many of them seem to be heavily concentrated in the southeastern part of the state, around where Missouri touches the southern states of Kentucky, Tennessee, and Arkansas. THere I would agree that yes those patterns are indicative of them being more like the rural South. In counties like Pemiscot county which actually skirts the Mason-Dixon or is just below it.....the land you are right is flat and honestly look like northeastern Arkansas and that is the true South down there. With counties like Washington County, I think the landscape has a lot to do with it. You have the Ozark foothills kind of mixing in with cornfields...the farms along I-55 tend to be placed like in between some of the cliffs...it honestly looks like Appalachia crossed with the Midwest...it's doesn't look like Kentucky or Tennessee because the mountains are MUCH bigger...MUCH bigger. My point...generally in mountainous areas like you said there are less crops. our political pattern is more conservative. To be honest, I think the biggest reason for poverty has to do with Missouri's government. We already agreed that Matt Blunt has cut funds for education, essentially taken Bush's approach to taxes, if that's how it works, maybe it has to do with Bush...last time I checked there were state taxes. I think it all boils down to landscape, education, and government (LEG) and for the counties of Southeast Missouri it does have to do with i agree the rural South, but mainly I'd argue also it has to do with the LEG. Those three factors i would imagine affect any state's level of poverty. Right now Blunt and Bush combined do the impoverished no favors in Missouri education and government. it's a bunch of factors and there are probably even more than I can think of, but those are the big ones I'd imagine. A new governor potentially could get the level of these counties down and make Missouri better as a whole state. Missouri already seems to have taken a positive step by electing Claire McCaskill to the Senate to replace Jim Talent, who I have met in person and despise. Maybe if the Democrats regain control of Missouri or if we get a governor not so loyal to Bush the state's situation could improve. Blunt has not acted in the state's interest generally I think the whole time he's been in office. Kinda makes sense given he comes from Springfield, a city which has more in common with Arkansas than Missouri and that he's from a rural area, so that essentially means bad news for St. Louis and Kansas City.
Yes, I hope that Missouri gets a new governor that is more focused on economic development in rural counties instead of focusing all of the economic development efforts in the urban areas. It would make sense to try to develop more non-farm jobs in rural counties considering many people are deciding to stay there instead of moving to a larger urban area. Local government and education in rural counties also has an impact as well. Either the local government is not concentrating on economic development or the local education needs some fine-tuning. Either way, more good paying non-farm jobs are needed in many areas of southeast, southern, and northern Missouri as well. I agree also that the local topography of certain rural counties does make a huge difference concerning the amount of non-farm jobs and economic development. Also, many of these counties try to depend on some tourism revenue because they are located in the Mark Twain National Forest, which is federal land. Another two counties that have increasing levels of poverty are Wright and Texas counties. These two counties now have poverty rates over 20%, which is an increase from the last census. These two counties both have rugged terrain, most of the land in slope, portions of the counties are included in the Mark Twain National Forest as well. Generally speaking the rural couties in southern Missouri that lack the most jobs tend to be in areas with rugged terrain, few farms, and good portions of the land being designated as a National Forest. I would say that more jobs could be created by an expansion of tourism in the area, given the fact that many rivers, lakes, and camping sites exist in the area in close proximity to National Forest land. Another interesting thing I have noticed is that the road patterns in southern Missouri are actually similar to those found in eastern portions of Kentucky because they have to navigate around steep terrain changes in the landscape. If you look at an old atlas the similarties are quite interesting.
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Old 05-18-2007, 10:32 PM
 
Location: IN
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Post A trip to southern Missouri could be the answer!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajf131 View Post
It could be that Missouri is also gaining in population because of the fact it is smack double in the middle of the U.S. I would imagine that rural Missouri, no matter how poor some of its, would beat rural Arkansas anyday so maybe people moved up from there? I mean as a state where the geographic center of the population resides, it actually might not surprise me that the rural areas could be growing population. I'd imagine that a lot of people would like to be decently centrally located...I'm just speculating I have no clue honestly, it seems quite odd to me as well. maybe it's cheaper for some people to live in the rural areas with the state of the economy these days....I honestly couldn't say what drives people's motives to do it...we'd have to ask them all lol. if you have a better idea than me, do tell.
That gives me a good idea. Maybe I do need to make a road trip down to southern and southeast Missouri to give myself a more in-depth view of the area, and talk with some of the people who live there. I want to concentrate on rural counties with increasing populations that have high levels of poverty to see if I can find some answers. This increase in population in rural areas with few jobs definitely does not happen in the Great Plains. If you track the population changes in the rural plains you will usually find that as soon as non-farm empolyment decreases substantially, the population also quickly decreases as well. This is especially true in any county in the rural Great Plains region. A good example would be Sherman County Kansas. This county includes the town of Goodland, which is located along I-70. The population decline of Sherman County was -11.5% between the years 2000-2006. This correlates well with the -11.6% decline in total non-farm employment within the county.
The more centralized location of Missouri may be an advantage to some people who relocate there. I also think that the smaller more isolated rural counties also appeal a little more to retired people who wish to relocate there? I am not quite sure on this last detail, though.
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Old 05-19-2007, 12:07 AM
 
Location: St. Louis, MO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plains10 View Post
That gives me a good idea. Maybe I do need to make a road trip down to southern and southeast Missouri to give myself a more in-depth view of the area, and talk with some of the people who live there. I want to concentrate on rural counties with increasing populations that have high levels of poverty to see if I can find some answers. This increase in population in rural areas with few jobs definitely does not happen in the Great Plains. If you track the population changes in the rural plains you will usually find that as soon as non-farm empolyment decreases substantially, the population also quickly decreases as well. This is especially true in any county in the rural Great Plains region. A good example would be Sherman County Kansas. This county includes the town of Goodland, which is located along I-70. The population decline of Sherman County was -11.5% between the years 2000-2006. This correlates well with the -11.6% decline in total non-farm employment within the county.
The more centralized location of Missouri may be an advantage to some people who relocate there. I also think that the smaller more isolated rural counties also appeal a little more to retired people who wish to relocate there? I am not quite sure on this last detail, though.
Go for it. I actually feel compelled to head back down there myself as well. i was actually in Perryville, Missouri just the other day which is basically southeast central Missouri right off I-55 and something like 30 miles north of Cape Girardeau and I believe and 60 or 70 miles south of St. Louis. It may have been one of the counties in question. It's really not quite Midwestern or southern there, hard to tell, not sure, accents were perfectly Midwestern, landscape seemed to be really crossed between big grassy hilly plains/cornfields mixed in with these big glacier-like cliffs, arguable i guess, whatever it is I won't contest, just giving you my two cents worth. It would not surprise me actually if certain roads of Southern Missouri bore similar patterns to those of Eastern Kentucky, given that much of Southern Missouri is covered by mountainous terrain as is Eastern Kentucky, even though the mountainos terrains themselves look noticeably different to me. This is not a Midwest-South argument here, just thought you might be intrigued by it. A lot of times I look to the trees to tell me about what region of the country I'm in. With Missouri throughout the mountain ranges the only trees i generally see are trees found in Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio, or trees that are common to much of the U.S. including both the Midwest and the South. I have never seen southern magnolias in Missouri (I think)...there are no Southern pine trees. However, if global warming continues, it is predicted that the oak and hickory trees of Missouri which are seen in neighboring illinois along with spruce trees could give way to more southern type trees. Also in eastern Kentucky from what I have seen the mountains and hills dwarf the ones of Southern Missouri...eastern Kentucky is Appalachia. Many will tell you the Ozark terrain is not really mountainous at all since it is so small compared to virtually every other mountain range in the U.S. But in any case, despite this differences, yes it actually does not surprise me that there are interesting similarities, especially given the similarities in latitude as well. There are some similarities but also some differences. VEry interesting stuff. Well if I'm unable to get down to Southern Missouri before you, let me know what some of the locals there tell you. If you want a tip from me I'd recommend going to Sikeston, Missouri, located in Pemiscot County or one of the counties in rural poverty...assuming it's gaining in area. it is at the intersection of I-55 and U.S. 62. there is a cafe called Lambert's Cafe and it has Southern-style cooking, which I absolutely love. this is like really far down-state...almost into the boot-heel. Even if it is not a county worth checking out, it lies in the region you're heading to and is basically posted on I-55 south about 83 miles north of where it is located...so it's famous. I met a guy from the bootheel and he tells me the place is known throughout that part of Missouri. it's great, and it's actually got some attractive waitresses, assuming you are male....lol....whether you are or not, you honestly haven't said, doesn't matter....male or female, it must be checked out. If you love sweet tea go for it. And i guess let me know what you find. i'll actually do some researching of my own given I've got I-44 and I-55 to take me to some of the counties in question. Also, I might be able to help give good directions depending on where you decide to go. I guess if you decide to do the Eastern half of the state, which I'm probably more familiar with than you route-wise, just ask.

Last edited by ajf131; 05-19-2007 at 12:32 AM..
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Old 05-19-2007, 12:17 PM
 
Location: IN
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Smile Road Trip

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajf131 View Post
Go for it. I actually feel compelled to head back down there myself as well. i was actually in Perryville, Missouri just the other day which is basically southeast central Missouri right off I-55 and something like 30 miles north of Cape Girardeau and I believe and 60 or 70 miles south of St. Louis. It may have been one of the counties in question. It's really not quite Midwestern or southern there, hard to tell, not sure, accents were perfectly Midwestern, landscape seemed to be really crossed between big grassy hilly plains/cornfields mixed in with these big glacier-like cliffs, arguable i guess, whatever it is I won't contest, just giving you my two cents worth. It would not surprise me actually if certain roads of Southern Missouri bore similar patterns to those of Eastern Kentucky, given that much of Southern Missouri is covered by mountainous terrain as is Eastern Kentucky, even though the mountainos terrains themselves look noticeably different to me. This is not a Midwest-South argument here, just thought you might be intrigued by it. A lot of times I look to the trees to tell me about what region of the country I'm in. With Missouri throughout the mountain ranges the only trees i generally see are trees found in Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio, or trees that are common to much of the U.S. including both the Midwest and the South. I have never seen southern magnolias in Missouri (I think)...there are no Southern pine trees. However, if global warming continues, it is predicted that the oak and hickory trees of Missouri which are seen in neighboring illinois along with spruce trees could give way to more southern type trees. Also in eastern Kentucky from what I have seen the mountains and hills dwarf the ones of Southern Missouri...eastern Kentucky is Appalachia. Many will tell you the Ozark terrain is not really mountainous at all since it is so small compared to virtually every other mountain range in the U.S. But in any case, despite this differences, yes it actually does not surprise me that there are interesting similarities, especially given the similarities in latitude as well. There are some similarities but also some differences. VEry interesting stuff. Well if I'm unable to get down to Southern Missouri before you, let me know what some of the locals there tell you. If you want a tip from me I'd recommend going to Sikeston, Missouri, located in Pemiscot County or one of the counties in rural poverty...assuming it's gaining in area. it is at the intersection of I-55 and U.S. 62. there is a cafe called Lambert's Cafe and it has Southern-style cooking, which I absolutely love. this is like really far down-state...almost into the boot-heel. Even if it is not a county worth checking out, it lies in the region you're heading to and is basically posted on I-55 south about 83 miles north of where it is located...so it's famous. I met a guy from the bootheel and he tells me the place is known throughout that part of Missouri. it's great, and it's actually got some attractive waitresses, assuming you are male....lol....whether you are or not, you honestly haven't said, doesn't matter....male or female, it must be checked out. If you love sweet tea go for it. And i guess let me know what you find. i'll actually do some researching of my own given I've got I-44 and I-55 to take me to some of the counties in question. Also, I might be able to help give good directions depending on where you decide to go. I guess if you decide to do the Eastern half of the state, which I'm probably more familiar with than you route-wise, just ask.
Unfortunately, I will not be able to make a trip to rural Missouri for quite awhile. Maybe in late summer or early fall I will have a chance to study some of those rural counties in-depth. Extreme southeast Missouri might be a little too far out for me to go. Some of the counties that I might travel to when I get a chance would include: Wright, Texas, Ozark, Shannon, Hickory, St. Clair, Howell, Oregon, Cedar, Douglas, Wayne and Ripley. If I have extra time I will travel and explore the counties in the bootheel in the southeast corner.

I believe you said you are located in the STL metro? Here are the names of the county seats in the bootheel and surrounding areas of southeast Missouri if you have any extra time to explore that area.
The county seats are:
Pemiscot- Caruthersville
Dunklin- Kennett
New Madrid- New Madrid
Butler- Poplar Bluff
Mississippi- Charleston
Wayne- Greenville
Ripley- Doniphan
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