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Old 02-24-2012, 03:07 PM
 
Location: State of Superior
8,629 posts, read 14,071,879 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazee Cat Lady View Post
There are so many great little towns in America!
If you drive through Kentucky check out Midway, Versailles and Wilmore.
They are great!
If you go through Indiana Jasper and Ferdinand are pretty cool - Holland, Michigan is nice too -
and Ann Arbor is nice for a larger town.
You can forget Holland....considering what we all have been talking about. For that matter also Ann Arbor even though it is a great city.
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Old 02-26-2012, 07:02 AM
 
Location: SW MO
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For a good read you might want to get a copy of Blue Highways by William Least Heat Moon. He took a trip much like you're planning back in 1982 and wrote about the adventure.

Since you're planning on visiting AR you may want to go north a bit into MO and follow some of the old Route 66 - the Mother Road. Portions of it are still in tact with many of the old stops and motels still standing. It's nostalgic for me since I traveled it several times with my parents back in the 50s and early 60s.

Visiting the Ozarks (they're not mountains, just the Ozarks or Aux Arcs) plan on checking out Eureka Springs and Jasper, both in AR. By the way, about 2/3 of the Ozarks are in MO. We live in the midst of them. Eureka Springs is a Victorian town well preserved and Jasper will give you a real feel for a typical Ozarks village - population about 485. Eat at the Ozarks Cafe; continuously in business since 1909. Have their half pound Ozarks Burger for $3.85.

Enjoy the trip when you get to it. Having been in and through 34 states and lived in nine of them I'm a great believer in seeing America first.
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Old 02-26-2012, 09:50 AM
 
Location: State of Superior
8,629 posts, read 14,071,879 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
For a good read you might want to get a copy of Blue Highways by William Least Heat Moon. He took a trip much like you're planning back in 1982 and wrote about the adventure.

Since you're planning on visiting AR you may want to go north a bit into MO and follow some of the old Route 66 - the Mother Road. Portions of it are still in tact with many of the old stops and motels still standing. It's nostalgic for me since I traveled it several times with my parents back in the 50s and early 60s.

Visiting the Ozarks (they're not mountains, just the Ozarks or Aux Arcs) plan on checking out Eureka Springs and Jasper, both in AR. By the way, about 2/3 of the Ozarks are in MO. We live in the midst of them. Eureka Springs is a Victorian town well preserved and Jasper will give you a real feel for a typical Ozarks village - population about 485. Eat at the Ozarks Cafe; continuously in business since 1909. Have their half pound Ozarks Burger for $3.85.

Enjoy the trip when you get to it. Having been in and through 34 states and lived in nine of them I'm a great believer in seeing America first.
We have a lot in common, in many ways depending on the perspective. The " Blue Highways" was a great read. It helped me along at times when I got weary of what was over just one more hill, and one more highway. You should try " Road Food" also, they can go hand in hand, we all have to eat.Not to be bragging, but my own book " Open Road" might tickle a bone or two as well. Sorry, but the Ozarks ARE mountains, just worn down,as are a lot of the Appalachians, and others like the Huron Mountains in Michigan where I live. ... The" Mother Road" ? maybe,... however the Lincoln Highway trumps them all ( predates, 1913 , and first paved) for many other reasons including it is all across our land,and does not just start in Chicago.
Personally, I would pick Mena if I were to be rooted in the Ozarks, fewer tourists also.
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Old 02-26-2012, 11:28 AM
 
Location: SW MO
23,605 posts, read 31,963,310 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darstar View Post
We have a lot in common, in many ways depending on the perspective. The " Blue Highways" was a great read. It helped me along at times when I got weary of what was over just one more hill, and one more highway. You should try " Road Food" also, they can go hand in hand, we all have to eat.Not to be bragging, but my own book " Open Road" might tickle a bone or two as well. Sorry, but the Ozarks ARE mountains, just worn down,as are a lot of the Appalachians, and others like the Huron Mountains in Michigan where I live. ... The" Mother Road" ? maybe,... however the Lincoln Highway trumps them all ( predates, 1913 , and first paved) for many other reasons including it is all across our land,and does not just start in Chicago.
Personally, I would pick Mena if I were to be rooted in the Ozarks, fewer tourists also.
Nope! They're not. The Ozarks are a plateau that's stood the ravage of water and time for an age. Our hills didn't grow up. Our valleys grow down. The Ouachita Mountains of west central AR and southeast OK connect to the Ozarks are were actually once part of the Appalachian Mountains. The Ozarks also surround the St. Francois Mountains in SE AR.

Thousand of streams, rivers and springs have and continue to cut through the Ozarks which, along with their karst topography, gives them their rugged uniqueness.

PS. Mena is nice but much larger than we wanted and too far SE. We're perfectly happy located on the shore of a large lake and off the beaten tourist paths.
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Old 02-26-2012, 12:08 PM
 
Location: Lexington, Kentucky
7,814 posts, read 4,262,580 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darstar View Post
You can forget Holland....considering what we all have been talking about. For that matter also Ann Arbor even though it is a great city.
Well, even if you all think it is too "touristy" it is one of my favorite small towns ever, with the tulips and windmills, and it has some of those unspoiled
views of the lake that I have ever seen, and such pristine beaches.
It's been a few years since I last visited though.
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Old 02-26-2012, 01:47 PM
 
Location: State of Superior
8,629 posts, read 14,071,879 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
Nope! They're not. The Ozarks are a plateau that's stood the ravage of water and time for an age. Our hills didn't grow up. Our valleys grow down. The Ouachita Mountains of west central AR and southeast OK connect to the Ozarks are were actually once part of the Appalachian Mountains. The Ozarks also surround the St. Francois Mountains in SE AR.

Thousand of streams, rivers and springs have and continue to cut through the Ozarks which, along with their karst topography, gives them their rugged uniqueness.

PS. Mena is nice but much larger than we wanted and too far SE. We're perfectly happy located on the shore of a large lake and off the beaten tourist paths.
So, I guess that ( Mena) would put you in the Mountains you dislike? Or are you saying the Ozarks are like foothills, sort of like the Piedmont in NC ? The Mena area reminds me much more like the Appalachians where I spent 18 years @ 4,000 ft. If you are from Iowa or Neb. anything with a hump looks like a mountain. Just like up here, who ever heard of mountains in Michigan ? The Hurons are older and were once higher than the Himalayas even though I live on top of one and its only 1300 ft... I seem to recall a " hill" in eastern OK. that is the highest point in Eastern OK. somewhere around Poteau I think.. another thing then why are ( where you live) the rolling hills called the Ozark Mountains, along with the Boston Mtns.? I have ex relatives who winter in your town for many years, some may live there year round. I always thought it was a very touristy place....
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Old 02-26-2012, 03:57 PM
 
Location: SW MO
23,605 posts, read 31,963,310 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darstar View Post
So, I guess that ( Mena) would put you in the Mountains you dislike? Or are you saying the Ozarks are like foothills, sort of like the Piedmont in NC ? The Mena area reminds me much more like the Appalachians where I spent 18 years @ 4,000 ft. If you are from Iowa or Neb. anything with a hump looks like a mountain. Just like up here, who ever heard of mountains in Michigan ? The Hurons are older and were once higher than the Himalayas even though I live on top of one and its only 1300 ft... I seem to recall a " hill" in eastern OK. that is the highest point in Eastern OK. somewhere around Poteau I think.. another thing then why are ( where you live) the rolling hills called the Ozark Mountains, along with the Boston Mtns.? I have ex relatives who winter in your town for many years, some may live there year round. I always thought it was a very touristy place....
I don't dislike the mountains at all. But we love the Ozarks. For us there's an allure and a draw to them and moving here was like coming home. People mistakingly refer to the "Ozark Mountains" because they aren't. But that also begs the question of whether the region is Ozark or the Ozarks. Is the Ozark is or are the Ozarks are? The region encompasses the upper third of NW AR, two thirds of SW MO and a slice of SE OK. Our "town" from which we get our mailing address because that's where the rural post office happens to be actually straddles the MO-AR border and is nine miles from us. The population is split with 136 on the MO side and 29 on the AR side. Hardly a tourist draw. Besides the post office there are two liquor stores and a greasy spoon plus five churches. We have to travel about 20 miles to get to any real shopping, including grocery. Other shopping, the hospital and other amenities are a bit further and the closest "real" cities are 40 miles to our south or 60 miles to our north.

But we do have the lake with it's 745 mile shoreline as well as two others which is why it's known as the Tri-Lakes area. However, our home and small community are well-insulated from the tourists as we're off the beaten track.
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Old 02-26-2012, 04:18 PM
 
Location: SW Missouri
15,853 posts, read 30,796,656 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PNWdrifter View Post
I don't wanna stay in any tourist traps and I don't wanna change any small town ways. As a matter of fact I can't stand the city.
It is a bitter irony that some small towns who have been "bypassed" by the interstate use tourism as a means of revenue. Most of the little towns along Route 66 have parlayed their historical image into income by marketing to the historical tourist. Therefore, visiting small town America might result in things being a little more "touristy" than you would like.

If you get to the midwest you might want to visit some of the Route 66 towns. The "Mother Road" started in Chicago and ended in Los Angeles. Springfield, Missouri as well as Joplin were on the route and many cute, interesting little towns in Oklahoma as well. I recall one time we were in Tucumcari, New Mexico and stayed at the "Blue Swallow" hotel which was a real experience.

In short, you shouldn't rule out a town simply because of it's reputation as a "tourist trap". Or you are going to miss out on a lot of interesting and fun experiences.

20yrsinBranson
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Old 02-29-2012, 02:51 AM
 
Location: portland for now
83 posts, read 136,228 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 20yrsinBranson View Post
It is a bitter irony that some small towns who have been "bypassed" by the interstate use tourism as a means of revenue. Most of the little towns along Route 66 have parlayed their historical image into income by marketing to the historical tourist. Therefore, visiting small town America might result in things being a little more "touristy" than you would like.

If you get to the midwest you might want to visit some of the Route 66 towns. The "Mother Road" started in Chicago and ended in Los Angeles. Springfield, Missouri as well as Joplin were on the route and many cute, interesting little towns in Oklahoma as well. I recall one time we were in Tucumcari, New Mexico and stayed at the "Blue Swallow" hotel which was a real experience.

In short, you shouldn't rule out a town simply because of it's reputation as a "tourist trap". Or you are going to miss out on a lot of interesting and fun experiences.

20yrsinBranson
I'll probably visit some tourist spots but, I don't want to spend a great deal of time in those places. This trip for me is more about seeing the side of america people don't see in big hollywood movies or on TV. I plan on moving to a rural area near a small town with my two best friends and his wife and kid. It's where me and my buddies grew up before I was sent to the city. I miss it a lot and after me and my buddies get out of the military in four years we wanna end up there. I'm gonna save all my money and start fresh. I wanna get married to the woman of my dreams and raise my future kids in a place where you can trust your community and where old american values still exist. I'm so sick and tired of city life that if it wasn't for my sense of service for my country and my lack of money I would leave right now.
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Old 02-29-2012, 07:15 AM
 
8,280 posts, read 4,554,949 times
Reputation: 3175
roadtripusa is another good 'back roads' book and website.
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