Friday June 16
Day 5
Through the Ozarks

First, one last picture of Grand Lake O'the Cherokees, taken in evening light after I processed the other pics for yesterday's page. I love this pic. Evening light on the lake

I've seen many of the storied rivers of the West on this trip -- the Rio Grande, the Canadian, the Red, the Cimarron -- and it is a frustration that I couldn't get pics of them. It is hard to find a safe place to pull a motorhome off the road, so I am stuck with taking snaps through the windows and since I am simultaneously driving the thing. I can not take snaps while crossing a narrow bridge in traffic. No way. I have similarly missed some really nice mountain shots due to driving a windy road. Oh well. While the bone pagoda makes an interesting passenger, he's a really lousy photographer.

I left Grand Lake O'the Cherokees via US 60, heading through the bottom of Missouri towards Kentucky. Ozark Mtns I did have one little detour -- these secondary roads keep combining and separating from each other, and at one point I found myself on US 71 north instead of US 60 east. Didn't really want to go to Kansas City right now. I caught my error quickly though and was soon back on US 60. Ozark Mtns

The Ozarks didn't look like anything at all coming in from the west. Just more rolling hills, with a few rock outcrops and more forested, less open pastures and hayfields. Ozark Mtns When I started coming down from them on the east side however you could clearly see you were in mountains. It is quite beautiful through there and a lot of it is Mark Twain National Forest which explains the preponderance of trees.

Certainly nothing that looked hillbilly-like, except for a couple of tourist traps.

Driving through one tiny village at 50 mph, I spotted a colorful herd of metal horses on the grassy verge. I only had a glimpse as I went by, eyes on road, but that glimpse rivetted me so much that I took the next possible turn (braking hard, turning tight, no easy matter in a motorhome -- everything flying everywhere) and doubled back to get a better look. Herd of metal horses They are remarkable! They are made of old car parts, in places with the license plate still attached. Herd of metal horses They perfectly catch the essence of horseness however -- and the different colored bits of steel make them beautiful in their own right. They may be unassuming beside-the-road sculptures, but in my humble opinion they are Great Art. Herd of metal horses

1. They are beautiful in and of themselves 2. They express the essence of something beautiful in nature (no, total abstraction fails to turn me on) 3. They demand your attention even at a passing glance 4. They are a unique and inventive look at Horseness 5. They make you laugh when you focus on the details. I will remember the delight of these metal horses for a long, long time. Friends, that's Real Art. Herd of metal horses Herd of metal horses