Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Throwed rolls

We are at the Elks lodge in Sikeston, Missouri (map). We had our sights set on this spot Sunday, even though that meant a slightly longer drive than usual, because our guide said there was 15-amp power available. When we arrived, though, we were pleasantly surprised to find they actually have one 50-amp and two 30-amp outlets, as well as dedicated 20-amp one. They are all on a single post, which would make parking three or four rigs a challenge, but we have the place to ourselves. Even so, the post is just far enough from the pavement that we had to maneuver until our inlet was immediately opposite the post for our 25' shore cord to reach on its own.

The whole time we were heading for Sikeston we had it in our heads that we'd have dinner at Lambert's, home of the Throwed Rolls and where we'd eaten five years ago. By dinner time, however, the heavens had opened and we did not want to drag the scooters out in a gully-washer. As luck would have it, though, the lodge was serving dinner. They have a kitchen with a full menu and they do a pretty good job.

As long as we had a 50-amp outlet, we decided to spend another night. That gave us a chance to get a few things done yesterday, including setting up the new propane camp fire with some parts from Orscheln Farm & Home at the end of the block. It also gave us the opportunity to get that dinner at Lambert's. The place was packed on a Monday night, and we are reminded that once every five years is just about as often as we can eat at a place like this. It was good, though, and tons of food at a great price.

We spent no time along the river Sunday. The Great River Road mostly stays to US-61, which is a bit inland. We passed through the outskirts of Ste. Genevieve, and, as with Hannibal, I would have driven into town and spent a night if there had been a decent place to stay with power available. Nothing about Ste. Genevieve or its shops and restaurants warranted an unnatural act to try to spend the night, so we continued south through St. Mary. The Illinois state line comes right up to the railroad tracks there, as it follows an old route of the river around the only part of the state west of the Mississippi. The great flood of 1881 stranded the historical capital, Kaskaskia, on the Missouri side of the river, and the few residents there live in Illinois with a Missouri mailing address. We judged the "Liberty Bell of the West" not sufficient reason for a ten-mile detour to the little town.

In Cape Girardeau we would have crossed into Illinois and headed down route 3 to Cairo if Fort Defiance Park was open. Last time we were there, though, all the power was off and the park had fallen even further into disrepair, with the odd exception of a newly constructed but unopen museum at the old toll house. Research Saturday night revealed that the park is now closed entirely, nominally due to flooding but from the comments of Cairo residents and local media it would appear that the town has simply lost interest in the park, with no money to run it. Sadly, it would also appear that the museum, whose construction was financed by the state, has never been opened since it was built. Our one stay there must remain a fond memory, and with nothing for us there any longer, we opted to stay on the Missouri side.

Today we are on Red Cross conference calls all afternoon. When we're done, we'll most likely continue downriver into the boot-heel, although if the calls run late we may just stay another night. I am contemplating starting to swing away from the river to the west, as temperatures increase more quickly heading downriver than they do towards the western edge of Arkansas. The hurricane forecast is still blank, so we are moving gulf-ward only very slowly. As things stand now, it is almost equally likely we'll see more flooding in the Midwest, and we are well-positioned for that.

Photo by Zama Ree Do, used under a Creative Commons license.


  1. Welcome to SE Missouri. I retired from Poplar Bluff after 37 years and we are now enjoying "Fulltiming" and currently in Seward Alaska.

    We actually saw you at the Camping World in Mission, TX - Feb. 2008. We have followed your blog since that time.

    An interesting nuseum is in New Madrid and tells about the earthquake of 1811-1812.

    Another interesting museum is the "Stars and Stripes" museum in Bloomfield, Mo. The have a copy of the first printing, printed during the Civil War.

    Thanks for all of your good information.


  2. Sean,
    You are about 120 miles from the Best One Tire shop I've been using in Jackson, TN on old Bells Hwy just off US 412 near I-40 if you'd still like to get yer tires balanced. (I'll be loading 4 in the back off the truck and having them balanced there today *07/15/10* myself!)


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