Jacks Fork River – Getting There
Driving to meet my canoeing partner, Ray, at the bridge where the Jacks Fork River crosses under Highway 17 in southern Missouri gave me an opportunity to do a bit of exploring along the way. Although short, this was, after all, a road trip and a chance to observe. One clear impression is that the gap between wealth and poverty is as evident in the far reaches of rural America as it is in urban areas. I was as struck by the number of obviously wealthy ranches with elaborate homes tucked into the hillsides of Missouri as I was by the scores of trailer homes and small, squalid houses that clog the small towns along the way. Another impression I had was that the number of churches in southern Missouri is greater than I remember. Always pure white, with fresh signs and plenty of parking. I didn’t have many opportunities to interact with locals, other than at a a motel and few gas stations. Everyone I spoke with was polite and friendly. My dinner on the road consisted of a 1/3 lb. mushroom burger at a chain restaurant that came with a 32 oz. Coke and curly fries. Really, who needs to eat all that? Half of it went in the trash. All in all, the mood out there was generally good. People seem filled with hope (or something), camouflage is still in style, and wind turbines are cropping up like weeds.
Click the image below to see a slideshow of some of what I saw on my short road trip. Click the back button on your browser to exit the slideshow.
I made a few wrong turns along the way that provide opportunities for some good photos. I guess it’s good that I don’t have GPS. I took a State highway to Ackers Ferry, MO, where a ferry takes you across the Current River. Unfortunately, the ferry does not open until May 15th. Grr. But fortunately, the highway just north of Ackers Ferry climbed a steep hill to a point over 200 feet above the river. The panorama was spectacular. Click the photo below and see. Then click again and scroll around.