I’m not particularly fond of long distance driving – basically anything outside the city limits.
So, whenever Paul and I take our little weekend Byanyother.name romps through the countryside, Paul normally drives; at least until we get to our destinations. But also, it just makes more sense for me to ride shotgun, since for most of the journey I’m frantically taking notes of everything whizzing by the window.
But then again, I’ve traveled a lot of Missouri back roads in my time; mostly to avoid superhighways. Call me crazy, but unlike some people who steer clear of two-lane roads because they don’t want to get stuck behind poky farm equipment, I’m more terrified of the 10 ton, 18-wheelers barreling down on me at 70 miles per hour. My survival instincts override my need for speed nine times out of ten.
Additionally, I crave the roads less traveled with their calming, almost hypnotic rolling hills and field upon field of waving, whispering grasses. Nature soothes my soul and is soooo relaxing. Of course, when I am behind the wheel, I’m also eternally grateful to the engineers who designed these lazy, sleep-inducing thoroughfares, for tossing in a healthy dose of sharp turns and switchbacks to keep me from dozing off.
Most of the internationally-named towns and villages in Missouri are located on back roads. Once in a while you get lucky. Lebanon is right on 44, but for the most part if you want to visit these Midwestern gems, you have to be adventuresome – in simple terms, along with your bottled water, pack your compass, and a machete.
On this our third quest to locate Missouri towns with international names, we are heading north on highway 63 to Paris and Cairo. I’m hoping to see anything even remotely resembling the Eiffel Tower and the Great Sphinx. Of course, I’d settle for a Dairy Queen, and pretty much anything over-sized and bronze.