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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Passing through Oklahoma - Rebirth in Joplin, MO

We are now in Joplin, Missouri – going to stay here until Monday morning – I think. Anyway that is the plan now. Yesterday was another long day 387 miles with a stop for lunch and diesel. Diesel in Oklahoma was only (???) $3.99 a gallon. And we are getting a little better mileage – 8.11 - now that we are on flat land. We stopped at a Flying J for gas and lunch. Walking through the store Bill was excited to find the antennas for Willie to replace the ones that were taken off during Willie’s Adventure. They are CB antennas but that is not what we use them for. We use them to help us find Willie in a parking lot. It’s funny but we’ve used them for so long that we forget to pay attention to where we park and then come out of the store and have to wander around. There are zillions of white SUVs! So after parking yesterday we headed to Home Depot [more about that later] to find the hardware he needed to put them on. So now Willie again has his antennas with the red, white and blue ribbons on them. (Almost everything has now been replaced.)
New Antennas and Ribbons on Willie - he is happy now
We are still having good luck with the weather. Been warm, dry and not too windy. Excellent for traveling. Yesterday morning when we left Shamrock, TX we did run into some ground fog. Most of it was out in the fields but every once in a while it came across the road. I wish the windows had been cleaner – the bug juice glowed in the sunlight – this would have been a pretty picture of the sun through the fog.
Oklahoma is very, very green this year. I think it is the first time we’ve seen it so green. The red buds are in full bloom and the trees are already starting to bud. There is a lot of water in the fields and low lands attesting to the amount of rain that has passed through this area. Very pretty drive.
Very green Oklahoma countryside
We were going to stop in Tulsa. Even went to an RV park but no one was in the office and the spaces were SMALL. So back on the expressway – another word for toll road – Getting back on the road was fun – no marking for East 44 just West 44 – Had to turn around and go back to very convoluted on ramp. Back on road we passed this McDonalds that bridges the road. We stopped there last year. It can be reached going either direction, also has gas stations. Why don’t they do that more often, very convenient.
Largest McDonalds they say
We stopped for the night in Joplin, MO – we’ve stayed at this campground before. The MiFi is working good. The TV is working good – all the comforts of home. But then important things needed to be done. We needed to get the hardware for the antennas. Asked at the office where we could find a hardware store. The office person sent us to Home Depot. – This Home Depot is brand new – rebuilt after the tornado. We were right in the area the horrendous tornado went through about ten months ago. It is amazing to see. Almost all of the rubble has been removed and there are blocks and blocks of empty green fields with new homes scattered here and there and denuded trees that are now starting to get new growth.
Blocks of green fields

Destruction and renewal
All over there are new homes and homes being rebuilt.
Work is going on at the High School
I am posting these pictures as a tribute to the resilience of the American people. And the people of Joplin in particular. God bless them. When I took this picture I didn't see the flag there - I took it mainly because of the tree and new bush.

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