Yesterday we began our trek westward. Even with the luxury of spending 2 glorious weeks with my family in one of our favorite cities, the time felt surprisingly short. Without a computer of my own, and having exceeded our data limit for the month, I wasn't able to make any posts during our visit and (and also I'm woefully behind on all the social media!), but I plan to properly chronicle all the highlights just as soon as we are back in the 509. In the meantime, we had a blast and were all sad to say goodbye to our second home down south.
Before we could leave, though, we had to gather our belongings from all over Williamson & Maury counties (I'm not exaggerating. Our stuff was EVERYWHERE), and I had to spend about 36 hours cleaning out the car. I was going to take a picture of the before and after but I didn't. I know I should be documenting the ugly along with the beautiful, but in the moment the ugly is just so...ugly.
Aaaanyway, when we plotted our return route, we wanted to avoid any 600 mile days, so Day 1 took us about 515 miles to Arrow Rock, Missouri. One of the obvious but valuable lessons we've learned on this trip is avoiding the freeway is always worth the extra time when we can afford it. Arrow Rock Historic Site, village, state park, & campground is about 13 miles north of I-70, and between the rolling hills, stately farm houses, old barns, views of the Missouri River, Lewis & Clark landmarks, and the view of the stars after dark, we were not at all sorry for the few added miles.
Of course I forgot to take any decent pictures, so I'm borrowing these from the Arrow Rock Historic Site website.
Just off the freeway and looking as untouched by the twentieth century as a Mark Twain story, this beautiful historic little town sits on the banks of the Missouri.
This is the historic Lyceum Theater. When we drove past on Sunday morning a pair of strolling ladies gave us a look of skeptical greeting, which made perfect sense to us when we reached the intersection and realized the only way forward was over the antique gutter system flanking the brick sidewalks, which is to say, across a 159 year old ditch which would make even the most formidable of fenders afraid for their cosmetic if not actual safety. I'm working on perfecting the art of the verbally guided trailer direction, though, so I jumped out and was all, "no go STRAIGHT forward, then right..." and so on, mostly flinching and hoping like crazy I wouldn't be responsible for that awful metal-across-rock sound. Miraculously, no such sound was heard, aside front an occasional sibling-on-sibling screaming fit, and the trailer, Caleb, and I emerged victorious.
Here's our campsite - the bazillion bugs are hard to spot, but they made their presence known just the same.
No amount of study can replace these first-hand encounters with the rich, beautiful, complex, and tragic history of this land of ours. I am so thankful for these unexpected whispered voices from the past, and I hope, as our family practices listening to them, we will grow ever more toward listening to ourselves and each other.