2012 Road Trip Photos #39: Prolonged Missouri

On Day Nine, we prepared to exit Webb City and begin the last section of our 2012 road trip. We had very few stops planned on this eight-hour leg and hoped Missouri would grant us the courtesy of safe, expedient passage.

After bidding my in-laws farewell, we detoured for one last sight in town — giant praying hands that stand tall down the street from Ozark Christian College. We took comfort in their presence and prayed they were a good sign that our journey would be under watchful, merciful eyes.

Giant Praying Hands, Webb City, MIssouri

No one likes to see their hopes answered hours later with an ill omen.

Smoke on I-44

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2012 Road Trip Photos #38: the Landscape of Joplin-That-Will-Be

Our family had an ulterior motive for cruising Route 66 on Day Eight besides meeting Mater. It was the most straightforward path from the Little House Museum to our relatives who live across the Kansas/Missouri border in a town called Webb City. After so many days on the road with just our trio keeping each other company, it was a relief to unwind and chat with other familiar folks. My wife’s sister, her husband, and our irrepressible li’l nephew have called it home for several years, at a distance hard from us to traverse under normal circumstances. Luckily for us, this year’s itinerary provided a convenient excuse to veer in their direction for a visit.

Times in the area hadn’t been easy over the previous fourteen months. Webb City neighbors a nationally recognized city called Joplin, which occupied headlines in May 2011 when an F5 tornado wrought over twenty-two miles’ worth of obliteration and sorrow.

After our first home-cooked meal in a week, my gracious sister-in-law offered us a status update of Joplin via personal guided tour. Even though fourteen months had elapsed, I hoped we wouldn’t be ghoulishly gawking at a DMZ of too many sobering sights.

St Johns Hospital, Joplin, Missouri

Lingering destruction comprised a minute portion of what we encountered. Continue reading

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