Monday, December 14, 2009

Entering the Ozark Mountains from Jonesboro

We had the opportunity today to enter Ozark Mountain Country on US 63 from Jonesboro, Arkansas. It was an interesting experience. The delta country around Jonesboro is so flat, it is hard to imagine you are only a few miles from the stark hills environment of the Ozarks.

I noticed a billboard for Randolph County that particularly caught my attention. Randolph county was north and east of US 63, but it made the point of having 5 rivers running through it, as well as Ozark Mountain Country. The Randolph County Tourism Association has a great website that focuses on first, the 5 rivers running through the county, and second, that the county is split between the flat delta and the Ozark Mountains.

Going up US 63, we experiences that split. As we crossed an unusually high bridge over the Black River, the delta was behind us, and we left the bridge in Ozark Mountain County!

As we proceeded up US 63, we noticed that the little town of Hardy, Arkansas, had a strong tourism emphasis. It was also by-passed by new road, so we did not go in town.

We went on up the Thayer, MO, where tourism was also enouraged. They had good signage and a neat little Tourism Information Center.

At Thayer, we turned west on MO 142, to MO 101 up to US 160 west. Running west, a few miles north of the state line, it was interesting to note several areas of open glades, or pastures. It was not all wooded. Driving north of the lakes, along US 160, just as we entered eastern Taney County, we did enter forest. In fact, it was a piece of the Mark Twain National Forest for about 15 miles.

If you haven’t visited the Ozarks region, yet, you should, soon!

Dr. Bill ;-)