Suzie and Matt enjoyed spreading out in the coach for the ride from Theodosia, Missouri to back to William Woods University in Fulton. I gave Matt my captain’s seat. Suzie lounged in the living room chair. I got cozy on the couch. Our ride, took us east across Missouri Highway 160 for a short while. It is not marked as a scenic byway, but it surely could be.
Spring painted the landscape bright green on the backdrop of blue skies. With each turn in the road, we remarked on the scenery of lush trees and spring blossoms. The view stretched for miles as the coach climbed the summits, and then rolled past the rural farms. Cows grazed in the fields of fresh grass. And, an old mule called back to us with a “Hee Haw” when Ed sounded the air horn just for fun.
Ed worked hard driving along this two-lane winding road, setting up the coach to approach each curve. He kept the revs up to climb the hills. He even worked the brakes to bring us to a gentle stop when Suzie spied a turtle crossing the road.
Ed turned on his caution beacon, a light mounted on the coach roof. We barely had seen any other vehicles on the road, so he simply stopped. We all watched the turtle for a moment, then Suzie bolted out the door of the coach. That’s when I noticed the Sherriff pull up beside the coach.
“Everything all right?” he asked Suzie.
“Just saving a turtle,” said Suzie smiling as she picked up the little fellow and carried him safely across the road.
As she scurried back to the coach, the officer grinned and wished her a good day. I guess he felt relief that he would not have render help or deal with a big RV blocking his highway beat. I breathed a sigh of relief too that he was good natured about our random stop.
Highway 160 connected Route 63 North, a four-lane highway in West Plains, and then onto Highway 54 in Jefferson City before reaching Fulton. On these roads, our attention turned less to the scenery and more to conversation. We only stopped for pizza, no turtles, along this route.
April 27, 2008