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50 States, Day 223

  Springfield to Fayetteville, 185 miles
"One of the things that has helped me as much as any other, is not how long I am going to live, but how much I can do while living."
~ George Washington Carver

We rode to Joplin today, just to see how they're faring after the horrible tornado damage. Since we had no idea where it occurred, we simply rode through town, past a lot of normalcy. That's the thing about many disasters; some areas look fine, then another block is devastated. I've seen it with earthquakes, fires and now with this tornado. We decided to leave town and entered into a one mile wide by a mile long of destruction. The foundations remained, and rebuilt houses. Easy to see the damaged area, as no trees were present. The cleanup finished, all that remains is rebuilding. Looks like many owners just took the insurance money and aren't rebuilding. What a swath of destruction, however.  We rode out of town a bit and toured the George Washington Carver National Monument. I'll let Quilter Girl take this one, but the man overcame incredible obstacles; born a slave, orphaned, and growing up in the 'Jim Crow' era, a time supposedly of 'separate but equal' treatment of blacks.

Back on the scooter, garlands and Christmas stockings flapping around us. Yes, Quilter Girl let me go shopping alone last night, so this is what returned from the store.

Poor QG. She thought the bike was gaudy and ridiculous enough, now we look like Biker Trash Christmas Gone Bad. Wait. Great name for a book! Oh yeah.

We wheeled into Arkansas, state thirty four. Riding through Bentonville (home of Wal-Mart), the place looked prosperous. Wally's World seems to be a good influence on the b-town. We just cruised on through however and stopped for the evening at Fayetteville. And today, the suits made all the difference, as the temperatures weren't particularly low, but with low clouds/high fog, the air was clammy and wet.
Now, warm and dry, Quilter Girl!
We all learned about George Washington Carver and peanuts in school, but seeing his quotes and learning more about his life at the museum made me realize that the man was incredible.  He was born in slavery, had no idea when his birthday was because he was a slave, there were no records kept.  Carver was very smart, pursuing education as much as he could.  He was refused entry into a college in Kansas that he had been accepted because of his color.  He moved on to Iowa where he earned a Bachelors and a Masters degree in Agriculture.  George Carver was very humble, not accepting raises at Tuskegee Institute, not patenting any of his inventions, nor accepting any of the positions offered to him by Thomas Edison or Henry Ford.  Carver woke at 4 in the morning to start his day with prayer.  He believed that God would tell him what he should do with that day.  
This man truly changed the world he lived in and we all have better lives for it.  I would love to learn more about his life.
Tomorrow it's off to Little Rock, named after rock. See you then!



Mel Nason said...

After seeing that gaudy and ridiculous looking "Biker Trash Christmas Gone Bad" bike, I can just hear Kevin saying to Quilter Girl, "All we need now is some rain, dear!"

................................ Kevin Parsons said...

Oh, dear. No rain. Or is it rein?
Dear me.