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On The Road: On To Oprah’s Hometown

LongRoofian December 7, 2012 All Things Hoon 7 Comments

This olelongrooffan is still On The Road, but first the numbers

Number of Highways Traveled: 16
Arkansas 7
Mississippi 7

Number of Nuclear Cooling Towers Seen: 3
Number of Construction Zones: 7
Number of Rain Showers Driven Through: 3
Number of Bottles of Water Consumed: 5
Number of Road Kill Seen: 6
Number of Cops Seen: 8
Number of Casinos Seen: 6
Number of Casinos Stopped At: 0
Number of Crop Duster Planes Seen: 2
Number of Tractors On The Road Seen: 5
Number of Red Foxes Seen Crossing The Road: 3, Mom and 2 pups
Number of Miles Driven: 407
Number of Dollars Spent on Petrol: $52.75
Number of the Price Per Gallon: $3.99
Number of Gallons Purchased: 13.19
Number of Average MPG: 23.4
Number of Hours On The Road: 8h35m.
Number of Round Fender Ford Falcon Rancheros Seen: 3
Number of Ford Fairlane Rancheros Seen: 1

Now, On The Road.

If my fellow Hoons have been On The Road With This olelongrooffan, you will remember I spent last night in Russelville, Arkansas without any idea where I would be headed today. As I was checking into the hotel last night, I noticed there was a car museum located about a 30 minute drive, to the southeast, from this olelongrooffan’s starting point this morning. As I am, generally, heading southeast, I thought I might check it out. Why not? That is what road trips are all about.

As I mentioned, using my College Educated Geographic Skills, I calculated the trip to that museum would take about 30 minutes in the ole 850. Of course, even if I had a GPS or knew how to work one, neither I nor that GPS could calculate how what is pictured in the lead image would impact our travel times.

Well, I can tell you I followed this paint rig and this wanna be cop car for, well as long as it took me to realize it wasn’t a cop car, then I blew by, Wet Paint be damned. Never in my life have I been able to drive across these lines and pick up paint to leave a tire mark in the other lane. Today was no different.

So, here I am, tooling down Highway 154 and enjoying the great peaks and valleys that are northwest Arkansas, and I pass through Petit Jean, not Petit Jane, State Park. As I am maintaining the suggested, radar enforced, speed of 45 mph, I see a sign for Cedar Falls Overlook. Well, once again, the Patsy Cline crash site and the Aluminum Cove Natural Bridge calculations came into play. Yeah, this olelongrooffan whipped a Uee and headed to Cedar Falls.

And I am sure glad I did. As much as I like dang near everything automotive, Mother Nature’s and God’s offerings are even cooler. It was a relaxing sight, both awesome and relaxing at the same time. The falls are on the right and the washout is on the left. Cedar Falls. Cool as cool can be. The above image was shot without zoom in place.

This is a zoomed in image of the falls and the washout below. Now I am certain there some fellow Hoons for whom this is an everyday mundane view but to this olelongrooffan Floridiot, it was a treasure to be seen.

And see that white speck in the middle of the above image? Those are two human beings. Yeah, the scale of Cedar Falls is amazing.

Petit Jean State Park is a natural beauty with camping, fishing, boating, swimming and hiking all available. If I were ending up my day, instead of starting it out, I would have stayed there. East of Arkansas 7 on Highway 154.

So, enough of this nature crap, on to the cars.

I headed a couple miles to the east of Cedar Falls and there was that museum. I have forgotten the name and left the flyer in the 850 and I’m not going to go get it. If you want to, google Winthrop Rockefeller and check on museum links. He moved to Arkansas in 1935 and ran for Governor sometime later. Got elected and was, apparently, well liked. While in office, he bestowed the land in this state park for this museum. He also kicked in several automobiles and, probably, some state funding. Thanks.

Once I got inside that museum and convinced my elcheapoebay acquired image taker to actually perform, I spotted this Ford Fairlane Ranchero that came with the Circle G Ranch Elvis bought for Priscilla back in the day. The odometer shows just over 10,000 miles and it looked good. I can’t believe someone would restore it just to show it in this museum. I believe the mileage and condition to be original. Another vintage truck this olelongrooffan would like to have in my livery.

This museum was unique in the juxtaposition of different automobiles. This is a cool old Model T tanker truck and the Bantam adjacent to it. Yeah what could possibly have been one of the first gasoline tankers and an offering from one of the companies vying for the WWII military Jeep contract. Pretty awesome if I do say so myself.

And the jumpseats in the rear of this huge ass limo? 

Well, they are in the passenger compartment of Governor Winnie Rockefeller’s mid 50’s ride around The Natural State.

Later he acquired a ’66 Caddy for those purposes and this bull was mounted on the forefront of it.

This old Benz was a strange sight to be seen in a museum located in the middle of the state of Arkansas. Not sure how it came to be there but this olelongrooffan is such glad it made the journey. It is a very few times I’ve seen one of this vintage.

This is Bill Clinton’s ’67 Mustang. There was a letter from him dated from ’93 stating he was happy his car was being taken car of while he was in Washington. I doubt Bill gets to drive it ever again. By the way, this car is a daily driver, nothing museum quality about it, except its owner. Also, take note of the Lincoln convertible in the background. Pristine, Original and Museum Quality.

After taking the time to check out Cedar Falls and Winnie’s museum, I realized I was less than a five hour drive from the Queen City of The Ozarks and this olelongrooffan needed to get on down the road to my Taj Mahal. And I did.

But not before stopping to gather this image of a cool old Mercury. With a nod of the head to Jack Lord, “Book him Danno.”

I jumped on I-40, then I-30 through Little Rock, then I-530 through Pine Bluff down to Highway 65. As you can note, the countryside in southeastern Arkansas is much like the countryside in the Missouri Bootheel and central Florida.

With the exception of this field. It was flooded and contained rice plants. I never would have believed it if I didn’t see it myowndamnself. Yeah, apparently the state of Arkansas, The Natural State, ranks first in the United States for rice production, producing 48% of the domestic market of rice. Who’d a thunk it. This olelongrooffan remembers Arkansas for being the producers of primo 420 products back in my long ago youth. So anyway, back to reality.

As I was contemplating my crossing of the Big Muddy, I spotted, off in the distance, these towers. As there are several bridges in the Sunshine State built with the same technology, I was excited about not having to cross the Big Muddy on an old 2 lane bridge.

Alas, as it turns out, this olelongrooffan was a tad bit early and I ended up on this two lane concrete highway heading toward yet another narrow assed bridge across that river that Mark Twain liked to write about oh so many years ago.

Yeah, this olelongrooffan is a bit scared of heights and this narrow two lane bridge didn’t help conquer those fears at all. At least here in the Birthplace of Speed all of the lanes go in the same direction. And the sight of that Mickey D air cooled ragtop Bus Plunge bestowed upon this olelongrooffan for this journey home reminds me to ask the question, Where is Amberstand?

But I was able to capture an image of that majestic crossing that this olelongrooffan hopes to traverse one day in the not to distant future.

Now I would suspect that every one of my fellow Hoons has a real life and will probably not remember what instigated this whole On The Road With This olelongrooffan series of posts. Allow me to refresh our collective memories. Mr. Emslie had done a post about a satellite or something or another that had left its orbit and, allegedly, landed on the side of a roadway up in the great state of Washington(?). Well, roadsideamerica.com also told this olelongrooffan about a river boat shaped car wash up in the Nation’s Oldest City and it was one of the first stops on this whole damn On The Road series of trip.  This one? It is the Welcome Center that is encountered just after getting off that narrow ass bridge into The Magnolia State. 

Just down the road a piece from that riverboat, I spotted this ’59 Ford longroof, most likely a Country Sedan situated next to an early ’70’s Eldo ragtop.

In the same lot was this old Conti with outrageous wheels. I much prefer the vintage one I had seen just a bit earlier in the day.

So after seeing this grouping of autos combined with Jew Town Polish Gyros, this olelongrooffan  then motored on down to the Campbell Family Inn in Kosciusko, Mississippi, the birthplace of Oprah Winfrey. Yep, that is correct, I have visited the birthplace of two female icons of my generation, in just two short weeks. No statue of Oprah in the town square, though.

The only bummer is, the birthplace of Oprah Winfrey is in a dry county. Luckily, thefoamguy and I did not drink my whole stash of the old blue bottle on my last night in the Queen City of the Ozarks and I have enough for 2 cocktails, enough to publish this blog and head to the sack.

That’s it for now. Looking forward to what tomorrow will bring and know I will share it with my fellow Hoons as soon as feasible.

Image Copyright Hooniverse 2012/longrooffan

  • MVEilenstein

    John, I saw a funny bumper sticker years ago, somewhere on Highway 64 between Searcy and West Memphis; it said "Eat Rice: Potatos Make Your Butt Look Big." Rice farming is big over there.

  • MVEilenstein

    Also, has anyone checked the trunk of Slick Willy's Mustang?

  • racer139

    Always wanted an old river boat .but dry docked and as my humble aboad. that one would do nicely.

  • BigDaddyStrong

    I'll give you the standard question asked of any traveler passing through Russ Vegas: did you eat at Feltner's Whataburger?

    Officially, the car museum is known simply as the "Museum of Automobiles," but locally we just called it the Petit Jean Car Museum. Strange that in four years living in Russellville, not once did I make the trip over to Petit Jean to see it.

  • I do learn something new every day on this website. For decades I swore they drove AMCs in Hawaii Five-O but IMCDB says you're right.

    <img src="http://www.imcdb.org/i538122.jpg"&gt;

  • schigleymischke

    Are you in Mississippi now? You should try to see the BNW motorcycle museum in Sturgis, MS (home of the Little Sturgis bike rally). The guy that started the museum used to work at MSU. He was responsible for pitting a Harley sticker inside a urinal in one of the engineering labs.

  • Tom Lee

    GOOD JOB, forgot about that auto museum, saw it once. not enough time to really visit it though.
    thanks tom