22-Mar-2001 -- As a school project, my friend Jason and I set off from DeSoto
High School around 7:15 on Thursday morning. We had our atlas, GPS system,
a pair of digital cameras, and Jason's cell phone.
Jason drove as I rode shotgun with the navigational duties. We stayed on
the main highway for the majority of the trip down, until I saw what I
thought was a shortcut. We got about five miles down the county highway
when the pavement ended, continued on by a gravel road. Of course we both
thought we were lost, and figured we would eventually have to turn around.
I guess our sense of adventure took over, and we decided to see where the
gravel road led.
Now backroads in southern Missouri don't always have the proper road signs,
like the ones warning drivers of big dips ahead in the road. Jason was
traveling a little over the unposted speed limit, and we hit a deep dip in
the road that made us both hit our heads on the ceiling of his truck. We
got out, and luckily found no major damage, other than that of our sore
The gravel road continued on for a couple miles, and eventually went back to
pavement. We continued south towards Van Buren, and upon our arrival in
town we looked for the nearest store; it had begun to sprinkle so we were
looking for adequate rain gear. We each bought a small umbrella, and
followed our road map of the town to as close as we could drive to the site.
The actual hike to the confluence was only half a mile or so from the truck.
It took some time for the GPS to steady so we could get all zeros on the
dial. Once we had accomplished our mission, Mother Nature told us it was
time to go and the rain came pouring down. We hiked back to the truck, a
little wet and cold, but no worse for the wear.
We had gotten a little hungry from our hike, so on the trip back north we
stopped at a little deli/grill in Ellington, Missouri called the Ozark
Grille. If you are ever in Ellington, I strongly suggest stopping there for
freshly squeezed lemonade. And say "hello" to Alice for me.
Note from Jason: With the new 2000 census the population center of the United States lies on 37N 91W.