Clarksville, TN to Columbia, MO
Our route takes us through four states today--Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois and Missouri. It’s a sunny warm day, and lots of farmers are out on their tractors, turning their fields to prepare for spring planting.
We make two stops along the way in Kentucky--one ridiculous and one sublime.
We stop to take a photo of a row of half-buried lawnmowers, clearly a homage to Cadillac Ranch, and Holt himself dashes out to hand us a flyer and beg us to come back at 10, when he opens the indoor exhibit of over 3000 toys, and can give us a guided tour of the grounds. We practically burn rubber getting out of there.
The sublime art is just up the road in Paducah at the National Quilt Museum. No photos are allowed, unfortunately. But, we spend a blissful hour and a half savoring the artistic expression, the colors and textures, the perfect stitches, the exquisite details and glorious embellishments of the quilts on display there.
We walk around the charming downtown area, share a bulging sandwich at Kirchhoff’s Deli and Bakery, and admire the murals highlighting Paducah’s history painted all along the floodwall.
We could easily linger longer (fabric shopping at Hancock’s of Paducah could eat up a couple hours alone!), but we need to get some more miles under our tires, so we hit the road and make it to Columbia, Missouri by dinnertime.
Just noshing on small plates at Room 38 lets us rationalize pigging out on homemade ice cream at Sparky’s, Columbia’s favorite ice cream shop. There are several flavors of ice cream that cannot be sold to anyone under age 21 due to their alcohol content, and lots of other interesting flavor combinations to choose from. The perky scooping staff encourages us to taste whatever sounds interesting (honey lavender--yum). The walls are covered with truly awful portraits that must have been reclaimed from the art department dumpster at nearby University of Missouri, but the ice cream is fine art, and that’s what counts.