SOUTH CENTRAL U.S.
Dec. 29 2009-Jan. 1 2010
We pick up in Shreveport, LA - one of the highlights of the trip. From Spring Street again, this is a view of the Kansas City Southern Railroad Bridge - a rail span over Cross Bayou that has an unusual triangular framework. The stretch of railroad it carries is now abandoned, so the bridge has been closed since the 1980s. One website says this bridge was originally built in Oklahoma in 1890 but removed and reassembled here in 1926. The triangular framework is called a Waddell A truss. This span is said to be one of only 2 remaining trusses like this in the whole country.
On LA 1, 20 miles northwest of Shreveport, this bridge goes over Caddo Lake. This is the biggest natural freshwater lake in the South, although its size has been altered by a dam.
This video starts off on LA 2, which runs west off LA 1 near Oil City. It becomes TX 49 when we reenter Texas.
I have no recollection of this rain-drenched road, but now I know it's TX 43 (Louise Street) in Atlanta, TX.
Texarkana is famous for being a mid-sized city that sits right on the Texas/Arkansas state line. And it poured when I was there! However, Texarkana is administratively 2 separate cities in 2 separate states. This is one-way 7th Street in Texarkana, TX, which carries US 67 north. Here we go under a rail bridge.
Now we're on State Line Avenue, looking south at Texarkana's post office, which - like the street itself - straddles the state line.
North on State Line Avenue (US 71). The state line doesn't run exactly down the middle of this street, because the road was widened, but it once did. Ridiculously, the Texas half of Texarkana is in a dry county, so the Arkansas side of this road is lined with liquor stores. (Texarkana, TX, must be the largest city in a dry county anywhere in America.)
One side of State Line Avenue is lined with Arkansas state flags; the other side with the flag of Texas. I wasn't able to get a photo of the Texas flag, but this is an example of an Arkansas flag along the road.
North of Texarkana, State Line Avenue picks up US 59 and actually leaves Arkansas just by a hair and lies within Texas. But starting here, it's Arkansas full-tilt. We're looking east on the Red River.
Back in my day, Little River Band had a song where I could've sworn they sang, "Sailing on the cool and broccoli waters." Well, look at this cool and broccoli water. And this river is...the Little River. Here we're facing east from US 59/71 in southwestern Arkansas.
Probably northeast on US 70 near Dierks, AR.
Northwest on US 278 heading towards Umpire, AR. Now we're heading into the Ouachita Mountains.
Umpire strikes back! The New Year's Eve sky grew dark as we continued west on US 278 near Umpire.
With the help of one of our favorite gourd-like Sesame Street Muppets, we rejoin US 59/71 into Mena, AR. I'm waiting for the Walt Disney Company to file a DMCA complaint against my video (like it does against everything else), even though Disney has nothing to do with Bert.
A nighttime crimp of our continuing US 71 tour. This is near Mansfield, AR. There was some type of factory here that smelled of wood. It smelled like new furniture does before the boogers go on.
I-540 includes a spoop (a combination spur/loop) off I-40 for Fort Smith, AR. That stretch was built in the 1970s, and I-540 ends at the Oklahoma state line. From there, the freeway continues for a few miles as US 271. This video has us crossing from Arkansas into Oklahoma on that stretch. We get off on OK 112 near Arkoma and start heading back to Arkansas.
My first Roads Scholaring photo of the 2010s is of a silo painted like a Budweiser beer can. Gonna be a big decade! This is on AR 22 near Barling, AR.
East on AR 22 near Paris, AR. Note the mountain on the left.
Another view of that beautiful mountain from AR 22.
AR 22 into Paris - an old coal mining town.
AR 22 in downtown Paris, one of 2 county seats of Logan County. The courthouse for this half of the county is on the left.
Looking south from AR 22 east of Paris. This could be Magazine Mountain, the highest point in Arkansas. I have no idea how Magazine Mountain got its name. I guess it seemed better than calling it Newspaper Mountain, Scientific Journal Mountain, or School Newsletter Mountain.
This distinctive building is Subiaco Abbey and Academy, a Benedictine monastery and Catholic high school in Subiaco, AR. (Hopefully it's not like an Arkansas version of Brossart.)
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