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The Lake News Online
  • My view: Our highways vs. their highways

  • When we announced to the world in the spring of 2001 that the Field family would be relocating to the Lake of the Ozarks, most people were happy for us.
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  • When we announced to the world in the spring of 2001 that the Field family would be relocating to the Lake of the Ozarks, most people were happy for us.
    Many lifelong residents of Corning , Iowa and Adams County said they didn't think they could pack up and relocate nearly two decades of material and emotional stuff.
    But there was one fellow, the local barber, who had few nice things to say about the decision and the state of Missouri.
    A small group of us businessmen (and women) made one or two "coffee" trips a day (10 a.m. and 2 p.m.) to the local café, and during the few months between the announcement and our departure he chided me at every opportunity.
    His biggest hang up — of all things — was his perception that Missouri roads were only one step removed from wagon trails.
    Having driven both Iowa and Missouri roads extensively for 35 years at the time, I can assure you he couldn't be more wrong.
    The worst Missouri road I can remember was Highway 75 between Hamburg and Rockport, Mo. It still had the rollover curbs that forced the vehicle back onto the road, and often across the centerline.
    It was bumpy, for sure, and it seemed all bridges were built on curves.
    But from my recollection, that was the exception to the rule.
    I traveled about 700 miles of Iowa and Missouri roads over the weekend to a grandson's fourth birthday party in Waukee, and then back to Kansas City for Father's Day.
    The worst roads were I-35 across the Missouri border into Iowa.
    Thumpity thump; thumpity thump; thumpity thump.
    Three major bridges were between the Iowa-Missouri border and Des Moines were under construction, which required snails-pace, one-lane driving for miles and miles.
    My best fuel mileage was in Missouri where the roads are wide and smooth and unobstructed.
    A personal goal is always to see how many miles I can travel using cruise control.
    The car knows better than I how to maximize fuel efficiency, so my right foot only touches the gas and brake pedals when absolutely necessary.
    I-70 between Boonville and Kansas City, in my traveled opinion, isn't as bad as critics would claim.
    I've driven I-29 in Iowa and I-35 in Iowa, and I-70 is the better of the three.
    My route takes me up Highway 54 to Highway 52 at Eldon; then 52 to Highway 5, then north to Tipton and then west and north to I-70.
    Depending on the time of day and traffic load, I sometimes take Highway 50 west of Tipton through Sedalia to Lee's Summit.
    Page 2 of 2 - The trucks on I-70 tend to dominate the traffic flow, and the slow-down, hurry-up pattern tries my patience and affects my truck's fuel efficiency.
    I used to tell Dale the Barber that he should quit fighting the tractors and combines on the farm-to-market roads and take to the roads where the states put their money — the major highways and byways.
    He usually scoffed at my suggestion.
    I've become somewhat of a traveling aficionado in the last dozen years, and Missouri has nothing to be ashamed of when it comes to its roads.
    We'll address the high rate of smoking among adults and the No. 1 ranking in meth labs another time.
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