Today was a very full day. We managed to drive through four states and cross three rivers with state names. We left Tennesse and headed north and west into Kentucky. Paducah is situated at the confluence of the Ohio and Tennessee Rivers. This location has allowed the area to flourish for centuries. It has also caused severe flooding. The flood wall, constructed by the Army Corp of Engineers, was made appealing by the amazingly detailed murals depicting Paducah’s history and painted by the Dafford muralists. The project is titled Paducah Wall to Wall. There are several breaks in the 22 panel wall to allow passage out to the Ohio River looking west toward Illinois.
Turning your back to the murals, the water-front buildings include several museums, specifically the main reason for our visit, The National Quilt Museum. The museum has an extensive permanent collection and also offers many rotating shows throughout each year. We saw an exhibit of Australian quilts. There are also some gorgeous stained glass quilts in the windows and even a quilt made of wood.
Outside the museum is a sculpture of Lewis (with his guide dog) and Clark (with a map) along with a young girl with a US flag and a Native American guide. The display suggests this represents the gifts given by Lewis and Clark for the guidance and assistance needed to get them to the Pacific. The sculptor took some licenses and added Sacagawea coins to the ears of the Native American along with a Jefferson medal as a necklace.
We browsed through some of the shops in the waterfront area before driving further west. As we left Paducah, we passed through some lovely neighborhoods. We crossed the Tennessee River, the Ohio River putting us in Illinois for about a minute until we crossed the Mississippi River putting us in Missouri. Our route was through beautiful farms filled with new crops, flowers and many cows. It was nice to see miles of fields with no billboards, housing developments or strip malls. We stopped in a town named Ellsinore when we saw a sign for D’s Country Kitchen. It was homey and delicious. As clouds thickened, we stopped for the evening in a town just past Ozark. It was a wonderful day filled with art and Americana.