Take the long way home, by: Amber Odom

Take the Long Way Home by Amber Odom

Who has ever hummed this little country tune….

 “I’ve been cooped up, tied down ’bout forgotten
what a field looks like full of corn and cotton
If I’m gonna hit a traffic jam
Well it better be a tractor man
So sick and tired of this interstate system
I need the curvin’, windin’, twistin’ dusty path to nowhere
With the wind blowin’ through my baby’s hair
Yeah it makes me wanna take a back road
Makes me wanna take the long way home
Put a little gravel in my travel
Unwind, unravel all night long
Makes me wanna grab my honey
Tear down some two lane country who knows
Get lost and get right with my soul
Makes me wanna take, makes me wanna take a back road
Some old back road”

Growing up in rural northern Cape County on an old back road, I have always appreciated those curving, gravel roads that lead your soul to escape. There is something therapeutic about having no plans but just cruising the backroads. You never know what surprise or sights you might see.

I thank my grandfather who taught me to appreciate the nature around me and taking me places to that showcased the beauty of Missouri. We often visited conservation places around Wayne county. I remember being an 8 year sitting on the bench seat of his 97 Ford truck bouncing up the road to Graves Mountain. Or the time he took me to the Taum Sauk lookout tower. I remember thinking I could see for miles and realizing how micro small we really are compared to the world. Grandpa always had a lesson or meaning behind the places we went. I probably haven’t thanked him near enough for igniting the adventure spirit and the thirst for knowledge that resides in me today. Those are some of my favorite childhood memories!

That is where the idea for my Facebook page name came from. I have always loved nature photography, hiking, horseback riding, and riding atvs.  When I visit a place to hike, I usually pick a lesser known conservation area to explore. I love being away from the sights and sounds of daily life. One summer I was taking an online photography course to help me advance my nature photography skills and I had to develop a social media account to showcase my photos. That is where my page MO Backroads Adventures was born.  As they say, the rest is history.

I have always been a country girl. When my husband proposed and we were looking for a home, I had 3 conditions. The first is that I would never live in city limits, the second was I didn’t want to see my neighbors, and the third was that I wanted 15 or more acres for my horse and goat. I only got one out of the three, due to us being 21 year olds and in college. We found a house that was out of the city limits and at least 15 minutes from town, close to my parents and horses, and surrounded by woods on three sides and I really can only see my neighbors house in the winter after the leaves have fallen off the trees. You can probably tell, we love the solitude that comes from being in nature and away from people. It is important to me, that our children have the freedom to explore the woods, run and play, have animals to take care and foster that sense of responsibility, and have the area to ride four wheelers and RZRs like we did as kids. As we are looking for a new home or land to build on, we want all of the above plus we want to live on a county road like we do now.

From the county road  we live on, we can get to the nearest town by at least 3 separate ways, just by taking different county roads. We love to spend our Sundays taking a drive around the block, as we call it. But it’s much different than a city block, our block consists usually of 30 to 40 miles of county road cruising.

When I feel stressed or need to just slow down, I usually suggest a ride to my husband who is more than happy to go along. Our kids, 3 and 7, enjoy it just as much as we do. They’ve grown up on the seat of a RZR, Ranger, and four-wheeler.

It was one of those Sundays, when work and life had us all going a little stir crazy. We needed to get out of the house. So we decided to cross the county line and head up to Perry county to visit Tower Rock. We took several Perry county roads and saw many beautiful farms, deer, and even some old shoes on a fence, that I am sure must have a story! You never know what you may see when you are traveling an old Missouri backroad.

I suggest just getting out there and taking a new backroad to find out where it ends up. You never know what you might discover along the way! I think my backroad pictures on this post speak for themselves to the beauty and the therapy that a back road can offer. So get out there and discover those MO backroad adventures!

Meet our Guest Blogger, Amber Odom:
Hey everyone!  I am an elementary teacher by day and a nature lover at heart. I love exploring new places in southeast Missouri, meeting new people, and being in the great outdoors! Come along with me as I explore those MO backroads adventures!

Stay Connected with Amber!

Instagram Page: @mobackroadadventures
Facebook Page: @MObackroadadventures

Check back for more from Amber and her family’s Missouri (Perry County) Back Road Adventures.

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