Unbelievable destruction in Joplin, MO

Trip Start Jun 19, 2011
Trip End Jul 20, 2011

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Where I stayed
Elk City State Park

Flag of United States  , Missouri
Wednesday, June 22, 2011

What an interesting and humbling day we have had. The morning we woke up to was a beautiful one...cool enough and with low humidity so we were very comfortable enjoying our coffee and morning coffee with our doors and windows open. After pulling out of camp at 8:40 AM, we were on our way to our first stop which was the town of Bella Vista which lies close to Bentonville. Our plan was to once again trust our faithful GPS, Geeps, in guiding us to Bob and Ruth Darula's old house. Well, Geeps DID get us there via SEVERAL small and winding back roads. We wondered how in the world they managed such a drawn out trek home every day! We found the house--it was lovely--but on the way back Geeps took us an entirely different route which was at least twice as fast as the one we came in on. Trust in Geeps was rapidly dwindling.

From Bella Vista, we headed into Missori via a portion of old Route 66. One of us decided to sing that he "found his kicks on Route 66"--encourgement was given to keep the day job!

We drove into Joplin expecting the town to have been destroyed by the tornado that hit one month ago today. To our surprise all we saw at first were trees that had been twisted and uprooted along the road and a bright and sunny downtown. Wondering if it was a story that had been told about a relatively small area, I put the word "hospital" into Geeps and we then followed the suggested route to the hospital we all saw on TV last month. We discovered that indeed was NOT a small and isolated area of destruction but instead was a vast area of destroyed homes, businesses, and lives. As far as our eyes could see in every direction there was devestation. The streets had been cleared so we were able to drive all around the area which surprised us. There were many, many relief organizations set up all over town and they seemed to be quite busy. The whole scope of destruction was so big I am sure it will take both of us awhile to absorb it all. I took several pictures but since I once again don't have WIFI, I will have to upload them in at a later day. As I said yesterday, I can't upload to this blog via my phone...speaking of which Daniel--I talked to your Mom twice today and I agree she has serious phone envy, and I ha e my doubts that you are going to get a new phone until SHE does...I'm just saying...

We continued on from Joplin to Independence, MO where we found a very nice state park. The sites are paved and level, we have a concrete patio (yay!), and even more exciting, we have full hookups! Those of you who RV know how rare that is in a state park. The grass is well mowed and truly a welcome oasis for the end of our travels today. Also Geeps had the last laugh...John didn't believe her directions and took a different route to the campground...running into a gravel road that we would have missed if we had only followed the instructions! Sigh.


1) There were 18,000 cars destroyed. We saw lots of them in parking lots lined up. Some were unrecognizable as vehicles. It looked like a disaster movie...the difference being that it was real!

2) 6,954 homes were destroyed...and we can believe it. You could look around you 360 degrees and all that could be seen as far as your eye could see was piles of debris...wood, twisted metal, steel beams. It would have to be hard to even pick out where your home had been.

3) 5,000 jobs affected

4) 875 homes damaged

5) 500 businesses affected

6) 155 deaths...had to be a miracle that it wasn't thousands more
Slideshow Report as Spam


tricruiser on

Reading your entries make me wish we were on the road again. Hang in there with the Geeps it got us out of Calgary when I got lost. Looking forward to more of your adventures.

Ed & Betty

hotterthanhadesinSC5 on

Looks like you all are having fun! We are going to the beach instead to cool off some. :)

Joe & Doris on

It is my understanding that Walmart has a special on Garmins. Perhaps you may want to take a look, assuming that you can locate one of their stores. I suppose it is difficult when you can't trust GPS. Then, there are always maps.
..I'm just saying...

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