Just as I found it difficult to tell you why Sunday was great, right now I can’t explain why today was exhausting. Deb and I arrived back at Ernie around 5pm, collapsed onto the bed and slept for two hours without stirring.

The day started early, around 6am, sitting on the patio outside the bus. Though we originally planned to head to The Mountain today, as we talked over coffee we found ourselves dithering — until, that is, Deb remembered that the Tuesday special at Carolyn’s Razorback Ribs in Yellville was “brisket street tacos.”

That settled it. We showered and hit the road.

Before leaving town we stopped to see our builder and asked him to postpone production of the house kit by a few weeks, accommodating the delay in closing the sale of Second Chance Ranch. The rest of the drive was uneventful, though pleasant. We stopped for a few minutes at the Yellville Post Office. I suggested to Deb that we continue south and visit Gray Spring before going up to The Mountain, and she agreed.

The state route was being re-paved, pilot trucks leading traffic on a winding path through the construction zone. We missed our turn for Gray Spring but picked up another county road farther south — a stroke of good fortune that put us on a dirt road meandering through the wooded Ozarks countryside.

The spring itself was flowing strong, but drought conditions are keeping it lower than we’d ever seen it. Still, several locals were there to fill bottles, jugs and large poly tanks with the sweet water.

We drove back north to The Mountain for some porch-sittin’ with Deb’s cousin, and then it was on to Razorback Ribs for barbecue — deep-fried jalapeño rings to start, followed by brisket tacos for Deb and a “Sloppy Top” (Angus beef burger piled with pulled pork) for me. I’ll let pictures tell the rest of that story.

But we weren’t done yet. In another spontaneous move, coming back into Harrison we decided to stop at a roadside gun shop we pass every time we drive to and from The Mountain. Turns out it’s a great little place, featuring a respectable selection of guns, ammo and accessories plus a six-lane indoor range.

We had an intriguing hour-long conversation with the proprietors, an Army veteran and his wife transplanted from Louisiana, and we left with Black Rifle Coffee and a pistol magazine. The stop definitely was worth our time.

Why such an ordinary day took the starch out of us is beyond me, but it did. I predict that our Wednesday will be a quiet one.

One year ago today, we drove into the heart of The Heartland.

Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.

#WiseUp #LibertyOrDeath

#LetsGoBrandon #FJB

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