Posts tagged mother road

September 12-14, 2015: Route 66 RV Trip

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Our latest journey is another trip on Route 66. We decided to take our new Shasta Oasis travel trailer on this trip, rather than our typical road trip by car.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

We initially planned to start on Friday evening after work, but due to a late schedule, needed to wait until morning. We left early to ensure we could meet the schedule we had planned. That was another different aspect of this trip, that we would have some anticipated stopping points; travel less time per day, and spend a little more time in the overnight location.

For the first day, our destination was Springfield, Missouri to the KOA where we stayed for the Birthplace of Route 66 Festival a couple of weeks ago. After we passed St. Louis, we took 66 mainly through Missouri, except in a spot or two.

We stopped by Paris Springs to see Gary Turner’s replica filling station, Gay Parita. Sad to hear that vandals have been stealing signs and memorabilia after his death. His sons have taken down many of the signs to prevent further thefts. Gary’s daughter will be purchasing the property and opening it once again – hopefully, that will deter the vandals when someone is on site!

We went next door to visit Teresa and John – fellow Corvair enthusiasts we met during the Springfield 66 festival last month after conversing on several 66 Facebook groups. Nice visit with new friends!

Once we arrived at the KOA and he’d had some playtime at the KOA’s playground, we took our grandson to the Steak n’ Shake on Route 66 and then to Andy’s Frozen Custard.

We enjoyed this KOA just as we had previously. There is a nearby train tracks and it is pretty close to a crossing, so when the train goes by, you do get the loud whistle sound. Whether that disturbs one is strictly personal preference. I can sleep with it, and fall right back if I wake up…plus I enjoy the sound. Your results may vary, but it’s good to know!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

We moved on the next day to the Tulsa area. We continued taking 66 as much as we could, stopping at as many places as practical given our combined total of 48 feet. Of course, we stopped at Afton Station to visit our friends Laurel and Ron. Jameson enjoyed the station and exploring the Packards and the old motorhome.

Next, we stopped at the Blue Whale in Catoosa, which went well. Luckily, a year later, our grandson has a better understanding that leaving one place doesn’t mean the fun is over and he knows that there is more fun down the road!

Unfortunately, on this day there would be a little less fun than we had planned. First, we ran out of gas in Tulsa. So much for the “Distance to Empty” feature on the truck, which still read 50 miles! Our Shasta came with a year of Coach Net from Forest River, the parent company of Shasta. They did very well, giving us an estimate of an hour but the service provider delivered the gas and we were on our way within 45 minutes. Two thumbs up!

That was great service though the experience was still annoying and we were a bit cranky…and then to make matters worse, we found that our RV park for the night (Cross Trails RV Park) was not at all what we expected.

Here is the description from their website:

“Sapulpa’s newest RV Park located on 7 Scenic acres with all the amentities that you need to feel at home. We are located in the scenic hill country on the Southwest side of the Tulsa metro area. We use the Eaton Powerhouse Pedestal that has 50/30/20 Amp electrical plugs, TV cable jack as well sewer, trash and free WiFi internet access. Our clubhouse offers a Laundry Room, Showers , a Playground area for the kids, a Dog Park, Picnic Area and Storm Shelter.”

Let me first say the good. The manager was very responsive and friendly by telephone (I did not see him in person, though). It was unusual, though, for him to tell us to meet his son by the dumpster along the fence after dark. Not exactly a usual or comfortable “check-in” experience.

The park is very new and to some extent, that is a plus. The concrete pads are very new and in excellent condition, same for the electrical pedestal. And for what it’s worth, it was on Route 66.

Beyond that, I have very little other positive things to say about this RV park. None of the other amenities appeared to be built or ready…no playground or dog park. The only building that was listed as the office and laundry was closed and peeking in the windows, it was still very much under construction. The grounds were similar, with piles of dirt and rocks everywhere. Many of the other trailers were in various ages and physical condition, with some having flat tires (along with their vehicles). All around, it was not a comfortable place to stay and I wanted to leave as soon as we could in the morning. I do hope that someday this park builds or makes available all of the amenities it has advertised….but as of September 2015, it does not.

We did manage to sneak in a very short visit to the very cool playground in Sapulpa where we took our grandson last year. It got dark pretty quickly but he enjoyed it anyway!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Our next day was to be a bit longer day, trying to get to Amarillo, Texas. Unfortunately, in western Oklahoma, the wind picked up considerably and we were getting a lot more sway with the trailer than we felt comfortable. We heard it was worse in Texas, so we decided to stop and stay at the KOA between Clinton and Elk City, Oklahoma. Not too much to do in the area but they had a playground and what more does a 4 year old boy need. :) This park isn’t bad (the grounds), though there are better KOAs. It doesn’t have much around it to do, except if one drives 12 miles in either direction to Clinton or Elk City (I did cruise Route 66 to Elk City to get some groceries and it was very peaceful!). It’s very good for an overnight stop, but maybe at other times there are amenities and activities? Many KOAs have kids activities, but my feeling is this one is geared more to overnight stops. For that, it is very adequate.

We would then have an easier day getting to Amarillo tomorrow!

Below is a gallery of photos from these three days of the trip. Enjoy, and stayed tuned for the remainder of our journey!

September 12-14, 2015: Route 66 RV Trip

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July 8, 2014: Route 66 – Holbrook to Seligman, Arizona

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Today’s Map

Below is an interactive map of our trip, tracked using my Trimble Outdoors Navigator iPhone app. You can zoom in, or click the link below for a bigger, fullscreen map.

Feel free to browse and refer to the map for details about where we traveled, the photos were taken, etc.

Even though we had a perfectly acceptable stay at the Magnuson, it would have been nice to sleep in a Wigwam (we have at the Cave City, KY location). But here’s a morning photo on our way out of town.

Wigwam Motel - Route 66, Holbrook, Arizona

Next, we stopped at the Jack Rabbit Trading Post. Glad we went and checked the door, because it looked closed, it seemed dark inside and there were no cars visible. But happily, they were open. Sadly, though, they no longer sold that cloyingly sweet cider we enjoyed on our honeymoon. We picked up a few souvenirs, including a HERE IT IS shirt for our grandson.

Jack Rabbit Trading Post - Route 66, Joseph City, Arizona

Jack Rabbit Trading Post - Route 66, Joseph City, Arizona

And here he is, posing on the Jack Rabbit! A rite of passage for all good Route 66 roadies.

Jack Rabbit Trading Post - Route 66, Joseph City, Arizona

Continuing to motor west, our next stop was Winslow, Arizona.

Welcome to Winslow

There is a 9/11 Memorial on the east end of Winslow on 66, which contains pieces from the World Trade Center.

9-11 Memorial, Route 66, Winslow, Arizona

We went over to Standin’ on the Corner Park, which has a mural, statue, and Flatbed Ford, all depicting a scene from The Eagles’ song “Take It Easy.”

There’s a man with a guitar standing on the corner, and the reflection in the window of a girl in a Flatbed Ford. I decided to take it easy and sip a Route 66 root beer. Very peaceful and relaxing.

Standing on the Corner Park - Route 66, Winslow, Arizona

Closeup of the statue…I still think he looks like Jackson Browne, despite the fact that there is no “official” word on who this is (I asked)!

Standing on the Corner Park - Route 66, Winslow, Arizona

Standing on the Corner Park - Route 66, Winslow, Arizona

Standing on the Corner Park - Route 66, Winslow, Arizona

I browsed in two of the shops there and picked up some t-shirts and postcards, while Pat took our grandson for a walk (a 3 year old and breakables is not a good combination!!).

Continuing west, we stopped for a photo at the old Twin Arrows Trading Post. It was barricaded and not as easily accessible as it used to be. There was also a casino nearby, of course, called the Twin Arrows Casino.

Twin Arrows Trading Post, Route 66, Arizona

Twin Arrows Trading Post, Route 66, Arizona

This old bridge is located on Route 66 at the Winona exit (exit 211 from I-40).

Bridge - Route 66, Winona. Arizona

Heading toward Flagstaff.

West on 66 near Flagstaff, Arizona

In Flagstaff, is this former Howard Johnson’s Restaurant (the hotel is still that brand), now the Crown Railroad Cafe.

Crown Railroad Cafe (Howard Johnson's), Route 66, Flagstaff, Arizona

Western Hills Motel sign

Western Hills Motel & Restaurant, Route 66, Flagstaff, Arizona

Sierra Vista Motel sign

Motel Sierra Vista sign - Flagstaff, Arizona

Old scaffold style signs in Flagstaff – Downtowner Motel and Motel DuBeau

Downtowner Motel sign, Flagstaff, Arizona

Motel Du Beau sign (Du Beau Hostel), Flagstaff, Arizona

We stopped in Flagstaff for a while to walk around and take photos of various Easy Rider filming locations, from the opening credits, which was filmed in part along Route 66 in Flagstaff. Click here for my post on Easy Rider Filming Locations to see more photos from Flagstaff along with screen shots from Easy Rider.

We stopped at the 66 Visitors Center and picked up a couple of Route 66 / Cars shirts for our grandson. One was a 66 t-shirt and the other was a really cute hand made Hawaiian type shirt made from Cars fabric with a map and Cars characters Mater and Lightning McQueen.

There was a bakery called Sugar Mamas that we wanted to visit, but it had already closed.

The Galaxy Diner is on 66 on the west side of town.

Galaxy Diner - Route 66, Flagstaff, Arizona

West of Flagstaff, Route 66 takes you on a scenic drive through the Kaibab National Forest. This is another location that was well-depicted in the Pixar film Cars, as Sally & Lightning take a drive through the forest (see video below the photo).

Route 66 west - between Flagstaff and Williams, Arizona

We told our grandson this was where Lightning and Sally went for a drive too!

Next, we arrived in Williams, a really nice Route 66 town with alot of great shops and restaurants. Again, we no longer buy alot of knick knacks, since we’re not in “acquisition” mode, but rather on a long, slow path to decluttering and eliminating stuff for a future of “fulltiming” in an RV someday, but that’s another story. We do buy a few things that we can use like t-shirts, coffee mugs, tote bags, etc. So I bought a cool Route 66 ceramic coffee mug at Cruisers and a couple small other things.

Cruiser's Gifts sign - Route 66, Williams, Arizona

I was disappointed to see the Route 66 Inn closed. I stayed here during my first trip on Route 66 in August 2000.

Route 66 Inn - Williams, Arizona

Turquoise Tepee

Turquoise Tepee - Route 66, Williams. Arizona

Addicted to Deals

Addicted to Route 66 Deals - Route 66, Williams. Arizona

Rod’s Steak House

Rod's Steak House, Route 66, Williams, Arizona

We stopped to get some ice cream at Twisters Soda Fountain…the chocolate met with our grandson’s approval! Here he is wearing the Cars shirt we had bought him in Flagstaff.

Twister's Soda Fountain, Route 66, Williams, Arizona

Twister's Soda Fountain, Route 66, Williams, Arizona

We managed to walk around Williams without any rainfall, which was looming. Moving west, we took the Crookton Road exit, which leads travelers onto a beautiful stretch of Route 66 away from the Interstate, and through Ash Fork, Seligman, Hackberry, Truxton, and on into Kingman.

Here are two photos at the Crookton Road exit.

Route 66, Crookton Road Exit, Arizona

Route 66 - East of Seligman, Arizona

Near Seligman, another BNSF train was approaching!

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Next, we arrived in Seligman as it was nearing dusk; however, as we had never stayed in Kingman, that was our intended destination for this evening.

Looking west on 66 in Seligman.

Route 66, Seligman, Arizona at Dusk

The Copper Cart

Copper Cart - Route 66, Seligman. Arizona

Fillmore from Cars!

Fillmore - Route 66, Seligman, Arizona

Historic Route 66 Motel on the west side of Seligman

Historic 66 Motel - Route 66, Seligman, Arizona

The Supai Motel

Supai Motel - Route 66, Seligman, Arizona

We needed to get gas, so we stopped on the west side of Seligman. Once we did, we realized we really didn’t want to continue for this evening. It was getting dark, and we wouldn’t see much between here and Kingman. We decided to stay at the Stagecoach 66 Motel, where we’d stayed on our honeymoon. Double bonus, there was a restaurant / bar on the premises, so we could get some takeout and eat in our room (we would have eaten at the Snow Cap, but it was already closed by the time we arrived in town).

Stagecoach 66 Motel, Route 66, Seligman, Arizona

 They had vacancy, and Pat even managed a surprise…a Cars-themed room. Jameson was very excited to see all of the decor with Mater, Lightning McQueen, and other Cars characters, just like his room at home. He was literally bouncing all over the place in excitement.

Stagecoach 66 Motel, Route 66, Seligman, Arizona

As Pat went over to the bar & restaurant to get a pizza, Jameson and I had a nice walk all around the grounds of the motel (about 5 laps, no less). It was a nice, peaceful time – I’m not sure what’s in the air in Seligman that calmed my grandson down, but it was just about the most quiet time I’d had with him so far during the trip (and in retrospect it would turn out to be the most quiet time of the entire trip…).

 The office area of the motel.

Stagecoach 66 Motel, Route 66, Seligman, Arizona

Dinner!

Stagecoach 66 Motel, Route 66, Seligman, Arizona

Then it was time for some shuteye and the nightly ritual of trying to get our grandson to calm down and go to sleep. Mercifully, he fell asleep fairly easily today!

Until tomorrow…

Slideshow of All Photos (July 8, 2014)

Below is a slideshow of all of the photos from this portion of the trip.
Click any photo to stop the slideshow and view the photos on my Flickr site. 
If you are on an iOS device and do not see the slideshow below, click here to view the set on Flickr.

Hope you enjoyed the ride!

Pat & Jennifer

RTM_CartoonGreen

Plans change; relax and go with the flow…

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Well, you know what they say about the best laid plans…OK, we didn’t really have an actual trip plan yet; just a general declaration that we were going to go west instead of east this year, and our destination would be South Dakota, and we’d travel in September.

We’re still heading west, only now we’ve bumped up the trip to July! After talking it over, Pat and I decided that since I was planning on taking two weeks off work to watch our grandson, we might as well just take him on a road trip, rather than me just using two weeks off to stay home. Pat only has a week available, so I’ll spend my first 4 days locally with my grandson, then we’ll hit the road for the rest of the time.

So then, the next question came up…where should we go? Take him to South Dakota? I immediately thought “no” on that…he’s only 3, so we need to go somewhere he can connect to and get excited (which I am sure we could do if we went to South Dakota). But now with the date bumped up, I’m not sure how intensely I want to plan on a new unknown destination with him. I’m feeling called VERY strongly back to the familiar and comfortable – the Mother Road. We can travel Route 66 without detailed plans or schedules (though I do want to make a few plans to visit kid-oriented attractions that Pat and I would not typically visit on our own). I already had a copy of our Route 66 friend Emily Priddy’s book, “Route 66 for Kids,” a first edition copy we bought when she first published it in 2003. I found that she has since created a Kindle version, so I bought it (see previous link). She also has a companion website, Kidson66.com, with additional information and even some fun coloring pages that can be printed out and brought along. Getting some great ideas!

Another bonus to taking Route 66, is that our grandson is familiar with Route 66 – not only due to our direct influence indoctrinating him into the Route 66 fold, but the Disney/Pixar film Cars is largely set on Route 66, in the fictional town of Radiator Springs, which is a composite of many places along the Mother Road. Route 66 lends itself heavily to the film, and is a driving theme of slowing down, taking the scenic route, enjoying life and the scenery along the way. That theme is the essence of Route 66 and the towns along the route, and there’s history about the rise and fall of the two-lane, with the coming of the interstate, and its effect on the towns that were bypassed.

Pat and I (along with other Route 66 roadie friends) learned about Cars many years before its release (5 long years!!!), from Route 66 author and historian Michael Wallis and his wife, photographer Suzanne Wallis. Michael served as the Route 66 consultant for Pixar, leading them along several Route 66 journeys, fully absorbing them into the road. If you own or rent the DVD of Cars, there is a good “making of” bonus feature, with footage of the Pixar team traveling Route 66 with Michael Wallis. Not only did Michael Wallis serve as the Route 66 consultant, but he also was given a role in the movie – the Sheriff – and Pixar did a great job animating the Sheriff to resemble Michael, with the car’s front grille resembling Michael’s mustache.

Michael Wallis Booksigning at Hit the Road Travel Store, Chicago

Disney-Cars-Sheriff

Pixar did an excellent job of incorporating the people and places of Route 66 into the movie – whether they outright animated a building (Ramone’s is dead on to the Conoco-Phillips station in Shamrock, Texas – or paid homage to them, like the mountain range that resembles Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo – or somewhere in between, like the Cozy Cone, which is based upon the Wigwam Village motels (route 66 has two – one in Holbrook, Arizona and the other in Rialto, California). For an in-depth comparison of Route 66 locations to Cars, check out our friend Ron Warnick’s page on his Route 66 News site: A Route 66 Guide to the “Cars” Movie

We know we’ll have fun showing our grandson the Route 66 sights he’s already familiar with, but can be excited to see and experience for himself. While we were looking forward to a new destination, I’m actually feeling really good about visiting an old familiar friend. We may just veer off on our way back and take a different route…we’re not sure yet, but we’ll have fun and enjoy no matter where the two lane roads take us.

Stay tuned!

July 31-August 4, 2013: International Route 66 Festival, Joplin, Missouri

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Day 1: Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Below is an interactive map of our trip, tracked using my Trimble Outdoors Navigator iPhone app. 

Feel free to browse and refer to the map for details about where we traveled, the photos were taken, etc. You can zoom in, or click the link below for a bigger, fullscreen map.

Today’s the big day – we’re finally hitting the road for the 2013 International Route 66 festival, to be held this year in Joplin, Missouri. While I highly believe the Route 66 festivals should be held alternating in all of the various Route 66 states, for us and work schedules it’s obviously easier for us to attend the farther east they’re held.

It’s also the first time we’ll be taking our retro/Route 66-themed Serro Scotty trailer on a longer journey – traveling, rather than weekend camping. We mostly use it for camping only trips, where we spend the bulk of our time actually hanging out at the campground; to me, that’s a far different experience than using it on a road trip, where it’s just a place to lay our heads down for the night.

Though our goal was to stay off the Interstate as much as possible, we headed west out of Indianapolis on the Interstate through Indiana and part of Illinois. In St. Elmo, Illinois, we exited the Interstate and took US 40. An unexpected VERY early morning (after a late night) ensured my need for a nap, so Pat hopped back on the Interstate, which we took through the remainder of Illinois and into Missouri. After passing St. Louis, we exited – finally – for Route 66 in Eureka.
Gateway Arch - St. Louis, Missouri

We made our way along Route 66 in Missouri toward Joplin, and our destination for the night would be the Ladybug RV Park, west of Cuba. Just before arriving, we stopped at the Fanning 66 Outpost, a great stop along the road for Route 66 souvenirs, a Route 66 soda, some Missouri wine – and of photo op at the World’s Largest Rocking Chair!
66 Outpost, Route 66 - Fanning, Missouri

66 Outpost, Route 66 - Fanning, Missouri

We went back into Cuba for dinner at Missouri Hick BBQ, then went to a local frozen yogurt / ice cream shop called Dessert Island for some froyo -I got their salted caramel pretzel, which was really good! We were very impressed! We drove around and took a few photos of some of the murals in town (see the slide show at the bottom of this post), that provide Cuba with its nickname, the Mural City; then back to the campground for some much-needed rest.

Missouri Hick BBQ - Route 66, Cuba, Missouri

 Day 2: Thursday, August 1, 2013

Below is an interactive map of our trip, tracked using my Trimble Outdoors Navigator iPhone app. 

Feel free to browse and refer to the map for details about where we traveled, the photos were taken, etc. You can zoom in, or click the link below for a bigger, fullscreen map.

We continued to cruise Route 66, and stopped for a photo op at the Mule Trading Post (it was not yet open for the day).
Mule Trading Post, Route 66 - Rolla, Missouri

We stopped at the Totem Pole Trading post, where we picked up a “Cars” bag, featuring Lightning McQueen and Mater, for our grandson.

Along the way, I noticed a car along the side of the road, and the people by it were waving at us. I waved back, and in the split second we passed by, I thought I recognized them as our Route 66 friends, Kip and Quinn, and their daughter Natalie. Pat wasn’t sure, as he didn’t really notice (being the driver), so up ahead we found a safe spot to pull over and sure enough, they came rolling up behind us! We had a nice roadside chat, then continued on to Joplin.

We stopped by to say hello to Ramona, the owner of the iconic Route 66 motel, the Munger Moss, and made our always necessary stop at Redmon’s Candy Factory for a few sweet snacks.

In Carthage, an alert came up on our Garmin GPS’ “Roadside America” app for a roadside attraction called “Crapduster.” The creation of artist/sculptor Lowell Davis, it is a manure spreader fashioned with biplane wings and situated by a gas station.

Crapduster - Route 66, Carthage, Missouri

We arrived at the campground where we’d be staying until Saturday, the Big Red Barn RV Park, and got the Scotty all set up.

Serro Scotty HiLander at Big Red Barn RV Park

We decided to cruise Route 66 a little more, to head out to Galena and Riverton before we went over to the 66 Drive-in in Carthage. As part of the festival, the 2006 Pixar film “Cars” would be playing at the drive-in and Route 66 author and historian Michael Wallis would be there “deputizing” kids (in addition to being Pixar’s go-to expert on Route 66, he provided the voice of the Sheriff in the film). For the weekend, Pixar provided life size versions of Lightning McQueen & Mater, who would be making several appearances throughout the festival. Tonight was their first appearance, at the drive-in.

So, we got to Galena, where we saw that the business Cars on the Route, was open and serving dinner. We were hungry, and always wanted to support local business as much as we can, decided to have dinner here. Cars on the Route is the home of the original tow truck that was the inspiration for Pixar’s character “Tow Mater” from Cars (the one on the right).

Tow Mater prototype at Cars on the Route - Route 66, Galena, KS

Tow Mater prototype at Cars on the Route - Route 66, Galena, KS

After dinner, we decided we needed to get back to Carthage for the drive-in. We were not doing the cruise, just going straight to the drive-in on our own. We didn’t have too long of a wait, as we showed up later. We were able to get a spot in the back (didn’t really matter to us!), and started walking around. We ran into a few more Route 66 friends, Mark, Mike and Sharon.

We walked up to see the activity at the front, and caught sight of two familiar characters. We even did Face Time with our grandson so he could see the giant Mater and Lightning McQueen – I think he enjoyed it (couldn’t hear a thing as there was very loud oldies music blasting from nearby speakers).

Lightning McQueen & Mater  at the 66 Drive-in, Route 66 - Carthage, Missouri

Michael Wallis greeting and deputizing young fans:

Michael Wallis at the 66 Drive-in, Route 66 - Carthage, Missouri

It was fun watching Cars at the drive-in, despite having seen it many (MANY!) times before. We were fans when it came out in 2006, after having waited at least 5 years. I first heard of the movie when I saw Michael Wallis speak at a book signing in Chicago in 2001, and he talked about his tour of Route 66 with the folks from Pixar. Along with other Route 66 roadies, I was immediately excited about it, having been a Pixar fan starting with Toy Story in 1995, which I took my daughter to see, and following through with many of the others. Now, we’re getting our 2-1/2 year old grandson into “Cars,” so it’s viewed quite frequently at our house! The drive-in is digital, so the quality of the movie is completely on par with its small screen counterpart. Nice!

Day 3: Friday, August 2, 2013

We woke up bright and early to get a start on the day. I wasn’t hungry, but definitely needed some coffee, stat! I also wanted to visit a local place, and the Mother Road Coffee, on the town square in Carthage, fit the bill perfectly! Pat got a blended coffee drink and I got a regular brewed coffee. Finally having real cream in my coffee, and not my allergy diet substitute -coconut milk creamer- was sheer delight!

Mother Road Coffee - Carthage, Missouri

As we motored west into Joplin, we passed by the Candy House Gourmet Chocolates. As part of the festival events, they were to be doing tours, so we decided to stop and do that now, as that was something we were interested in.

They had loads of various types of candy, mainly chocolates, but also taffy, Jelly Belly, rice krispy treats, lollipops, etc. Many of them were also Route 66-themed.
Candy House Gourmet Chocolates - Joplin, Missouri

Candy House Gourmet Chocolates - Joplin, Missouri

The tour was fun and informative, and if you’re ever in Joplin, it is well worth a stop and a tour!

We also bumped into a roadie friend we hadn’t seen in a while, Bob and his wife Kitty. We chatted for a while, picked up some chocolates, and on to our next stop.

Next up, we were going to check out Grand Falls, the largest, continuously flowing waterfall in Missouri. But along the way, we passed by Wilder’s Restaurant and its very cool sign, which is in great shape.

Wilder's Restaurant - Joplin, Missouri

Along this route, evidence of the damage and destruction from the 2011 F5 tornado that ravaged Joplin. There were a mixture of concrete foundations where homes once stood, new homes, new homes still being constructed, and in the midst of this were also older homes that were relatively unscathed. I always liked Joplin, and when I heard about the tornado, I really wanted to try to help out and volunteer some time. But due to my work schedule and staffing, all we could do is donate financially.

The waterfall was just south of Joplin, and is situated along Shoal Creek.

Grand Falls, Joplin, Missouri

Grand Falls, Joplin, Missouri

By this time, we thought we still couldn’t make it to Riverton, so we headed back into Joplin for the opening ceremonies and dedication of a Route 66 mural.

Here is a video of Michael Wallis’ brief speech during the opening ceremony:

Patrick Tuttle of the Joplin Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, who organized the Joplin festival:

Opening Ceremony for the International Route 66 Festival, Joplin, Missouri

Rick Freeland of the Route 66 Alliance

Opening Ceremony for the International Route 66 Festival, Joplin, Missouri
Michael Wallis, also of the Route 66 Alliance:

Opening Ceremony for the International Route 66 Festival, Joplin, Missouri

Joplin Mayor Melodee Colbert-Kean
Opening Ceremony for the International Route 66 Festival, Joplin, Missouri

Dedication of the mural

Dedication for a new mural on Main street in Joplin, MO

Dedication for a new mural on Main street in Joplin, MO

After the ceremonies ended, we went down to the Christman Center, where the authors and artists were set up. We saw Carolyn there, as well as Mark, Mike and Sharon. We also stopped at a booth for Annie Mouse Books. Our friend Laurel had given us the Route 66 book for our grandson last year, and we decided to get him another book as well. Worth picking up, give them a look!

Afterward, we checked out some of the outside booths. There was a mix of various vendors, mostly local. There wasn’t much going on today, as tomorrow would be Joplin’s big festival day. Today, there was alot of activity at Galena’s festival.

We also went over to the see the Route 66 quilt exhibit at the City Hall:
Route 66 Quilt Exhibit, Joplin, Missouri
Route 66 Quilt Exhibit, Joplin, Missouri

We decided to continue our westward trek to get to the Old Riverton Store, but as we really hadn’t eaten anything today, I thought it would be good to have some lunch too. We were so close to Miami that I suggested Waylan’s KuKu Hamburgers….sure didn’t need to twist Pat’s arm. Crushed ice and deep fried pickles? He was completely on board!

As we cruised through Galena, we noticed a new addition to the roadside, homage to Radiator Springs, a Happy Place! LOL

Galena, Kansas: A Happy Place

Then on to Waylan’s.

Waylan's Ku-Ku Hamburger, Route 66, Miami, Oklahoma

We came back and stopped at Nelson’s Old Riverton Store. Formerly known as Eisler Bros. Old Riverton Store, the store had been managed by their nephew Scott Nelson, who purchased the store in December 2010.

Nelson's Old Riverton Store - Route 66, Riverton, Kansas

We continued on back to Galena for the festival there and to see The Road Crew – I’d often heard about them, but was not fortunate enough to have seen them; until today, that is. They were performing at the festival in Galena tonight, Joplin tomorrow night, and at Laurel’s Afton Station on Sunday. We had to leave early Saturday to make the haul (literally) back to Indy, so Galena was our only opportunity to see the band. They were great! here’s a quick video I took, followed by a few photos. The rest of my photos can be seen in the slideshow at the bottom of this post.

The Road Crew at the Route 66 Festival, Galena, Kansas

The Road Crew at the Route 66 Festival, Galena, Kansas

The Road Crew at the Route 66 Festival, Galena, Kansas

We ran into a number of friends again in Galena, and bumped a few we hadn’t seen yet, including Robert, Fred, Jane, Jim and Shellee. Pat also spotted John Paget, a filmmaker who did one of my favorite Route 66 videos, “Route 66: An American Odyssey.” It was really hot and humid tonight, so we took a brief respite for a cold drink at the Main Street Deli. We listened to The Road Crew for a bit more, then took another lap around Main Street before heading back to the trailer.

As much as we want to go to the Route 66 e-group breakfast, we weren’t looking forward to the event ending prematurely for us.

Day 4: August 3, 2013

Below is an interactive map of our trip, tracked using my Trimble Outdoors Navigator iPhone app. 

Feel free to browse and refer to the map for details about where we traveled, the photos were taken, etc. You can zoom in, or click the link below for a bigger, fullscreen map.

Despite having gone to sleep reasonably early, Mother Nature had other plans early this morning, when she decided a thunderstorm was in order. The sound of the rain on the aluminum roof is magnified and immediately woke me between 3:30 and 4:00 am. Despite my body thinking it was an hour later, I was still tired and not wanting to hear the raindrops beating down on the trailer like BBs! My incredibly trusty “Simply Noise” iOS app, which generates various “noise colors” to cover up unwanted noises, didn’t fail me after I stumbled out of bed to grab my headphones and iPhone. Unfortunately, while it sufficiently drowned out the rain, after looking at the radar and seeing a thunderstorm nearby, there wasn’t any way I was going to sleep well until it passed. It isn’t bad enough being in a structure in a place where there is obvious possibilities for severe storms; but being in a tiny aluminum box during a storm did not do my nerves any good and I only drifted in and out of sleep for the next two hours. By 6, I was able to fall asleep, but it was past the time I wanted to get up! The Route 66 e-group breakfast started at 7!! I rushed to get ready, and we made it there by 8.

We had a nice time at the breakfast, always a great event organized by Mike and Sharon. We sat with Jane and a couple from Missouri. In addition to everyone we’d seen before, we caught up with more roadie friends, we hadn’t seen yet – Jerry, Emily, Ron, and Laurel, and met some new ones – Joe from the Road Crew stopped over to say hello and thank me for the photos from Galena and we chatted with him and the rest of the band (Jason, Don, and Woody) for a few moments before we left.  I even won a print of a brand new painting by Jerry of the Munger Moss Motel! I was hoping to win that, and was I surprised when I actually did!

We sadly said our goodbyes and went back to the Candy House to pick up some turtle candy for our T@B/camping friend Elaine. We’d be meeting her and her husband Dane in St. Louis this evening for dinner at The Big Chief (on an alignment of Route 66), and some frozen custard at Ted Drewes.

We meandered east alternating on 66 and unfortunately, the Interstate. We stopped by Spencer for a photo op.

Spencer Phillips 66 Filling Station, Route 66, Spencer, Missouri

We also stopped by Mr. C’s Route Post, which was closed on the way out, as he was attending the festival. He must have had help today, as his father was tending the store. We purchased some 66 soda and a few souvenirs.

Mr. C's RoutePost, Route 66, Lebanon, Missouri

A perfectly timed Tweet from Roadside America reminded us that today was “Picture on the Rocker Day,” the single day per year that visitors are allowed to sit or stand on the giant rocking chair at the Fanning 66 Outpost. Pat was hesitant, indicating that he didn’t really want or need to go up there, but as you can see below, I was able to persuade him otherwise.

The World's Largest Rocking Chair - Fanning 66 Outpost

We also picked up one of the Road Crew’s CDs here, then continued on to Pacific, where we’d be staying at a KOA on Route 66.

We settled down and set up the Scotty, and waited for Dane and Elaine to arrive. We had a nice dinner at the Big Chief Roadhouse, on an old alignment of Route 66, followed by some frozen custard at Ted Drewes.

Serro Scotty at KOA St. Louis - Route 66, Pacific, Missouri

Big Chief Roadhouse, Route 66, Wildwood, Missouri

Ted Drewes Frozen Custard - Route 66, St. Louis, Missouri

Ted Drewes Frozen Custard - Route 66, St. Louis, Missouri

Day 5: August 5, 2013

Our last day was fairly uneventful. We alternated between I-70 and US 40 throughout Illinois and Indiana, finally arriving home at 8:00 PM.

Until next time!

Pat & Jennifer

Photographs

Below is a slideshow of all of the photos from this trip.
Click any photo to stop the slideshow and view the photos on my Flickr site.

[flickrslideshow acct_name=”roadtripmemories” id=”72157634928577191″ width=”600″]

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