Posts tagged Missouri

November 27, 2008: Route 66 (Day 1)


We woke up this morning intending to head south to Georgia. After a last check of the weather we noticed the forecast had worsened. The chance for rain increased significantly, and since I had a specific purpose for this trip mostly involving outdoor photography, it was not something I wanted to do in the rain. We struggled between wanting to go and whether or not to trust the forecast. We could go somewhere else with a better forecast or not go at all. Pat hinted at going west on 66 since we hadn’t done that in a while. He’s very indecisive, as readers of his blog know from his recent post. We didn’t have enough time for him to put up a poll on his blog to decide where to go, so he let Amber decide. He wrote 3 options on bottle caps: go to Georgia as planned, take Route 66 west as far as we could go, or stay home, and geocache locally. Whichever cap she picked was what we’d do, and she picked geocaching.

Since we now had no time constraints, I watched the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with Amber & plotted a couple of Indiana cache routes with my new DeLorme Topo 7 software. I also played with transferring waypoints to my new GPS, a DeLorme PN-40. So once I did that and the parade ended, I asked Pat about heading out. Then Pat says, “Wanna go to Atlanta?” So much for the written in stone bottle cap selection.  I’m game to try it, so I finished packing, said goodbye to Amber and off we went.

We figured by this late hour, we’d have to superslab most of the trip, so we could get to our destination at a reasonable hour the next day. It was especially important, since the forecast called for some showers building late Friday and Saturday was looking like a total washout. As we headed south on I-65, I started feeling some negative road karma, but while I didn’t want to go home, I really didn’t want to deal with rain. I also didn’t feel like having to superslab the trip in a hurry, and I thought that by the time we’d get to Atlanta, I’d only have a small window of “cloudy” weather with rain closing in. At best, I’d have to rush around taking my photographs before rain set in, and at worst it would be raining. So I said to Pat, “Let’s go on 66 instead!” So we cut across town to I-70 and started our journey west.

After we crossed into Illinois, we took US 40, only taking the evil-I into St. Louis. Sunset on US 40 in Illinois We exited at Hampton Road and took 66 partly through town. By now, Ted Drewes is in “Christmas tree selling” mode. We passed by Crestwood Bowl, of which I haven’t had the chance to take a photo until now.

Crestwood Bowl Neon Sign - St. Louis, Missouri

On Chippewa, there was a Shell station with unleaded gas for 1.33! We took the Interstate from the west side of town to Eureka, then took 66 until Stanton. At that point, we got back onto the Interstate. We thought we might make it as far as Rolla where there are plenty of lodging choices. We passed by Finns Motel in St. James and decided to check it out. The price was reasonable the room was clean and they had WiFi so we opted to stay.

We didn’t get much sleep the night before and I was fairly exhausted so I fell asleep right away.

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September 2007: Missouri Route 66 Motor Tour


Missouri Route 66 Motor Tour

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Animal Paradise – Route 66, Stafford, Missouri

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June 2006: Munger Moss 35th Anniversary Party


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Photos en route to the Munger Moss


Munger Moss 35th Anniversary Party

Route 66 Tattoo Man

The Party’s over…

June 2003: Route 66 – Oklahoma & Missouri


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June 23, 2002: Our Honeymoon on Route 66 (Day 10)


Joplin, Missouri to Speedway, Indiana

Not much on this day except to take the Evil-I back home.

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Our Honeymoon on Route 66 (Day 2)


Fenton, Missouri to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Saturday, June 15 brought a loooong part of the journey. Unfortunately we had to take I-44 through Missouri so we could get into Oklahoma at a reasonable time.  We had, individually, both been on Route 66 in Missouri, and through part of Missouri together (see our April 2001 trip), but it still pained us to be on the Interstate!  We didn’t like “shunning” the Mother Road! We did take Route 66 at Exit #261 in order to go to Pacific, where we had breakfast at Monroe’s Route 66 Diner, which is housed in a metal Quonset hut. Very excellent diner with great road food – perfect to start your road trip with a hearty breakfast!  Reasonable prices, too.

We also stopped in Stanton, to go to the Antique Toy Museum for a case of Route 66 Root Beer for the road. After purchasing our root beer and some other souvenirs, the owner offered us a free tour.  We didn’t have much time to do the tour justice (Jennifer had been there for a visit in August 2000), but we did enjoy about a half an hour there exploring their expansive (and expensive!) collection of toys.

We continued on through Missouri, and unfortunately, as we approached the Kansas/Oklahoma borders, we realized we couldn’t take the route through Kansas (and would miss Eisler Brothers’ General Store) or else we would be very late meeting our friend, Laurel Kane. Laurel is an avid Route 66’er and collector of postcards – see her website: Postcards from the Road.  She is from Connecticut, as was Jennifer, and recently moved to Oklahoma after purchasing an old D-X filling station in Afton, Oklahoma on the shoulders of Route 66. Laurel is restoring the station, which dates back to the 1930’s, where she will greet visitors on Route 66, where they can view her thousands of vintage Route 66 postcards as well as her dozen or so Packards which will also be on display. Long story short (hopefully), Laurel brought us together…when Jennifer was still living in Connecticut and joined the e-group, she met with Laurel for an afternoon of discussion and story-swapping about Route 66. Later that evening, Jennifer received an e-mail from Laurel’s friend Pat. Unbeknownst to Jennifer at the time, after their meeting, Laurel e-mailed Pat, telling him she found Pat’s future wife! When Jennifer moved to Romeoville, Illinois, we met in person and hit it off…a year and a half later, here we are – honeymooning on Route 66!  Now, back to our trip….

We met Laurel at Waylan’s Ku Ku Burger in Miami, Oklahoma, then motored down Route 66 to her Afton Station for an updated look at the renovations. After visiting with Laurel for several hours, we hated to part, but our destination was Oklahoma City, so we needed to continue.

As we took the Evil I (aka, the Interstate) into Tulsa, we noticed some heavy storms up ahead. We witnessed an impressive lightning display, which turned into torrential rainstorms, and continued until Oklahoma City. It did not make for fun travel, especially on the crowded Interstate! Thanks to an incorrect map on Yahoo, we got lost trying to find our hotel, the Route 66 Drive Inn Hotel & Suites, which was on the west side of OKC.  Of course, the map showed it on the east side.  But being the Road Maven couple that we are, we found our way there.

We arrived around 10:00 PM and were told our choice of two rooms had been held for us by our friend Ken Turmel. Ken is a fellow Route 66 e-group member, and a retired postal carrier who has created what is called “PostmarkArt.” It’s hard to explain, so see Ken’s website, designed and maintained by Jennifer: PostmarkArt by Ken Turmel). Ken and his wife Melissa were in the room next door, and in a room across the courtyard were two of Ken’s daughters, and another fellow e-group member, Nicole. We met Ken for a while, and later Nicole, and talked until 1:00 AM! Knowing we were all meeting in the morning for a big Route 66 e-group breakfast, we finally said goodnight!

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Our Honeymoon on Route 66 (Day 1)


Speedway, Indiana to Fenton, Missouri

Monroe's Diner - Route 66, Pacific MissouriWe weren’t married until September 14, 2002, but we decided to take our honeymoon ahead of time. Jennifer just moved to Speedway from the Chicagoland area and wouldn’t have any vacation time at her new job in September after the wedding, so we took our trip early. We’re both a couple of road warriors at heart, and both of our fascinations with the lore of Route 66 is how we met to begin with. But that’s another story! So it was natural that we would take our honeymoon on Route 66. Upon hearing Indipala SS (an Impala SS club in Indianapolis to which Pat belongs), was having a caravan to St. Louis for Impalapalouis on the same day we’d be leaving for our trip, we decided it’d be neat to follow along, since we planned on staying in nearby Fenton, Missouri that night anyway.

After only 2 1/2 hours sleep, we started our journey at 9:15 AM heading west on I-70 to meet up with members of the club in Plainfield.  We arrived at Plainfield at 10am just in time for the caravan to leave. It took a little longer to pack Pat’s ’93 Caprice LTZ for the cross country trip than he had thought. But once we were there, we were met by Indipala prez Dave Bass and Dodie Sheffield. As the caravan took off, we brought up the rear. We must admit the bumper to bumper traffic at 70+mph (with the occasional brake tapping!) on I-70 was a bit much for Pat’s 34 year old heart to take, so we bailed off I-70 after entering Illinois and took the remainder of the trip on the much less congested and slower U.S. 40.

Early in the afternoon, we stopped in Effingham, Illinois for lunch at Woody’s Restaurant in the Dixie Trucker’s Home truck stop. Upon leaving the restaurant, Pat’s keen sense spotted a Corvair behind the restaurant. After discussing the car with the gentleman at the garage where it was parked, we jumped back on U.S. 40 and continued our southwest trek along the Old National Road, through such Illinois towns as St. Elmo, Mulberry Grove and Pocahontas, before entering Collinsville. We met up with some of the club members at the hotel and headed on to our hotel in Fenton.

Leaving the hotel, we ventured across the Mississippi River into Missouri where we stayed for the night at the Fairfield Inn. After checking in, we rested a bit, then we went back into St. Louis to have a frozen custard at Ted Drewe’s, where they’ve been making frozen custard on Route 66 since the 1940’s. We met our fellow Route 66 e-group member Emily Priddy for a concrete.  We had a great visit, we ended up talking for about two hours!

On our way back to the hotel, we needed to stop at Walgreen’s to pick up a Styrofoam cooler and other supplies, and we stumbled upon a St. Louis delicacy called St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake. For something that wasn’t even chocolate, it was so decadent!!  LOL

We went back to our hotel, and called it a night, since we wanted to get an early start tomorrow.

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April 2001: Route 66 – Romeoville, IL to St. Robert, MO (Day 2)


When we awoke Sunday, our Wayfarer Inn experience wasn’t over. When we discovered there wasn’t any hot (or even lukewarm!) water coming out of the shower, Jennifer decided she’d had enough and called the front desk. When she told Mr. Patel we weren’t getting any hot water, he said it would get hot if we left it on “for 5 or 10 minute”. At this point, Jennifer vowed to never take a chance on an independent motel she hadn’t previously stayed in. So, feeling a bit peeved at Mr. Patel’s remedy for hot water, we just decided to end this nightmare and leave. (I won’t tell you that we left on all the lights and television.)  We then went next door to Shoney’s for breakfast (best breakfast bar around!).

After breakfast, we stayed on 66 through Rolla and made our way back east. We noticed the Mule Trading Post was open, so we had to stop. Noticing we were wearing Route 66 garb, the man behind the counter informed us all the Route 66 merchandise was 10% off. So we stocked up on some of Jerry’s postcards, Bob Waldmire’s “Bird’s Eye View” of Route 66, and a map poster of his as well. Leaving the Mule Trading Post, we jumped on I-44 east so we could get back early enough to take 66 through Illinois.

However, I can only take “so much” of the interstate when I know 66 beckons nearby. So we got off 44 in Cuba, MO and rejoined 66. We took 66 back to Stanton, where we took the road towards Meramec Caverns and stopped at the Riverside Reptile Ranch. If you’ve never stopped here, it’s well worth the $4 admission. Jennifer & Amber stopped there last August while on their trip (Riverside Reptile Ranch, August, 2000) They have all sorts of critters there, ranging from turtles, lizards, and a variety of snakes. As Jennifer walked down the corridor where the displays are on both sides, she turned the corner at the end of the corridor to get a better look at a lizard. Much to her surprise when she turned the corner, there waiting for her was a tortoise on the floor that was at least 4 feet long and every bit of 2 feet tall! Fortunately, her heart failure was only temporary. ;-)   At one point in the tour, we were nervous when our 12 year old tour guide got into the “cage” where two alligators were residing. He had a broomstick handle with him and put it around the mouth of one of the gators. We took about 3 steps back when this thing let out a loud “hiss” that sounded more like a vacuum cleaner! We were both having thoughts of  this young man becoming lunch, so we were relieved when he decided to get out of the cage. We finished the tour by heading out behind the building to see Leo, the 2 year old lion they have. They’ve had Leo since he was 2 months old. He was a very playful little fellow (if you can call a 400 pound lion “playful”), as he would rub against the fence while you could pet him. We were told by Bill Fitzgerald (at left, with Jennifer & Leo) that he could reach up to 600 pounds when he reaches maturity. Leo got a little tired from showing off in front of us and laid down next to the building. Thanking Bill for the tour and the stories about Leo, we took off for St. Louis.

Upon entering St. Louis, we had to stop for frozen custard again at Ted Drewe’s. We then crossed the Mississippi River and drove up Illinois 203 to Mitchell, where we rejoined Route 66. We pulled off across the street from the remnants of the old Bel-Air Drive-In. I pulled into the access road to the motel across the street. I pulled a “little” too far to the side of the road and the car got itself stuck in, what appeared to be, just wet grass. After running the gears through “drive” and “reverse” to rock the car out of the trench I was digging, it finally dawned on me. Why am I babying this thing? I’ve got a Chevy Caprice, ex-Indiana State Police cruiser with a 200 horsepower 350 V8 and posi-trac rearend! WHY am I babying it!?  So I just
gassed it and it blasted out of the trench. It left a nice “navigational waterway”………perhaps the motel can put a riverboat casino in it?? The Bel-Air Drive-In sign is still there, however the property will soon be developed into commercial businesses (hotels, restaurants). So we got a picture of the sign before it disappears for good.

From Mitchell, we motored up to Edwardsville where we stopped at the old A&W Root Beer, that appears to be weeks away from the wrecking ball. Jennifer stopped there last August on her first Route 66 trip and took some pictures of it (Route 66 – Illinois, August 2000).  From Edwardsville, we went through Hamel and stopped again at Staunton to get pictures of Henry’s Old Route 66 Emporium and the Country Classic Cars. We then ventured to Mt. Olive and poked our noses in the windows of Soulsby’s Service Station. In Litchfield, we got pictures of the Route 66 Cafe, the Ariston,  and a few other miscellaneous signs. Next we made a stop at Francis Marten’s farm and the “Our Lady of the Highways” shrine. Just north of the farm, I eyeballed where the original alignment went due north of the farm. Less than a mile later, I spotted a drainage ditch that showed a wide section of concrete next to it. Thinking we spotted a “gold mine” of 66 history, we stopped to investigate. The section was about 6 feet down from ground level in the ditch, on the south side of the ditch and ended at the water. What I found interesting is that it was directly below where that original section would have been. But then I realized with the fields next to it, would the road have been that far below the rest of the ground around it? Doubt it. I still would like to know what it was we were looking at. Perhaps Steve Look knows where & what this is??

Back on the road, we stopped by Art’s Motel & Restaurant for more pictures, and then it was on to Springfield. We explored an old 4 lane section of 66 on the south side of Lake Springfield that now serves as access to the boat ramps for the lake. We parked there for a while & contemplated where to have supper. We decided to try the newly re-opened Tropics in Lincoln, so we got back on 66 and drove through Springfield and stopped in Broadwell at Ernie’s Pig Hip Restaurant for some more pictures. From there it was on to Lincoln where we got a couple of pictures of some older motels there before dining at The Tropics. That was the first time either of us had dined there, and it was very good. We had a generous supply of mozzarella sticks for an appetizer. Jennifer ordered the Stuffed Shells, and I had a Meatball sandwich on a hoagie. It was all reasonably priced ($21 for both) and worth another stop. They’re open ’til 10 most nights. We left there shortly after 7pm (they hadn’t turned the neon sign on yet, darn it!) and jumped on I-55 to head back to Romeoville. We passed through some threatening black clouds, but the rain wasn’t too bad. We got back to Romeoville shortly after 9pm, thus ending our busy little 2 day jaunt on the Mother Road.

Hope you all enjoyed it “with us”!

Jennifer & Pat (in Indy)

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April 2001: Route 66 – Romeoville, IL to St. Robert, MO (Day 1)


Signs marking various alignments in southern IllinoisAfter Jennifer got back Saturday morning from the airport, we met at her apartment in Romeoville to begin our weekend excursion. The plan was to take 55 to St. Louis, and 66 in Missouri. After a “grab & go” at Burger King for breakfast, our first stop Saturday morning was Funk’s Grove. We had the chance to talk with Debby Funk and pick up some sirup, maple candy and a few other trinkets. Jennifer never had their sirup before.  On her first trip last August with Amber, they were closed for the season.  We found out from Debby that during that season, they had less sirup than normal, only 800 gallons. They usually yield about 1500 gallons for a season. This year, they have 2500 gallons, 1000 more than usual! So anyone who would like some Funks Grove Maple Sirup should be able to get some this year! Jennifer and I both bought some, and some Route 66 souvenirs, maple candy, and Jennifer bought some maple cream too (delicious!).

From there, being so close, we decided to just stay on 66 and head down to the Dixie Trucker’s Home. We checked out the Illinois Route 66 Hall of Fame, and bought a t-shirt and postcard. From there it was back on the superslab (gotta make time!) and motored south. We got off the interstate in Staunton and went to Country Classic Cars to see some of the more than 300 classic (both restored and unrestored) cars for sale there. My day was made complete when I found 2 Corvairs (a ’61 Greenbrier van and a ’64 Monza sedan). I tried to convince Jennifer how good she would look cruising around Romeoville in the ’64, but she was less than convinced. (Jennifer’s note:  I was convinced!  Don’t listen to him!  LOL)

We left and headed for Henry’s Old Route 66 Emporium to buy some more souvenirs, however, tJennifer & Pat at Ted Drewe's Frozen Custard, St. Louis, Missourihey were closed. After we left Staunton, we called Shellee Graham to see if she could meet us at Ted Drewe’s. After we got the big “thumbs up” from Shellee, we arrived shortly after 1:30 and ordered two concretes while we waited for her arrival. It was an ideal day for frozen custard, as it was sunny and warm and in the low 80’s in St. Louis. After discussing everything from Corvair alternators to dim bulbs to Jim’s new book to Becky’s message in the Texas newsletter, we hated to part, but we said our goodbyes and Jennifer & I started west on 66 around 2:45. Before we left, Shellee kindly took a photograph for us!  We made a stop at the Route 66 State Park in Eureka and drove around the grounds & tried to imagine where all the homes once stood. It was a gorgeous day and place for a picnic lunch (too bad we hadn’t brought one!)…so there’s a new “next time” for our list.

Leaving the park, we ventured through Pacific past Monroe’s Route 66 diner (where Jennifer and Amber had breakfast on their August trip – simply fabulous!!). They were closed for the day, but we were hoping they’d be opened the next day (iffy since it was Easter).

We went through Gray Summit (I refrained from throwing any objects at the Gardenway Motel as we passed), St. Clair, and into Stanton, where we stopped at the Antique Toy Museum. Since Jennifer had bought me a Dixie Trucker’s Home t-shirt earlier in the day, I felt compelled to return the favor. So, at the Toy Museum, they had some 66 t-shirts with “The Route America Travels” on it. Looks like the image of an old decal. So I bought one for her and myself, and a couple of cold Route 66 Root Beers for the road. From there, we made our way toward Rolla. Since it was after 5:30 at this point, Route 66 Motors and the Mule Trading Post were both closed for the day. However, the Totem Pole Trading Post on the west side of Rolla was open, so we found more souvenirs to buy. On the outskirts of Rolla, “Wolfman’s” had the open sign on, so we decided to stop. After the proprietor (Jim) saw our car pull into the lot, he made his way from his house next door to let us in. We wished we’d kept driving!  If you like second-hand cameras, 8-track tapes, and Dale Earnhardt souvenirs, this place is for you! Jennifer bought a $2 ($2!!?) Route 66 ink pen…….a charitable effort on her part!

From there, we made our way to John’s Modern Cabins. (As a side note, I collect old Route 66 postcards of structures that I know are still standing, and I try to recreate those same photos as the buildings look today….from the same spot the postcard photographer took them. And one postcard I have is of Vernelle’s Motel. So I had to get a shot of Vernelle’s while we were at John’s Modern Cabins.)  Upon arriving at John’s, we noticed that the Burma Shave-esque signs which Ron Warnick and Emily Priddy put up on the edge of 66 in front of the cabins, needed some attention. Two of the four were still standing, but one of the signs had fallen off the stake, and another one of the stakes had been split in two pieces.  Someone had tried to fix it with duct tape, but it was sagging badly. So it was Jennifer’s quest to right this wrong and fix the signs. And since I had a toolbox in my trunk, I got to play Mr. Fix-It. So we scoured the area around the cabins for anything that had nails we could use. We found some loose boards that had straight nails, so I yanked them out with a pair of pliers and used them on the signs. After securing them as best we could, we hammered them (didn’t even use a hammer!) back into the ground. So hopefully our handy-work will last long enough for you all to see the next time you’re through Missouri.

After our contribution to the Mother Road was finished, we walked east with my camera to Vernelle’s. It’s amazing how the place had changed (buildings razed, buildings moved) since the picture of the postcard was taken in the late 1950’s. Since it was past 7pm, I tried to convince Jennifer we should stay there for the evening, but all she did was mention the Jerry McClanahan Suite and the next thing I knew, we were on the road towards Devil’s Elbow. ;-)  Since Jennifer had missed the turnoff to Devil’s Elbow on her trip in August, I had to take her there to show her the sights. We passed the Elbow Inn (the Hawgs were there in full force!), crossed the old bridge, and saw Allman’s Market. We went up to the area where you can pull off and we looked south down into the “valley” where the trains cross the old iron bridge. At this point, I said to Jennifer “It’s so quiet here”. And before I finished getting “here” out of my mouth, a shotgun blast up the road came out of nowhere and echoed endlessly! After a few more shots, we both decided we didn’t want to be someone’s supper, so we got back in the car and left. Talk about timing, eh??

Arriving in St. Robert for fuel, we discussed where we wanted to spend the night. I lobbied hard for another 30 miles west to the Munger Moss, but since Jennifer had been up since before 5am that morning, we decided to head back to Rolla for the night so Sunday’s drive wouldn’t have to be so long. Since we’re both “mom & pop motel” types, we thought we’d choose from a few on Martin Spring Drive. Since I had taken a picture earlier in the day of the Wayfarer Inn (I had an old postcard of it), we thought it looked like a decent place to stay. Neither of us thought checking into a motel was such a chore! The “new help” behind the counter had difficulty using Jennifer’s card on the credit card machine. After “New Help’s” 6th or 7th attempt, a man (presumably the owner), ) came from the back to see what the problem was. He told “New Help” she wasn’t entering all the numbers, so after the 8th attempt, the credit card machine spit out another error message. He again told “New Help” she hadn’t entered it right… attempt number nine had the same results as the previous eight. At this point, this comedy duo  were too much for Jennifer and she came down with a case of “I’m trying like heck to hide my laughter”. Well, at this point, Jennifer was able to compose herself long enough to say she’d pay in cash. Meanwhile, the comedy duo were still doing their fine routine. Jennifer couldn’t take anymore, in spite of desperately trying to conceal her laughter (which NEVER works), and she mentioned something about having to get something in the car. So I took care of the bill, and when I got to the car, Jennifer’s ailment turned into a full-fledged case of “I can’t hide my laughter”. Well, upon entering our room (#118 for those of you playing at home), we both decided sometimes it just doesn’t pay to support mom & pop! The room was less than appealing, as the interior door was missing paint, the curtains wouldn’t open as they were nailed to the wall, there were all of 2 lights in the room. The bathroom door shut too tight, you had to force it in with your shoulder to open it from the outside (and Jennifer nearly dislocated her shoulder trying to pull it open from the inside). The bathroom was old-looking, which is NOT always a flaw in older places…however, this place had strange caulking all over, mold on the tile floor, the toilet ran on and off all night, and to get it to flush, you had to keep holding down on the handle until all of the water came out of the tank. Niiiiiiiice! We then called it a night, but that isn’t the end of the Wayfarer Inn story.

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Route 66 – Springfield, IL to St. Louis, MO


February 3 – 4, 2001

Since our roadtrip through Illinois was cut short a week ago, Jennifer & I decided to complete the 2nd half of the trip this past weekend.

We began this weekend’s journey by leaving Indianapolis on US 36 and heading west to Springfield, Illinois. As you may recall, last weekend the Cozy Drive-In was mysteriously closed at a time of the day when it should’ve been opened. We thought we’d try our luck with our Cozy dog quest once again and fortunately, they were open Saturday afternoon. So Jennifer was then able to finally have her first Cozy dog. Buzz Waldmire was behind the counter as usual, but he’s lost a lot of weight and has a full beard…..hardly recognized him!

After our late lunch, we decided to take the 1926-30 alignment south out of Springfield. We mixed in a few older sections of 66 down our trip on IL 4, and especially enjoyed the brick stretch of road. After we toured
Carlinville, we went east to pick up the newer alignment of 66 north of Litchfield. From there, we made our way through Mt. Olive, Staunton, Hamel, and Edwardsville, where we picked up Chain of Rocks Road. After trying to convince ourselves to stay at one of the independent motels near the Chain of Rocks Bridge (we couldn’t convince ourselves THAT much!), we took IL 3 south to pick up the interstate and made our way into St. Louis to look for a place to stay. We both had read this part in East St. Louis was not a good place to stop or have a flat tire…….we now know why! After we saw our second woman standing on a street corner wave to us (perhaps she liked Jennifer’s Neon?), we realized it was ill-advised to have taken this route after dark on a Saturday night! But after we got back on the interstate and across the river, all was well. After cruising down Chippewa and Watson, we found ourselves on I-44 westbound. We pulled into an evil chain motel where they “leave the light on for ya” in Fenton which was conveniently located across from a Krispy Kreme where we had a late night snack.

On Sunday morning, we made our way to the Chain of Rocks Bridge to snoop around. We found some old road remnants around the Canal bridge that I saw on list member Steve Look’s website. After we did some footwork in weeds looking for concrete, we took Chain of Rocks Road back east to hook up with the interstate.

Just to warn everyone, it looks like the remnants of the old Bel-Air Drive In, and sign, will soon disappear. There was a big sign near the old drive-in sign stating it was the future home of the Bel-Air Industrial Park. Chances are they aren’t smart enough to incorporate the old theater sign with it, so if you have never got any pics of it or the other remnants of the drive-in, you might want to…….soon!

From there, we jumped on the super slab and made our way back to Indianapolis…..with the occasional side trip onto US 40. Jennifer then made her way back to Chicago Sunday night. Stay tuned in the weeks ahead for another road report. Our next weekender will be a trip deeper into Missouri.

Until then…….

Pat in Indy

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