Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Route 66 Road Trip Day 2 - St. Louis, MO to Tulsa, OK, part A


We woke up early Friday morning, as Grandma had promised.  I believe Grandma is the only early morning riser in the bunch.  But we got to giggling over silly things, and pretty soon everyone was up and ready.  We had breakfast at the motel breakfast buffet (included with room), good on the budget!!  Then we hit the road!!  We had a long haul ahead of us before we reached Tulsa, Oklahoma, for the night.

There are a couple of Route 66 trails through St. Louis.  The original came across the Mississippi into downtown and then headed southwest on Mackenzie/Chippewa, which became Watson RoadWatson Road was absorbed into Interstate 44 for several miles.  A couple of historic places along that early route are:

The first is the Coral Courts Motel, which is now totally demolished and replaced by a small subdivision.  It has the reputation of being one of the most famous motel courts all along Route 66, and it is sad that it is gone.  

Route 66 in Missouri
 The next famous spot is Ted Drewes Frozen Custard, still going strong, having originated around 1941.  Customer lines run out into the streets, but they go fast.  We did not use that route on our trip out of town.  Instead, we took the second option. 

We had entered into Missouri on Thursday on the northern I-270 loop, stopping at our son’s place, and then going to Chesterfield for our motel.  When we left the motel on Friday morning, we headed down to Manchester Road (also known as Hwy 100) and took it west to Gray Summit.  This is where the original route and the later route met.  We planned to take the early Route 66 on our return trip.  We will also be stopping back in Gray Summit on our trip home to visit Purina Farms.

First stop for us on this Friday morning driving southwest across Missouri was the town of Cuba, also known as “Mural City”, boasting of over one dozen outdoor artworks on buildings throughout town.  Both Granddaughters joined me, as well as our son, in snapping pictures:

This is a restored Phillips 66 gasoline station – isn’t it cute!!

Well, Miss Holly (the van) is waiting on us, time to go!  Because just ahead is:

We stayed on Route 66 to the next town of Fanning, where we had our first “Giant Alert!”…the world’s largest rocker, which is 40 feet tall.  Every year there is a Race to the Rocker, from Cuba to Fanning, a four mile run.  This just took place at the end of March this year.

The U.S. 66 Outpost and General Store was interesting enough that we stopped on our way west, and again on our way back home. 

Our second Giant Alert was found in Dillon at the Mule Trading Post…a Hillbilly.

Here’s a good example of Route 66 coming to an abrupt halt, and the interstate taking over…Route 66 was absorbed into Interstate 44.

We took turns driving the interstate and driving the Mother Road.  This was part of the preplanning I did, to know when it was a good time to be on Route 66.  If we did the trip over, we could cover a lot more of the road than we did on this trip.  But we were under time restrictions. I think a person needs at least a month to truly enjoy Route 66, and that’s just one way! 

We hopped on to the interstate at Dillon and drove to the exit for Waynesville.  Here we had two Giant Alerts!  One is obviously a bowling pin, and the other is a rock formation that someone had painted to make it look like a frog.  They did a great job!!

My goal was to be in Lebanon, Missouri before noon to stop and visit some friends of ours…a former pastor and wife.  They have a ten acre ranch I wanted to see, and I knew the girls would enjoy their pets…dogs and bunnies.  We ate our “Granny Jar” “snack alert” lunch just before going to their place.  That particular snack alert card had “deli sandwich or p&j sandwich”, so that worked out well!!  Therefore we didn’t stop for lunch at a fast food place, and we had breakfast at the motel, so that left us the daily food budget money for our evening meal.

Lebanon had a few historic places to visit also.  We stopped by the Munger Moss Motel and met the owner.  They are actually doing one of their rooms as a tribute to Coral Court Motel, calling it “Pretty in Pink”.  The lobby has a gift shop and a toy display.  Then we went to the Laclede County Library – Route 66 Museum, which was very interesting.  They had various “rooms” set up to represent the 40’s-50’s era.  One was a café setting with the jukebox.  When I was planning this trip and where we would stop, the word “Free” became a top priority.  Worked well in our “vacation on a budget” road trip!

It was time to head on down the road to Springfield.  We chose not to spend much time in Springfield on this trip, but we did hop off the interstate at this point and drove quite a lengthy stretch of Route 66 from Halltown to Joplin, and on into the third state along the Route 66 historical road…Kansas.  However, that will be shared in my next segment, Day 2, Part B.  Y’all come back now, ya hear?

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