After leaving Springfield, IL, I headed to Missouri on I-55, driving past St. Louis and into our vast country going west for the first time. I always get a little nervous when I am on a new road and this was no different. What made things worse was trying to navigate Rt. 66. This road is so twisty and turny that I couldn’t figure out where it ended and began. So, I decided not to drive it all the way and only get off the highway when I wanted to stop somewhere to explore/take snaps.
Cuba- There is an awesome visitor center and the attendant was so helpful. She gave me detailed instructions and maps, along with a recommendation for the best BBQ place. Next, I went on the mural walking tour, saw the very cute Christmas display by Cuba Gardens, visited Hayes Shoe Store where the world’s tallest man’s shoe are on display, a whopping size 37! Needless to say, they didn’t carry my little size 5-1/2s. Then onto the Wagon Wheel Hotel that stands next to Missouri Hick’s BBQ. I had the pulled pork open faced sandwich with potatoes and gravy and bought a bottle of sauce to go. YUM! I think this was my favorite place to visit in Missouri.
Fanning – This little town features the world’s largest rocking chair, that is regularly maintained. Visited the Outpost and was pleasantly surprised by the 10,000 sf store and collection of 400 bottles of soda available for sale. I bought some fudge and kitchen stuff. Very cute and nicely decorated.
Lebanon – Munger-Moss Motel sports the original neon sign along with other little signs relating to various distances along Rt. 66.
Springfield – Steak and Shake, 1962 The first and original store and the neon signage. Other attractions included the Gilloz Theatre, Fox Theatre (very art deco) and the big fork, an art installation behind an office building. It would have been fun to stick around to see more, but with this COVID thing, most public spaces were closed.
Joplin – This was a cute little town that featured another famous eatery that is still open, Grandma Schaffer’s Family Restaurant. The restaurant roasts its own coffee beans and was pretty crowded with mostly locals. This was the first restaurant I’ve run into that still has a smoking section. What!!???
Joplin Mineral and History Museum contained local specimens and a neat diorama of how the mining process works and how minerals are extracted. It also had a fluorescent mineral display that I kept playing with. OOH, glowing rocks!
12/1 Kansas only has a 13 mile piece of Rt.66, and there is an old bridge called Rainbow Bridge that should not be missed. It’s old and was fun to take pictures of the Kansas Route 66 signs.