back a page home my route map forward a page
Route 66 - Missouri

The Fourth Day

HalltownLeaving Rolla, MO is only possible on the I-44. However, it's just a short highway drive to Arlington and a visit to the steel-truss bridge at Devil's Elbow—so named by lumberjacks because of the logjams that would form there. But looking at the water levels today, it would hard to get a single log down the Big Piney River.

Missouri seems to specialize in three types of emporia: porn shops, car washes and churches. The porn shops are often under the shadow of giant billboards stating that "Porn Destroys Families". There is also a lot of religious music on the radio in southern Missouri but it is disguised as rock or country & western so it takes a few songs to realize what's going on.

Abandoned GarageCleanliness is next to Godliness so every town is liberally sprinkled with car washes. I heard an ad on the radio (I forget what the product was) but a guy was saying that cars at his work place were parked in open view and that if it were dirty it would be really embarrassing. Not a point of view shared in Canada.

On the page are a couple of pictures of the many abandoned motels and garages along 66. As the Interstates opened, the businesses that depended on the Route 66 traffic folded—some more quickly than others. Apparently in the early days, before the motels were even built, when you stopped for the night it was at a Car Camp where you rented a tent for your accommodations! Sometimes I'm afraid to take pictures of old motel units as, although they are no longer used as a motel and are completely dilapidated, they are obviously used as homes and I don't want to embarrass the tenants.

When you stop the noise of the bugs is almost deafening if you're not used to it. I can only think they are cicada and the grill of the car is full of large bugs.

Abandened Motel UnitsDue to getting lost yesterday I stopped in Lebanon, MO at one of the many auto parts stores and purchased and installed an in-car navigation system. Well OK, it's really just a compass on a suction cup that I stuck to the windshield. As I drove further southwest I was amazed at its accuracy. I soon noticed when I next stopped however, that no matter which way the car was pointing the compass always read SW! What the hey! Obviously the car is generating its own magnetic field that is more powerful than the great big Earth's. I'll try the compass in a different position tomorrow to see if it makes a difference.

Springfield, Missouri

I stopped in Springfield for lunch—just a Big Mac. I took photos of a beautiful Corvette and three other restored old cars and didn't even notice until I reached my motel and downloaded the pictures that they all had Ontario plates—just like mine! McDonalds had maps for Branston which was just 35 miles away and I considered going. However, as I plan to make a side trip to Las Vegas, and they are probably similar, I decided against it.

What's Missing From This Picture?

I thought America would be littered with Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts—but not a one! I'm used to having a Tim Hortons donut shop on every corner in Canada so I have no idea where people pick up their coffee or get their sugar fix—that may be in Pizza Hut which has Sugar and Cinnamon Sticks that come with a bowl of icing for dipping!

Route 66 - KansasWe're in Kansas

Riverton - Graffiti BridgeI took a picture of the only surviving concrete-truss bridge on 66. Its nickname is the graffiti bridge but it's obviously had a coat of paint—cool car though... Route 66 only has 12 miles in Kansas so it's on to Oklahoma tomorrow.

The MINI

The air conditioner was working full time today as it was 33°C or 91°F. My mpg has increased to 36.0 mpg (30.0 US mpg or 7.85 litres/100km). I have yet to see another MINI, old or new, in the US yet.

Rest In Peace

Tonight I'm staying in Baxter Springs Kansas. I did 403 km (250 miles) today—and all of it in the right direction.

Contact me here

back a page home my route map forward a page