We got on the road on time leaving at 8:30 in the morning. We opted out of our hotel's free breakfast to get an earlier start and ate some snacks we had picked up in Chicago. It didn't take long to get out of Springfield in to open country.
Parts of the original Route 66 is still intact and follows alongside the new Interstate but other parts are a bit more obscure and it can be a challenge to stay true to the old road. Most of the road is paved but there are places where you may end up on a dirt road or even a brick road as we did this morning.
There are some really small towns out here!
And some interesting sights! We are not driving very fast (our average speed today was only 34 miles per hour) but even though it is not possible to stop and take photos of everything interesting I see or we would never get to where we are going. Today we passed some great old signs and mailboxes and animals that I wasn't able to capture "on film".
It is hard to take a photo while driving too ...
And sometimes it is just plain hard to stay on the route!
The scenery out here is gorgeous and peaceful. We are listening to a mixture of pre-recorded radio programs, some CDs, a couple of books on tape (David Sedaris', Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls for one), and Sirius Satellite Radio or NPR news radio.
For the most part it is a very peaceful drive and I am really enjoying it. The weather has been one thing we have had to stay on top of but we have been very lucky. We were fighting the rain this morning successfully staying ahead of it through Illinois until just before the border of Missouri.
The hat I bought in Chicago to save my hair from the windy rain came in handy today as we walked over the Chain of Rocks Bridge over the north edge of the Mississippi River near St. Louis. The bridge was built in 1929 and was used for Route 66 traffic. Today it is open for pedestrian and bicycles travel only. We parked our car and walked over part of it and then drove over the new bridge to cross the Mississippi River.
Once we got into Missouri, we were hit with rain. And lightening. Really big lightening. And the hardest rain I have ever seen. You know how they say no one in Southern California knows how to drive in weather? How we stop driving in the rain? Now I know why. In Missouri, people don't even slow down. It was raining so hard that the windshield wipers were barely making a difference, visibility was ridiculous and people were driving full speed. The worst rain came just after we had hit a dead end and were forced to jump on the Interstate to get back on route (something we are trying not to do) and I was grateful that were were at least on a well-maintained paved road!
We found some old cabins that were used for travelers in the '30's ...
Called the Modern Cabins because these rundown primitive cabins (complete with an outhouse in the woods behind) have a somewhat "modern" neon sign in front of them. They are a stone's throw from an iconic motel.
Some of these old motels are abandoned ...
And some are still in business like the one we are staying in tonight. We never made it to the Boots Motel. Even though we never even stopped for lunch we were too far behind and had to change or plans again. We settled for the night in Lebanon, Missouri at the Munger Moss Motel. The gal at the Boots Motel was so understanding and said to please stop by for a tour when we do pass through.
The sign out in front offers free television and refrigeration and the room cost us $62.34 including taxes and came with a bucket of ice! Our room number... 66!
It is everything we hoped it would be!
And because we had not eaten a real meal all day we were hungry. So we opted for a place where we could get some good food and a little moonshine! Not the expected choice for a Vegan girl and her "gluten-free" and trying to be sugar-free mom but sometimes you just have to go with the way of the local culture!
Our server brought us samples of their homemade moonshine and Griffin ordered a strawberry margarita made with the moonshine. They called it a Moonarita. The owner, Tina, brought us samples of some new rib sauce they made with the moonshine (it was delicious and so were the ribs!) and told us how they make their own fuel (diesel) with their leftover corn oil. No waste, she said. We tried to make a dent in all that food but could not. That was a waste. The food was delicious!