Route 66 - Part 1
Day 10 St. James to St. Robert
39.3 Actual Miles / 1697 Actua Elevation
The Rolla-to-Springfield portion of Route 66 roughly follows the infamous Cherokee Tail of Tears.
Giant Dripping Neon Faucet
Route 66 Motors and Gift Shop brim full of old cars, signs, and antiques for sale.
Giant A&W Hamburger Family (Poppa, Momma, Teen, and Baby Burger) All handle huge fiberglass burgers, while dad still hoists his frosty mug.
Totem Pole Trading Post - [573-364-3519] West end of Rolla selling most anything from fuel to beer to fireworks since 1933.
Mule trading Post - This trading post on the east side of town features an animated neon sign. The sign depicts the head and neck of a mule, and the animation feature causes the ears to flap. In 2007, the owners restored and erected one of two "hillbilly" signs on the property. The hillbilly comes from an earlier business that originated in Devil's Elbow.
Stonehenge Replica - Stonehenge is a group of standing stones on the Salisbury Plain of southern England, a half-sized replica of which can be found on the campus of the University of Missouri at Rolla. The original Stonehenge is thought to have been an ancient observatory for the motions of the moon and sun.
University of Missouri at Rolla is also home to the FIRST Nuclear Reactor in Missouri, a “swimming pool” model located under water.
Jimmy Doolittle [1896-1993] Record-setting aviator and WWII hero for whom the Mother Road town of Doolittle, MO, is named. Although his accomplishments are many, Doolittle is best known for leading the so-called Tokyo Raid in 1942, which, coming only months after the devastating Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was a tremendous lift to Allied--particularly American--morale. General Doolittle received numerous honors during his lifetime, and has been enshrined in the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.
John's Modern Cabins - A grouping of long-disused tourist cabins on a bypassed segment of Route 66 east of Arlington, MO. Despite the name "modern," the cabins are examples of some of the more spartan accommodations to be had, having been served by an outhouse. The remaining structures are severely damaged and are slowly returning to the earth.
Onyx Mountain Caverns
A community famous for homemade baskets once sold along the road.
Hooker Cut - A large gash cut into the earth near the town of Hooker, MO, where US 66 was upgraded to a four-lane divided highway through this area during the early 1940s. At the time, the Hooker Cut was considered unique and different as far as road building techniques go; however, such cuts have become commonplace today in the "interstate highway" era.
One remaining structure and a cemetery is about the size of it, but the name brings a smile. During the Civil War, morale was as much of a problem as supplies and ammunition. General Joseph Hooker, a self-distinguished Union general much given to the bottle, is said to have had a reserve of ladies wherever he campaigned. But the name hooker is more likely to have been given to the large number of professionals who traveled with wives and other camp followers.
Devil's Elbow - A section of highway famous among Route 66 roadies for its river-bluff scenery and a lovely old steel-truss bridge built in 1923. A bend in the Big Piney River for which the settlement was named that caused logjams and flooding. It sits below 200-foot tall tree-lined bluffs.
The Pulaski County Visitor's Bureau welcomed the riders with open arms. First, we were greeeted with a welcome sign as we arrived at the Comfort Inn, Some riders were photographed by the local paper as they rode to Devil's Elbow, and then this evening we were treated to a wonderful presentation by a local Route 66 Historian and Hopper's Pub on Route 66 in Waynesville provided us with sliders, chicken wings, salad and chips and salsa. The Comfort Inn gave us beer, soda and water. It was just awesome how they treated us. Kudos to Karen Hood, Pulaski County Visitors Bureau, Terry ???, Route 66 Historian, and the Comfort Inn, St. Robert, MO.
Tomorrow we are off to Conway, MO.