Kickin’ It On Route 66

The Munger Moss Motel in Lebanon is very cool.

Ever since I got my new car (2010 Ford Fusion) I’ve really been enjoying driving more and more. Which is a real bonus because I put a lot of miles on my car each week for work, mostly burning up highway to Rolla, Salem and Lake of the Ozarks area.

I also happen to live five miles from Route 66. 

So it occurred to me recently that it might be really fun to drive all of Route 66 sometime by myself and just have a big road trip. Since I won’t likely have enough vacation time built back up for that kind of lazy trip until next summer and Bryon is planning a fishing trip out west with the boys sometime next summer as well, I think I’ll wait and go then.

I was able to whet my appetite a bit and partake in a few miles of it last week one day as I was heading to Rolla for work. I had stopped by the Munger Moss Motel in Lebanon last month on a whim just because I was curious asked to see a room. It was much nicer than I had anticipated. I would probably have not picked a motel like the Munger Moss because my first impression of it was that it would be dirty or seedy but it was actually very cute and nice.

I guess it proves that SOMETIMES you can’t judge a book by it’s cover. Although, I often do.

While I was there checking things out I also checked out their office/gift shop and bought Jerry McClanahan’s Route 66 guidebook . It gives you step by step directions for finding the old road and staying on track, tells you the old sites and roadside attractions to be on the look out for and has a scavenger hunt to keep you alert.

So I started from my house, hit CC and headed down the Mother Road for work. You just can’t beat that.

A few memorable sites I snapped phone pictures of include…

Devil’s Elbow which was named after a devil of a bend of the Piney River.

The devil bend is beneath that old iron bridge.

Right around Devil’s Elbow is some of the remaining four lane Route 66. You’ll see that it’s not very well maintained anymore and it was pretty bumpy but the cool thing is you can’t go very fast anyway because of the curves and the number of tiny barely there towns it goes through now. I think the grass just gave it all the more character.

I really wanted to stop here at the Elbow Inn but since there was only one motorcycle there and it was WAAAAAAYYYYY off the beaten path, I passed this time.

All the times I’ve been to Newburg and by Doolittle and I had never actually gone through the town of Doolittle. I hadn’t missed much but I’m still happy to know that now I’ve been there.

An old garage at Doolittle
I figured this must be for lazy hoarders.

I missed a great picture of a big set of bleachers that overlooked a giant rambling valley. That was it. Just a big valley. I guess that was the evening entertainment.

In Rolla, I’ve been by Zeno’s and eaten there several times but never stayed at the motel. I finally went into the Totem Pole and bought a keyring. Route 66 of course.

In Waynesville there are two drive-in restaurants. One is closed right now but the other one is a chromeilicious dream. I’m definitely going to have to have lunch there one day.

Back in Lebanon, the old Bell Restaurant is closed now, as well as Wrink’s Market.

And this sign was out by the I-44 Speedway… there was no cafe, fried chicken OR pies. The sign was just out in the middle of nowhere.

Not bad for a summer day trip. There was a lot to see in those 85 miles. I can’t imagine how much there is to see in the entire 2,448 miles. When I go, I think I’ll just leave from CC five miles from my house and head west to Los Angeles.

Maybe Bryon and I can do the Marshfield to Chicago section together another time.

It sure sounds like fun to me.


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