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FIYAPOWA
FIYAPOWA Reader
8/11/19 8:26 p.m.

The next stop was the iconic Henry's Ra66it Ranch and Route 66 Emporium in Staunton, IL.  "Emporium" is a little overstated, but Henry is a super nice guy, and was willing to talk way longer than I could stay.  We swapped air-cooled Volkswagen stories for a bit, signed the guest book (a common theme on Route 66 attractions I came to learn) and bought a little memorabilia.

Cookie for the first person who gets this picture:

Spoiler: "Radiator Springs" - Disney's "Cars" reference.

FIYAPOWA
FIYAPOWA Reader
8/11/19 8:31 p.m.

We did drive past the blue neon cross at St. Paul's Lutheran church, but our timing would have needed darkness to see it.  Here's what it WOULD have looked like:

So we drove on to the next stop, which was lunch at the Route 66 Creamery in Hamel IL.

It was hot, and Izzy was being such a great sport, she got a little frozen custard as a treat.

FIYAPOWA
FIYAPOWA Reader
8/11/19 8:41 p.m.

The last Route 66 stop for the day was the Chain of Rocks Bridge.  You can read other blogs and such for yourself, but I will say this - go from the IL side, as the MO side is beyond sketchy.  The bridge itself is no longer open to cars, but is open for pedestrian traffic and occasionally for car shows.  Nothing was going on that day, so we just walked it.  Met a nice couple that were visiting the bridge, and the husband remembered riding with his father driving on it in his younger years.  He pointed out the old light fixtures and warning lights that used to line the bridge, that are now all but gone.  It's very narrow, but when you think of the traffic it would have had in 1929 when it opened, it must have been a sight.

Pictures don't do it justice, of course.  At this point, Izzy hasn't overheated and given up.

And now Izzy is dragging SWMBO back to the car and the comfort of tinted windows and rear-seat A/C:

Here you can get an idea of the bend in the middle of the bridge that makes it so interesting.  

What's left of the sole remaining warning light:

Looking down the bend into MO:

FIYAPOWA
FIYAPOWA Reader
8/11/19 8:48 p.m.

Part of our schedule involved getting to the Gateway Arch in St. Louis.  The tickets are "timed tickets", and we wanted to see more than city lights, so we arranged to go before dinner.  Another one of those "pictures don't do it justice" but the SWMBO is at the lower right of the Arch closest to the camera:

A view of the cars that you ride to the top - 5 people to a car, and it's a combination escalator/ferris wheel/elevator:

Best photo we got from the top:

FIYAPOWA
FIYAPOWA Reader
8/11/19 8:53 p.m.

We had dinner at the Fieldhouse Pub and Grille, and called it a night.  Couple neat photos from buildings across from the restaurant:

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy UltimaDork
8/11/19 9:41 p.m.

Nice pics. I live near Joliet and have traveled a lot of 66 but I think you’ve seen way more than I have seen in Illinois. 

Not really 66 but I always recommend the monument in OK City.  There are a few old school car dealerships nearby.  State capital too.  

FIYAPOWA
FIYAPOWA Reader
8/11/19 11:05 p.m.

In reply to Datsun310Guy :

Thank you!  I've got 3 more days of travel to post - we did visit the memorial there!

FIYAPOWA
FIYAPOWA Reader
8/12/19 5:34 p.m.

The next day had an early start to the schedule as well, due to some attractions closing later in the day. 

First stop was this "water" tower.

FIYAPOWA
FIYAPOWA Reader
8/12/19 5:37 p.m.

First town with several attractions was Cuba MO.

The Wagon Wheel Motel sign has seen better days.  Even better, it's still open and you can stay there.

FIYAPOWA
FIYAPOWA Reader
8/12/19 5:48 p.m.

The first get out and look around stop was Gay Parita's 1930 Sinclair gas station.

Got a decent pic of Izzy finally lol...

Gary (the gentleman manning the station) said he had the kerosene truck running a few months ago.

Clean old Ford in the stone garage.

Some old signage in the stone garage:

Some of the old cars on the grounds:

FIYAPOWA
FIYAPOWA Reader
8/12/19 5:50 p.m.

Found an old steel bridge on the way to the next stop:

Then ran across this old gas station (scheduled photo stop):

FIYAPOWA
FIYAPOWA Reader
8/12/19 5:58 p.m.

Ran across these metal sculptures (not on the schedule) and had to grab a photo.

FIYAPOWA
FIYAPOWA Reader
8/12/19 6:00 p.m.

At a gas stop, there was this magnificent machine as static display out front:

Yep, it's a flying manure-spreader.  Proof that the answer isn't always Miata?

FIYAPOWA
FIYAPOWA Reader
8/12/19 6:04 p.m.

The next stop was the Praying Hands sculpture in King Jack Park in Webb City MO.  Built in 1972, they are about 32 feet tall.  Yeah, pictures don't do it justice.

FIYAPOWA
FIYAPOWA Reader
8/12/19 6:15 p.m.

Finally, got to Kansas (which I might add is not as sucky as previously reported - although we were being chased by a thunderstorm). 

First stop in KS was the old KanOTex station in Galena KS - the town that was the inspiration for Radiator Springs from the Disney Cars franchise.  Also, the old International tow truck was the inspiration for Mater - the mid-50s Chevy was added to the collection after the movie was made I believe.  Also, this was the first stop that was timed, as they closed at 3:00 pm, and we made it with 15 minutes to spare.  Grabbed some photos, a couple items of memorabilia and signed the guest book.  You can see the storm clouds behind the building.  Auntie Em!  Auntie Em!

Galena had some nice old downtown buildings to it, and would have been a good stop to poke around, but schedule.

 

FIYAPOWA
FIYAPOWA Reader
8/12/19 6:18 p.m.

I had to traipse across a soggy field to get the picture, but still a pretty cool sign.

FIYAPOWA
FIYAPOWA Reader
8/12/19 6:26 p.m.

Visited the last concrete "Rainbow" bridge still standing on Route 66.  

FIYAPOWA
FIYAPOWA Reader
8/12/19 6:37 p.m.

Our last timed stop on the schedule was the Museum in Baxter Springs, KS.  Too much variety to list, and not a lot of "car guy" items, but I'll include a few snaps here.  It goes over a lot of history and areas of research.

Original wood bank teller windows from sometime in the 1800s:

An 1872 school room:

Victorian living room, from a local resident:

A slave cradle - made me feel kind of sad and happy all at the same time.

Any photography buffs on here?

How about vinyl lovers?

Saw a cool (I keep using that word...) old gas station on the way out of town.

FIYAPOWA
FIYAPOWA Reader
8/12/19 6:38 p.m.

Made it to the last state of this leg of our trip:

FIYAPOWA
FIYAPOWA Reader
8/12/19 6:41 p.m.

Saw a clone of the Mater inspiration in Commerce - the last photo op of the day.

Can anyone can identify this roof art car?  It was at least super interesting to look at, original or not.

Couple of last photos of old filling stations in Commerce, OK:

keithedwards
keithedwards New Reader
8/14/19 8:47 p.m.

In reply to FIYAPOWA :

Br'er Rabbit? And the Briar Patch?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Br%27er_Rabbit

Patrick
Patrick MegaDork
8/21/19 8:06 p.m.

Radiator springs, when can I expect my cookie

beanco
beanco Reader
8/23/19 8:18 a.m.

Great story. It's on my to do list. I live in Springfield, Illinois, so I've seen most of the things you posted.

The real reason I'm here is the covered bridge. We used to cross that on the way to my aunt's house. It was open until almost 1980.

Thank you for sharing.

Ben

FIYAPOWA
FIYAPOWA Reader
9/14/20 9:33 p.m.

Realized I never finished the last day of this trip on here lol - Brace for photo dump lol

First stop of the day was Darryl Starbird's custom car museum.  When I was a kid, his shows would come through town and I'd see it in the paper, and instantly turn into the most annoying child "please can we go please please I really wanna go please" - and my dad would take me (I don't think we ever missed one) even though it was pricey to get in and he'd end taking at least me and my brother (sometimes my sister too).  Also, Frankenstein was the first monster truck I ever saw, so that was kinda cool to see (although I need to rescue it and make it run again).

Back in its heyday, it looked like this:

FIYAPOWA
FIYAPOWA Reader
9/14/20 9:34 p.m.

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