Good Museum Guides make my daySeptember 14, 2016 in the United States
Circle Inn Malt Shop
Wagon Wheel Motel
Missouri Hick Bar-B-Q
Shelley’s on Route 66 - Grabbed a quick coffee to go at this old school diner. They showed us that even coffees have abnormally large proportions in the states… Their pops here are like a litter big! Who drinks that much?
Murals - We stopped in front of the old publishing office to take a look at our first mural of Cuba. As we admired the painting a lady came out of the building and handed us a guide to all the murals in town. Now keep in mind, the town consists of one main street, going down about 5 blocks, with very few places of interest coming off to the side of this main street. Non the less, this guide explained all the murals, corner by corner, all 12 of them! Pretty much one at every corner, both directions,
Crawford County Historical Society Museum - We stumbled upon a tiny little museum during out mural walk, and like all things free, why not! A very passionate historian, also retired teacher, walked us through the museum. What we thought would be 5 minutes quickly turned into 1 hour. He chatted away about living in the 1800s, then early 1900s. A small little section on route 66 showed just how packed and busy town centers were back when route 66 was the only way to travel. Tunnels to cross the road safely were more common then you would think.
Tallest rocking chair - What’s there not to like about a ridiculously large rocking chair? Why did they build it? Why not. You can't really climb it. So you can't really sit in it. There's a huge gift shop next to it that's actually closed down. It was attached to an Archery thing which I would have loved but that was also closed down. Maybe that's for the best with Jack's clumsiness, I’d rather keep both eyes.
Somewhere on the highway - 4M Vine Yards - We stopped before noticing this was suggested by our guide book. It was advertised as a store to buy Concord grapes, and it turned into a small town experience! There was "antiques" for sell, which was pretty much the contents of a hoarder's garage with little trinkets of glass everywhere. There was a full wall of jellies, and to buy them you just address the 4 people sitting behind a wooden counter, chatting away. That's beyond the stuffed deer head above the counter of course.
Vacuum cleaner museum - I'm in heaven ! I've been looking forward to this museum for ever! I wanted a small town eclectic and nonsensical museum, but I actually learned! All because the museum curator was passionate about his vacuums! I learned all about how the first "electric suction sweeper" would plug into your light bulbs outlet (wall plugs were invented 10 years after the vacuum). This first hoover weighed about 60lbs and cost 75$ back when a brand new Ford cost 300$. He explained how back then, you often only had the one light bulb with electricity, that's why they made sure the first electric sweepers had their own head lights! I got a video of the hand crank vacuums that came before the electric. I had a blast reading all the old advertisements, incredible what they got away with in the 30s and 40s (see my Facebook picture album on this exhibits for amazing examples). Tom, our amazing curator, seemed a little on the gay side... And I really had to resist asking what it was like in Missouri to spend all day talking about vacuums and being gay... lol. That being said, this wonderful man shared our views on feminisms, and pointed out all the best offenses. You know a museum is done well when you go in hoping to laugh, and you come out fascinated by vacuums !
Mule Trading Post - The most eclectic gathering of souvenirs, random items and "antiques" that are pretty much whatever someone has in their garage out on a shelf.
Totem Pole Trading Post - Another one of the same concept stores along 66, still mostly have the same stuff, "antiques" that fill shelves with dusty glass trinkets and route 66 memorabilia. Think same as Mule Trading Post, with the addition of fireworks in this one!
A modeled Stonehenge at the School of Mines - It was a university's art piece of some kind... Jack wanted to stop because of her interest in the original Stonehenge, but quickly lost interest because "it doesn't have the spirituality".
Devil's Elbow bridge - basically a really pretty bridge in nature. The best part, and probably one of my favorite and most uncomfortable moments yet, was the Elbow Inn Bar & BBQ pit. Grungy looking wooden bar in the middle of no where. You walk in, and you've suddenly entered a biker bar with what is clearly regulars drinking together at the bar. You don't know if you're going to get beat up or made fun of... Jack being Jack, walked right up to the regulars and said "hi yall" as I sat quietly at the first chair I saw away from the regulars. There's hundreds of bras hanging from the ceiling, stickers all over the walls, an impressive amount of RIP photos and info about what seemed to be all young bikers. It took all of 2 minutes within our arrival for who we found out was the owner of the place to ask to see Jack's beastises. Yep, 2 minutes and this tall, massive (in every direction), leather wearing dirty looking man asked Jack if he could have her bra or have her prove she doesn't have one. And my discomfort starts. This bar was an experience of it's own. The waitress later came around with our food (side note - absolutely amazing pulled pork sandwich that even the vegetarian devoured) and said "try not to worry about those idiots, they mean no harm". As we leave, one man points out I have yet to say a word, asked if I was scared, I responded "I just don't say much". Haha, terrified would have been my honest answer.
Hooker's Cut - I enjoy the name. Basically, back in the building route 66 days, this was a super impressive place because of the amount of rock they had to cut through to build the route. I guess back then it was super impressive, today it was just pretty.
The only road side park in Missouri - Jack was driving, looked away for a second and missed it. I think it may have been 40 feet long along the road, with a single park bench. The other states have had plenty, so this was confusing.
Old motels signs
Uranus, MO - I have not clue if this is an actual town, or just what they called this shopping plaza, but it was a massive Plaza with burlesque, strippers, tattoos and a gun shop. The best part - across the street was a bulletin board saying "pornography pollutes body, soul, mind" by the Pulaski Christian Ministerial Alliance. Coincidence?
Frog's rock - painted rock on top of a hill along the highway, couldn't stop.
Square around Pulaski County museum in the old Court House - shops, cute store fronts, most memorable thing was a little sign in a store window stating "Warning Protected by (insect picture of a gun), We don't call 911", ˋMERICA.
Munger Moss Hotel - Cool sign in the front with towns and their distances, midpoint cafe (at the midpoint, duh) is 645 miles away. My first Gemini giant, now 406 miles behind us.
Starlight lanes bowling alley
Laclede County Museum and Route 66 museum - For some reason, every tourist info center have suggested this museum to us, it's housed in the county library. It was the size of a volleyball court I would say. The whole thing. With about 5 displays, and not the most interesting ones either... We've seen such better museums, this just confused us. Completed of course by an extensive salt and pepper shaker collection which would put my mother's to shame.
Redmon's Travel Center - Didn't stop, advertised "The World's Largest Gift Store". I don't know how proud I would be of that... It seems like every town has a "world's largest" or "world's best". Who regulates these?
Storefronts on both sides - Our guide book actually says this place made the Guinness Book of World Record for being the only town "with 2 main streets and no back alleys". It was said that they created an entrance on the back side of their stores when route 66 was built behind, as to attract the business from their locals and traveller's along 66. I was expecting super cute, long strip of shops. I got 3 buildings with maybe 2 of them still open with doors fronts on both streets. Disappointed isn't the right word, mostly sad how they advertise this town with such great emphasis on their two sides stores, but non exist anymore... Much of route 66 has been a game of imaging what once was...
Steak and shake with curb side service - I thought this meant they would deliver to our car, but I was wrong, My lazy self was very excited at this possibility but it turns out they're only referring to their order window you can walk up to. Pfft, walking.
Gellioz Theatre - Pretty, old, but closed.
Shrine Mosque - Very ornamental, we'll painted, worth dropping by to stair at...
The Rest Haven Court
Route 66 Rail Haven
We ended the evening having melted cheese and local beer at a great little bar, sitting on amazingly comfy couches.
To catch up a bit of time, since we've been feeling like progress in distance has been a little slow, we drove out to Carthage after dark (which we try to avoid since you can't see anything along the way) to spend the night at a truck stop. Luxury!
Side note - It's been getting easier to find truck stops or Walmart in which we can legally spend the night in our car thanks to my wonderful app RV Parky. Jack couldn't care less about parking legally, but she let's me do my thing because she knows I sleep that much better when I'm not worried about getting caught or woken up in the middle of the night by a flashlight hitting the car window.Read more