Monday, 4 September 2017

2017 Road-trip day 11


Day 11: Friday

Much better nights sleep, no trains hurtling past.

First things first, we have to book a place to stay tonight in Springfield Illinois, that is quickly sorted and we went to get some breakfast, despite plenty of choice there wasn't much I fancied and after finding some mouldy you bread decided to give it a miss.

Back in the room we packed up our bags and bid our goodbyes to The Rail Haven and headed a short way down the road to Starbucks for coffee and bagels - I really don't want to know how much money we'll have loaded onto our Starbucks card this trip.

Soon we are back on the road again heading to Springfield, Illinois, farewell Springfield, Missouri! Heading away from the city we find ourselves driving across picturesque bridges and over hills and through woods and meadows. We were astonished at just how like the English countryside today's drive was proving to be.




Continuing on some lovely parts of old Route 66 road, we passed numerous small towns as we we looked out for some featured landmarks. A small green painted girder bridge over the Niangua River, a 1925 cottage style gas station and the Munger Moss Motel at Lebanon. Just before joining the I-44 for a few junctions we decided to drive up to a dead end Route 66 road to an endangered 1923 bridge over the Gasconade River.







The was another couple viewing the bridge when we arrived who immediately said that we must be 'roadies' if we are coming to photograph a bridge. Yes we are now officially part of the  Route 66  club, they had done the trip previously, but taking advantage of doing part of this drive on their way back from vacation. Bidding goodbye, we stayed a while at the bridge taking in the sights before heading back to join up with I-44 - the bridge being out was the reason we had to spend a short time on the interstate wheer you can view the old bridge from the elevated section.



After getting off at our exit we spotting the strange pairing of a giant bowling pin along side a huge sign advertising an 'Adult Superstore', welcome to roadside America in the Bible Belt folks!



Passing through another Devil's Elbow, this time named for a bend in the river that caused logjams,  sitting below the picturesque 200ft tree lined bluffs, we headed on towards Hooker. The very first stretch of four-lane 66 in Missouri, it was built for wartime traffic and at 90 feet Hookers Cut was the deepest road cut in Missouri at the time. It was indeed a very pleasant drive.






We stopped at the roadside to buy fresh off the vine grapes, lovely, but Paul not so keen!





As it was getting past lunch we decided to stop in Cuba and grab a bit to eat at Shelly's Route 66 Cafe, nice little place where we had eggs and toast.



Then it was on through Bourbon with its water tower emblazoned with the towns name, through Grey Summit and the Indian 'tepees' and some interesting limestone bluffs at Pacific then onward towards St Louis.




Now, we weren't planning to go through St Louis at rush hour so we left Route 66 and took the bypass North to skirt around the city. Passing the Chain of Rocks bridge that the old Route 66 crossed the Mississippi into St Louis, it's no longer driveable, but you can park up on the Illinois side and walk it. We decided as it had been a long days drive already and we still had about 100 miles to go, that we would leave getting back on Route 66 and drive straight to Springfield, passing over the State Line of Illinois and on to Engrained Brewing Company for dinner before reaching our hotel for the night.

Engrained Brewing was lovely, we were shown to our table and order a flight of beer to share and an appetiser of banana beer bread, very nice and not at all sweet, washed down with some great beers.



Time for the main - entree to the locals - we both were craving salad so we ordered the Greek Salad and a Grilled Peach Salad with peach saisson vinaigrette. Naturally another flight was ordered and being up to now so virtuous with the vitamins, we shared a huge piece of chocolate stout cake, delicious!




Then it was a short drive to our hotel - The State House Inn - not on Route 66 but a recently refurbished 1960's hotel, done in the original style, one block away from the Capitol building and where all the politicians stayed. With only a minor hiccup checking in (our key didn't work first time) we settled into our very 60's inspired businessman's room for our very last night on the road.

Although coming out of the elevator it does seem reminiscent of the Hollywood Tower Hotel.



Todays miles: 350
Total miles: 2373