Today I finished Route 66 in Illinois and began my adventure in Missouri.
Heading out this morning I saw the beautiful Lake Springfield on my way to Farmersville. I stopped to take a picture of the abandoned Art’s Motel. A person can only imagine what this place looked like back in the day
Driving through Litchfield I passed the Sky View Drive-in Theater and the Litchfield Museum & Route 66 Welcome Center. Across the street was the 1931 Ariston Cafe.
Down the road in Mt Olive I visited the Soulsby Station dating back to 1926. As I drove my 50 miles per hour, I listened to an AM station 770 out of St Louis which played 50’s music, it was perfect. Another beautiful morning with the windows down and my arm bent out the window.
As I turned on the part of 66 leading onto Staunton I passed a flea market with a huge green and yellow rocking chair. I then stopped at Henry’s Rabbit Ranch & Route 66 Emporium. Yes! There were rabbits and lots of cool old stuff scattered about. One of the things I found interesting was the “Snortin’ Norton” on the side of a semi trailer. This originated from the Campbell 66 Express truck line which went out of business in 1986. Kudos to Henry for his furry friends, his gift shop, his insurance business, his ability to sign over titles and notorize them and if you want to get married, he can do that too! He was fun to talk to along with Mr & Mrs Renfro, whom I have encountered several times at different locations. The Renfro’s are from Chicago and only doing the Illinois Route 66 at this time.
Now, on my way to Hamel, I detoured to go to the the Pink Elephant Antiques. Oh my goodness the goodies that were there. A giant surfer, a giant Harely Davidson muffler man without his muffler, of course a Pink elephant, a 50’s ice cream joint and the huge array of collectibles. I spent a little time here but I came out empty handed. Time to get back on the road! I passed St Pauls Lutheran Church which has a neon cross at the top. The original 1937 Tourists Haven in Hamel is now the home of Weezy’s Route 66 Grill.
As I got closer to Missouri, I found the Stagger Inn in Edwardsville and the Luna Cafe in Mitchell.
Before driving into St Louis I decided to check out the Chain of Rocks Bridge. This bridge, part of the original Route 66, crosses the Mississippi River and is one mile across from Illinois to Missouri. There were these stone buildings in the Mississippi but I have no idea what they are. So after our walk out to the middle of the bridge and back, Frannie and I needed a big cold water!
Now on to St Louis. As i crossed the Mickinley Bridge I got a great picture of the St Louis skyline. Yes I stopped right on the bridge to take it because I was the only one on the bridge going west. So I was safe or I would not have done that!
While in St Louis I got a picture of the Arch, Cardinal Stadium and the church at the gateway path. The Eat-Rite Diner is still in business along with the Fresh Donuts Shop! I must admit I stopped at Ted Drews Frozen Custard and had the special Hot Fudge Sundae (and a doggie dish for Frannie). The Crestwood Bowl is still going strong as well.
Last stop of the day was the Route 66 State Park. It had a few hiking trails and shelter houses but no camping. Unfortunately I really didn’t care for it all that much as there wasn’t much going on.
Well, tomorrow is a new adventure! Click follow for an easy way to keep up with my trip! Have a great night!