Munger-Moss Motel in Lebanon Missouri

Passed this Route 66 Icon, the Munger-Moss Motel… which is celebrating 72 years on 66 and stopped to snap a picture.

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You know you’re looking at a historic motel when the neon sign advertises, “Free TV”

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That said, later while driving on 66 I passed a roadside sign (aimed to be seen by the drivers on I-44) advertising the place

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Scanning through the reviews (google, yelp, tripadvisor, etc) apparently this is one of the better cheap places to stay. It has 1950’s decor and the sort of privately owned place where you need to arrive before the owner goes to sleep.

The ARK Community & Sports Center, Waynesville, Missouri

Was driving down Route 66 in Waynesville Missouri and spotted Noah’s Ark… WTF? At first I assumed it must be a church, but no, it’s a gym but one that’s run by a church group so I wasn’t entirely wrong…

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This picture really doesn’t do it justice but the thing looks exactly like Noah’s Ark. As I was sitting there trying to figure out what Noah’s Ark has to do with physically fitness, I saw a pick up truck drive by proudly flying a really big American flag and an equally big confederate one…  I admit it, will breathe easier when I’m out of this part of the country.

The Nut House, Claremore, OK

One of the places that I kept hearing about as MUST see on Route 66 was The Nut House in Claremore Oklahoma and for the life of me I don’t know why.

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It’s a 40 year old store. As such it dates from 1978, when 66 was already being decommissioned, and is not even one located within interesting architecture. Why This is a must see makes about as much sense as saying ANY gift shop along the route is a must see.  It sells nuts, fresh fudge (tasty, but fudge) and has a deli. The goods for sale are a wider variety than one normally sees in these Route 66 places, but most of it was made in China so … a generic gift shop none-the-less.

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The ONLY interesting thing about this place is that it’s located adjacent to a store that sells RV’s which makes good sense as I’m sure more than a few people at this point are wishing they had one.

 

Pryor Creek Bridge Route 66, Chelsea, OK

I was driving down 66 (on the left lane) when I saw an exit off the right line for Old 66 and veered over to get to it (no traffic, it was safe), and came across this Pryor Creek Bridge, which was built in 1926, and I think it’s questionable that it is wide enough for two modern cars. fullsizeoutput_4c16.jpeg

Almost as soon as I got there there another driver pulled in right after me. He first asked if I was all right, he’d seen me veer than stop. I assured him I was, just being a tourist. Then he took this picture for me.

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Turned out he was a fellow Route 66 traveler … in fact this was his third time doing it, and he suggested an app for me should I ever want to do it again. Apparently this guy lives a lifestyle similar to my own and has even had bumper stickers made to that effect that he hands out to people he meets.

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None of the maps I’ve looked at mark this road as having been 66, the blue line NS-426 is what my GPS in my car saw, and see below for what google sees

Clanton’s Cafe, Vinita, OK

Clanton’s cafe on Route 66 in Vinita was one of the places I had marked as MUST try their foods… and I even planned my day to arrive there around dinner time… only to find it was closed!

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Clanton’s was one of the restaurants along the trek I was really looking forward to trying. This place has no shortage of accolades from TV and magazines, not to mention getting almost 5 stars on TripAdvisor and 4 on yelp. AND they’re supposed to have the best Chicken Fried Steak on Route 66, which is one of my favorite dishes

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But MY good luck, between me planning my trip and arriving there, they’d posted NEW hours which include being closed on Sundays. So

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Afton Station’s classic Packards, Afton, OK

Located directly on Route 66, The Afton Station Packard Museum, is yet another historic Gas station and mechanics shop that has been repurposed into a museum. This one is dedicated to the Packard and other classic cars — but I can’t tell you much as it was closed-up by the time I got there (4:30 ish on Sunday).

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That said, the town it is in is DEAD… to the point of scary; I’d say a good 80% of the businesses on this street are closed up and the few people that I saw (were more stumbling than) walking around all looked suspiciously like meth users.

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So between that and the weather, I was pretty motivated to not stay here too long. I did however peer through the windows, and from the look of it,

IMG_1127.JPGA very large gift shop that once again is mostly filled with EXACTLY the same merchandise I’ve seen elsewhere. IMG_1126.JPGAnd a collection that consists of seven cars shoved into the garage, with very little to no explanations. IMG_1129IMG_1128

OK-KS-MO Tri-State Marker, Joplin (OK, KS, MO)

This is what it says it is… within the borders of Joplin (MO) there is a fairly well hidden marker (not far off the old 66 route) that marks a spot where three states meet: Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri. That said, it is seriously NOT easy to find. My car’s GPS couldn’t find it, and ultimately I had to resort to google maps (which won’t work if you don’t have data coverage in that area)

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It is located down very old heavily pot-holed (seriously, watch out or you’ll screw up the alignment of your wheels) road that is more gravel than asphalt, just off a roundabout. And alongside a large pillar (there’s nothing ON said pillar to explain why it’s there).

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I have a feeling that the reason the road is in such disrepair is because it’s sort of a no-mans land… the road to the monument lies RIGHT on the Missouri/Kansas border… although google maps puts it JUST at the edge of Missouri.

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[Am I the only one who always get confused between Missouri, MO…. Montana is MT … Massachusetts, MA and Mississippi, MS]

Route 66 Gateway Sign, Miami, Oklahoma

Just as you enter Miami Oklahoma you see this really nice Route 66 sign

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The Miami not the Miami of Florida but rather the Miami tribe which had originally lived in Indiana (where they are no longer recognized as a tribe) but were moved here. This relates to other places I’ve visited such as Tippecanoe Battlefield, at which point the Indians who had Tecumseh, were forced to move to here, in Oklahoma (i.e., Indian Territory) while the ones who did not support him and had decided to live like white men were allowed to stay in Indiana.

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