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’s Rainbow Bridge, Riverton, Kansas

The Rainbow Bridge in Riverton KS, (Baxter Springs is the closest town) dates back to the two lanes period, and is directly adjacent to a much newer version of 66.

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One of the things you realize driving route 66 is it developed in stages. There’s the original one, which was generally two lanes and existed in a time when there wasn’t much traffic… then increased usage necessitated wider bridges, or that the road be moved entirely… and then there’s the most recent version some of which I’m beginning to think was organized AFTER the road had been decommissioned, when it started to become a tourist destination.

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View from 66’s newer route and the new bridge

Apparently, in a fight between the county, which wanted funds from the government to build the new bridge whose rules demanded demolishing the old bridge, and the Kansas Route 66 Association… who clearly wanted it preserved, a compromised was reached. And now the bridge is listed with the National Register, so it will never be demolished, and has since been used as local for filming route 66 specials on TV.

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Cars on the Route, Galena, Kansas

Yet another historic gas station repurposed to take advantage of renewed interest in 66 that the Pixar Movie Cars generated. Every car has been anthropomorphized, and the police car is claiming to be from Radiator Springs. (From what I read they also serve sandwiches and stuff to generate income.)

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As is clearly obvious from the photo, it was approaching 7pm by the time I got here, and it was raining, and the temps were dropping precipitously … I think it was already like 47 F according to my car’s “outside” thermometer (in MID October, i.e., unusually cold).

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The website I had looked at said they were open on Sundays….AND, I got there on a Sunday (this part of the country seems to close down on Sundays…), but apparently not so much.