scribbles tagged ‘Missouri’

Carterville cafe

Friday, November 29th, 2013 | tags: , , , ,  |

Day 5: October 25th

Driving in to Carterville I’m looking for a BIG breakfast, I found one in the Carterville cafe where the staff are cheerfully friendly and even gave me an extra t, on the bill:
Carterville (7)Carterville (8)

The Carterville website is worth a visit to see photographs of the old town and hear how the township sees itself. Here’s an extract copied from their website describing the town’s history:

Visitor’s from  the U.S. and overseas seem to be especially interested in the older and smaller towns that reflect the values of America’s Main Street and Route 66, and Carterville, Missouri is just such a place.

    Having celebrated it’s 125th. Anniversary, Carterville’s colorful history was born in the early 1870’s and later prospered during the lead and zinc mining boom of the turn-of-the-century. In those days, the town’s population soared to over 5000.  Two trolly tracks ran down the middle of Main street, and business thrived. Overcrowding and wealth, full employment, social clubs and the rowdy miners were common in those days, but the city did not diversify and depended on the mining industry for it’s survival.  By 1920 the boom turned to bust, and Carterville’s miners moved on, leaving a dwindling population to deal with closing businesses and fewer income opportunities.  The Great Depression  would have finished the town off, except for one thing,  a new federal road known then as Highway 66.
    Carterville’s Main Street bustled once again with automobile and truck traffic.  In spite of losing over half of it’s population, the town now had ten filling stations in operation.  Old buildings that once housed department stores, newspaper offices and banks were converted in hotels, auto service garages and cafes.  Even though the town suffered another set-back when Route 66 was decommissioned in the mid 1980’s, Carterville had evolved into a quiet, friendly community…and seemed to be content.   It can also be said today that Carterville owes it’s very survival to the Mother Road, Route 66.
    Today, interest in this most famous of all  American highways is surging, and Carterville wants to show it’s pride in, and respect of, Route 66. Local residents display the symbol of Route 66 on their homes, businessmen have placed Route 66 banners on Main Street poles and painted the shield on the pavement for all to see.  A Route 66 flag flies beneath Old Glory and events are held in the Fall to celebrate being a part of America’s Main Street.
    Carterville is now home to “Superman on 66”, a Superman memorbelia museum and ice cream parlor.  The first Route 66 Visitors Welcome Center in southwest Missouri opened it’s doors this year in a 1937 era filling station, and several other old buildings have been purchased for  a Route 66 themed Bed and Breakfast and restaurant.  Plans are also underway to purchase a city block for use as a Route 66 Festival site to attract more regional visitors, and other Route-themed activities are being considered by the new “Festival Committee”.
    Everyone seems to be jumping on the Route 66 bandwagon, including the town’s police officers whose uniform shoulder patches sport the Route 66 emblem.  Could it be that Carterville has the same spirit as the fictional town residents of “Radiator Springs” in the Pixar movie “CARS” had? 
Carterville cafe
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the road to Kansas

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013 | tags: , , ,  |

Missouri (7)Day 5: October 25th

A lot of the drive through Missouri was like driving through south western English woodlands. Except for the almost completely deserted roads. To drive on such empty roads was a real luxury, I could drive as slow or fast as I wanted without worrying about irritating the car behind me….

Very beautiful

5 days on the road and I’m only in my 2nd State, despite not exploring St. Louis or Springfield Missouri. It feels like slow progress and missing way too much….

Learning for next time: plan at least half a day each day for stopping to enjoy and photograph the local nature and small towns

the road to Kansas
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Halltown Missouri

Monday, November 25th, 2013 | tags: , , ,  |

Mansion at Elfindale (3)Day 5: October 25th

As sundown approaches, driving west becomes more difficult

  • the low sun obscures the road with its bright golden glare
  • I’m getting tired as we reach the early hours of the UK morning

I’ve taken to rising early and getting on the road at day break with the sun behind me. Missouri is already feeling like it belongs in the wild west. I pulled-up in the small roadside town of ‘Halltown’ to enjoy the morning light and architecture.

Halltown (13)The small, sleeping town, captures much of the feel of Missouri. The strong church presence in everyday life with multiple churches and a large cross on a store-front. A mix of old decaying buildings and modern immaculately presented buildings. Trees, telegraph poles and empty roadway…

Halltown Missouri
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the Mansion at Elfindale

Saturday, November 23rd, 2013 | tags: , , , , , ,  |

Mansion at Elfindale Springfield (16)Mansion at Elfindale Springfield (20)Day 4: October 24th

For the first 3 nights of my road trip I treated myself to staying in USA ‘Bed and Breakfast’ accommodation. Each night I’d look online to find a place to stay at my next destination, then phone them using my USA SIM in my unlocked Nokia Lumina. This worked well for the first 2 nights. In Springfield Missouri I was one of 2 guests staying at the Mansion at Elfindale. The other guest was a visiting Pastor, I never saw him. The mansion seemed deserted apart from a very friendly kitty. It was very impressive. Before disappearing the receptionist gave me a full tour of the building replete with historical comment. Beautiful. In it’s lifetime the Mansion had been a private home, convent and a boarding school. It’s currently owned by a church, that has a church building behind the Mansion. They’ve raised money to refurbish and keep the mansion in good condition.

Mansion at Elfindale Springfield (18)My room was above the main entrance way, with a balcony, and en-suite bathroom with original brass fittings and a claw foot bath. The floor-space on my room seemed larger than the floor-space in my UK Wendy home! Huge and luxurious.

Mansion at Elfindale - my roomIt was another beautifully sunny day, but the ‘storm warning’ sign with directions on how to find the basement suggested that Springfield has more dramatic weather than the UK.

Tired after a long day driving, I didn’t drive into downtown Springfield, I took a long bath enjoyed the room and looked for a place to stay tomorrow night. Not easy, it seems as if Oklahoma city is full. After contacting 7 places, none of whom were ‘able’ to recommend an alternative, Rachel had a space for me in a town south of Oklahoma city, Norman. Maybe I should be pampering myself less and staying in Roadside motels? Maybe later on the trip…



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Thursday, November 21st, 2013 | tags: , , , ,  |

Devils Elbow MO (13)Devils Elbow MO (4)Day 4: October 24th

Driving through the Ozarks was like driving through the Wye Valley. Gentle, rolling, tree covered hills with rocky outcrops and winding rivers. Incredibly beautiful. I wanted to take a couple of days break to just hike along the rivers and through the forests. Warm sunshine and autumn foliage, a fabulous combination.

Learning for next time: plan at least one day not-driving to hike in the Ozarks

This river bend is called the “The Devil’s elbow”. The road was ‘closed’ so I walked over the bridge. Several local(?) drivers ignored the ‘road closed’ sign and drove over the bridge while I walked it. The whole bridge shook and freaked as if the Devil’s elbow had a very bad case of arthritis.

Missouri Hicks BBQ Cuba MO (9)Missouri Hicks BBQ Cuba MO (6) I stopped at Cuba for my first and um, last, genuine local BBQ. The flavour is very strong, rich, overwhelming. I couldn’t finish this BBQ filled baked potatoes.

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home delivery

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013 | tags: , , ,  |

House in the road (5)  House in the road (7)  House in the road (3)

Day 4: October 24th

Mobile homes are not just caravans and RVs.

They are much more substantial here in the USA. People quite literally have their houses and house extensions delivered.

Very convenient!

home delivery
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Zap! We’ve passed through….St. Louis Missouri

Sunday, November 17th, 2013 | tags: , , ,  |

St Louis (8)Day 3: October 23rd

I arrived late at night and drove past the large Missouri arch in the dark, while trying desperately to follow my Satnav directions to find a cute little B&B, the Brewers Inn, that I’d booked for the night.

As I check my route for the next day and upload the days photographs I realised that I’m too tired to want to go out and explore the city and I won’t have time to do it tomorrow morning. Darn!

This trip is quickly becoming a test run for doing it again,  properly. Setting myself the 270 mile daily goal, that most the organised trips use, is not enough time to really appreciate the bigger cities that I’m passing through. Next time I’ll aim at staying at least one day with no travelling in each of the big cities. Next time?! Hooray, probably for my 66th birthday….

Learning for next time: plan at least one day off from travelling to explore the larger cities (St. Louis, Oklahoma etc)

My host at the Brewers Inn was a wonderfully friendly old man who’d retired from working at Macy’s and ran this business to supplement his pension. He commented that the English hunting scenes on the wall in my room should give it a homely feel for me! He said this was the best time of the year to see the ‘Ozarks’ because of all the fall colour in the trees.

I was the only guest, previously he’s mainly had guests from outside the USA and mentioned how they appeared to come in waves from different countries…   …I very much enjoyed his fabulous collection of stylish things, the quaint old house and his easy company. It was like visiting an elderly uncle. The soft tones of his Missouri accent were very pleasing.


Zap! We’ve passed through….St. Louis Missouri
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