Day Two on The Mother Road Route 66
Last Updated: February 20, 2021.
Day Two on Route66 began with wakeup in the Pontiac Palace in Pontoon Beach, Illinois. Slept overnite in Flying J on Chain of Rocks Road. Breakfast at America’s Most Advertised Fast Food Joint ™.
Route 66, here I come.
First stop was at Chain of Rocks Bridge on the Muddy Mississippi. I’d seen this on one of the documentaries and figured what the heck, this would be a good way to say goodbye to Illinois. How lucky, as I exited the Flying J, I was on Chain of Rocks Road.
The Chain of Rocks Bridge was completed in July, 1929, just a few months prior to the Wall Street Crash – the Great Depression. It carried vehicular traffic until 1970. A lot of those Depression-era families leaving the east flowed ( flew, flewed ? ) across this bridge that conquered the mighty M-eye-SS-eye-SS-eye-PP-eye. Lots of Models Ts and probably a few horses crossed here as well, heading West in search of a better life. Just like the Joad family in Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath”. But the Joads got a head start on all them easterners by starting from Okie-land.
Currently, the Chain of Rocks Bridge is open to foot and bicycle traffic and there were quite a few cyclists out today. I think every now and then a Poker Run or other approved motorcycle traffic is allowed across as well.
The unique feature of this bridge is its abrupt 22-degree bend ( not a curve, a BEND!!! ) near the center. I wonder how much THAT slowed the flow of traffic. The bridge is over a mile long.
The bridge is west of Mitchell, Illinois about 4 miles downstream of the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. To the south of the bridge, downstream, there were ripples. It looked like something below the surface, perhaps a chain of rocks, was roiling The Mighty Mississippi.
After walking halfway across the Mighty, I had the feeling that it should be … bigger? Anyway, I left my mark:
Then it was on to the crossing of The Mighty, Muddy Mississippi River:
and on into Mizzurah. Here, the Mystery Montana crosses the Missouri State Line:
How do they keep the state line from washing away? They must have to re-paint it every day.
Be aware that the 1st MO exit, the one for Tourist Info, is also marked Route 66. It’s hard to tell until you are almost on it. Take a right here if you want to follow
I have a confession to make here. ‘Most every time I drive through St Looey, I come out the other side at an unintended location. One time, I came out the other side – in China. Or, I spend much longer than intended in town. So I cheated – took the I-270 West to I-44. Then Eureka! Missouri, I was out of town.
Mizzurah uses the Blue Shield to mark The Mother Road.
I traveled along The Mother Road where I could, other times following I-44. Sullivan, Bourbon, Cuba, St. James – but I stayed away from The Infirmary.
weaves back and forth from north side to south side as it parallels I-44 through Missouri east of Rolla. Just east of Rolla, I took a service road and was rewarded with the Scenic Bypass Sign – back on the Mother Road! By accident, I took a left and found myself on US63 toward Houston/Bado, which is just where I wanted to go.
By Good Luck, I was headed on my way to Bado, Missouri. Only one thing to do – celebrate by stopping at DQ for a Blizzard – Cookie Dough! Blizzard, Lightning and Thunder – Rolla had it all that day.
Bado, MO is about 60 miles off The Mother Road. I had a special reason to go to Bado. #IDroveTheMotherRoadRoute66 wrote about Bado here.
After a side journey to Bado, I picked up America’s Main Street on the south side of Rolla for a while.
West of Rolla, I found a rare alignment of Route 66 not shown on any map:
Here was an interesting sight while driving west on The Mother Road. There was oncoming traffic on both sides of the car. Notice how close I-44 is on the right, with no divider between. “If that guy in the semi falls asleep, I’m dead meat!”. Fortunately, he stayed awake, as did all the other traffic.
Some old signs & buildings along the way are shown here.
Use the Outer Road At The Outer Limits of Dixon, Missouri.
Route 66 finally ended and I had to return to the SuperSlab I-44. I followed it to the exit for MO 96, near Halltown, west of Springfield. Old Route 66, The Mother Road, travels on MO 96 to near Webb City, then watch for MO66 into Kansas.
Stormy evening! There were some pretty heavy downpours here. This turned out to be the only stormy weather I encountered on the entire trip.
I shut down in Joplin for the night. I started the day just east of Missouri and ended just east of Kansas, so I can say that I covered 1 state today.
This country and this age amaze me every day. I drove across an entire state in air-conditioned comfort, following mostly smooth roads with never a hiccup from the car. Gas was available everywhere at a reasonable price. I did a 120-mile detour to do a little personal business and got help from others without even asking. Any food or drink I could have wanted was never more than a few minutes’ travel away. Had I gotten lost, I had an excellent map and the miracle of GPS if I desired to turn it on. Any emergency, just dial xx1 without even leaving the car.
Sometimes, though, I get to yearning for the simpler days of the 50s and 60s. That’s why I’m driving the
Miles Today: 467.
The First Half of Day One on The Mother Road.
Thanks for traveling with Buzze A. Long on Day Two!
Join me on Day 3 on America’s Main Street Route 66