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August 23, 2019

Cadillac Ranch Rocks – Day 14

Cadillac Ranch Rocks! I could visit this place often. I’ve seen so many photos and read so much about this place, and NOW I get to visit it. I’m well prepared for the visit.

Before leaving on this trip I made a stencil that says, “WWW.ROUTE66PHOTOGRAPHERS.COM“, and packed it in a bag with some masking tape. The other day, I stopped at Home Depot and bought a few cans of spray paint – black, white, and blue to match the logo my daughter designed.

Up Early to See How Cadillac Ranch Rocks at Sunrise

After looking up the time for Sunrise, I sent Charly a text:

WE ARE LEAVING AT 5:30AM

In return she replies:

YOU’RE CRAZY

My reply was simply:

THANK YOU FOR NOT USING “UR”. LOL

She wasn’t happy when I knocked on her door at 5:25AM and announced it was time to go. But, we were in the car and on the road by 5:45AM which is the best I could hope for.

Driving Past It

We drove past it. I knew that when we got to a landmark that was beyond Cadillac Ranch. A quick U-Turn and we were headed back towards Amarillo. I stopped just short of what the GPS said should be Cadillac Ranch.

“Can you see where it might be?” I asked Charly.

“Uh, no. It’s OH-DARK-HUNDRED and I can’t see anything out here,” she said sarcastically.

“You’d there there’d be a sign or something,” I said while scratching my head.

“You’d think,” Charly said dully.

“Well, LOOK around. We’ve got to be close,” I demanded.

A little behind the car was a cattle gate. I stopped the car, got out, and walked towards the gate with flashlight in hand.

At the gate was a hand painted sign that read, “Got Paint?”

“Hey, this must be it!” I yelled back towards the car, but got no response.

Walking back to the car I rapped on the passenger window, “Hey, I think this is it.”

Charly got out of the car and simply glared at me.

“Here carry this,” I said giving her a bag of stuff to carry, “and this,” as I gave her a second bag.

“I’ll never be your beast of burden,
“I’ve walked for miles my feet are hurting,” Charly starts to sing.

“You sing the next line and you’ll be walking a lot further,” I said.

“Oh, yeah… I just remember what the next line says. Nevermind,” Charly embarrassed said.

“I’m surprised you even know those lyrics. That was before you were even born,” I said happy that she stopped. That would have been really awkward.

Reaching the Cars

Once the cars were in sight, I asked Charly to stand by the cars while I set up a few strobe lights.

A Flash in the Dark - Cadillac Ranch Rocks
A Flash in the Dark

The eastern sky was just starting to lighten. Charly took my flashlight, and did what every child does when they get their hands on a flashlight…

Ghoulish Flashlight Trick
Ghoulish Flashlight Trick

I must have shot a couple hundred frames. I was having fun, but the real purpose was to leave my mark, however, it was too dark to tag a car. Plus, it had rained and the cars were wet.

Once the sky lightened (I can’t say the sun came up, because it got cloudy quickly), I found a car to tag. As soon as the paint hit the car, the dew caused it to bead up and roll off.

“Dang,” I said, “it’s too wet!”

Charly took off running down the road.

“What the heck,” I thought, “It’s a good thing I have the car keys. Oh, crap… what if she has a hide-a-key. … No, I would know if she did.”

She returned a few minutes later with an entire roll of paper towels and started wiping off the car.

“Okay, I take back every bad thing I’ve ever said about you,” I said to her.

“There!” she announced, “Now try painting.”

My Tag Left at Cadillac Ranch
My Tag Left at Cadillac Ranch (Cadillac Ranch ROCKS!)

Charly didn’t act impressed, but I think it is pretty cool.

Back to the Car

The walk back to the car made me think how glad I was we got there before sunrise. Lots of people were heading to see the interesting artwork in the Texas plains.

Walking Back to the Car
Walking Back to the Car

We reached the gate and I shot one last picture of Charly before we headed west.

Charly Points Out the Not-so-Obvious
Charly Points Out the Not-so-Obvious

I pulled out my Route 66 sign and Charly pointed out, “Hey, it kind of looks like those Cadillacs back there, only you need more of them and they need to be turned sideways.”

Laughing I replied, “But then it wouldn’t be ’66’, it would be ‘666666666666’.”

July 17, 2019

EnlightInn – Day 9

EnlightInn was our first stop after the drive-in movies last night. I dropped Charly off at her cottage and went straight to mine. We were both beat.

Knock – knock – knock.

No answer.

Avoiding being too cliche and knocking shave-and-a-haircut, I decided to do a Morse Code comma.

Knock — knock — knock-knock — knock — knock.

“Hold your horses,” I heard coming from inside Charly’s cottage.

A few seconds later, she yells, “You can come in, I’m decent now. It’s safe.”

I opened the door, but remained on the front step.

Charly Isn't Ready at EnlightInn
Charly Isn’t Ready

“WHAT! You aren’t ready to get breakfast?” I said trying not to get angry. “Put some clothes on and let’s go.”

“Whoa! I made an appointment to visit their sensory deprivation tank,” Charly said looking at me like I should understand.

“Sensory, what?” I said rather loudly.

“Sensory deprivation. They put you in a tank filled with mineral water and turn off the lights while you float in the darkness,” she explained.

“Okay, that’s sounding a little like stuff the C.I.A. does in war zones,” I said raising an eyebrow.

Charly started laughing which was getting me more irate, but before I could blow a fuse, she said, “You arranged for us to stay at a health spa, shouldn’t we take advantage of the amenities?”

I took a step back and realized I did reserve this nice cottages, and I did read that it was a health spa.

“Okay…” thinking of what to ask, “… what time do you think we should hit the road?”

“Chill, dude, and take a dip in the tank too,” she smiled.

“Uh, get in a tank, no lights… with you?” I said reluctantly.

“Heaven sakes NO,” she said glaring at my like I had lost my marbles, “To steal your words, that would be inappropriate. Go see if the sauna is available, or something like that.”

I closed the door to her cottage, scratched my head, and thought about what I should do while she pampers herself. Maybe I’ll go get breakfast… they do serve food here.

EnlightInn Charm

EnlightInn has quite the charm. In its day it was a motel for Route 66 travelers. The current owners remodeled the cottages and did an amazing job.

A couple of the buildings are dedicated to spa services, and the main building is the office and juice bar. It has a hominess to it. I could stay there for days.

I decided to get a smoothie.

“What do you recommend?” I asked the young lady at the counter.

“I personally like the Hippy Hippy Shake,” she responded.

Being a big fan of Tommy James and the Shondels, how could I NOT get the Hippy Hippy Shake.

“You convinced me,” I said, pulling out my wallet, “I’ll take a Hippy Hippy Shake.”

EnlightInn Hippy Hippy Shake
EnlightInn’s Hippy Hippy Shake

She handed me my shake and reading my expression she said, “Try it. I realize the color is a little off-putting, but you need to taste it.”

Telling myself its about the same color as a chocolate shake, I took a sip.

“Hey, this is REALLY good,” I said.

Back on the Road

Charly finished her spa treatment (which is about all she talked about for the rest of the day), and we hit the road.

We didn’t make it very far until we saw my friend Paul with another photographer setting up their MoLights.

“Hey, Paul,” I yelled out the car window, “want to shoot Charly?”

Landing a punch on my shoulder, Charly growled, “Nobody is going to SHOOT me.”

I pulled the car over and Charly ran over to greet Paul and his buddy.

Charly Showing Off to the Camera
Charly Showing Off to the Camera

After a discussion with the other two photographers about the great service and products at MoLight, Charly and I were back on the road again.

Special Thanks

A special thanks to EnlightInn. They were kind enough to put Paul and I up for a night when we did our Route 66 Tour. I HIGHLY recommend staying at EnlightInn when you travel through Tulsa. The cottages are cozy, but also loaded with home amenities. The staff is friendly and wonderful to talk to.

Another special thinks to Michael Mowbray, owner of MoLight, for providing some equipment during our tour. Not only does Michael service what he sells, but he USES what he sells. He doesn’t sell anything that he can’t support or offer advice on its use.

December 11, 2017

Day 9 – Fire Station and Railroad

While we were eating lunch, the fire chief invited us to stop and visit the fire station in Galena.  Why not?  It's not often you're invited by a town dignitary to come visit. The fire station is next to the restored old train station.  It's a double-whammy of a Route 66 stop.

While we were eating lunch, the fire chief invited us to stop and visit the fire station in Galena.  Why not?  It's not often you're invited by a town dignitary to come visit. The fire station is next to the restored old train station.  It's a double-whammy of a Route 66 stop.

Day 9 – Fire Station and Railroad

While we were eating lunch, the fire chief invited us to stop and visit the fire station in Galena.  Why not?  It’s not often you’re invited by a town dignitary to come visit.

The fire station is next to the restored old train station.  It’s a double-whammy of a Route 66 stop.

copyright 2017 db walton
Galena, Kansas, Fire Station

 

copyright 2017 db walton
Galena, Kansas, Railroad Station

A young man came out of the fire station curious as to what we were doing.  We told him his chief invited us to stop by (and about then, the chief pulled up in truck).  Paul asked the young man to pose for a shot.

copyright 2017 Paul Bardotz
Firefighter in Galena, Kansas

We’ve learned Galena was a big hub during the mining days.  Extracting galena for its lead and zinc made this a boomtown in the late 1800s.

Intersection of 66 and 69

Soon we came to the intersection of 66 and 69.  Enough said.  Keep your jokes to yourself.

copyright 2017 Paul Bardotz
69 and Alternate 69

Baxter Springs

Baxter Springs has this cool Walgreens.  Now, this is how old businesses should be treated and revived.  I applaud Walgreens for keeping the old signage and adding value to Route 66 in Baxter Springs, Kansas.

copyright 2017 Paul Bardotz
Baxter Drugs

Downtown Baxter is a clean town with a turn of the century look.

copyright 2017 Paul Bardotz
Baxter Springs

And, here’s a modern oil change outfit that’s keeping the retro look deserving of Route 66.  Kudos to Quick Lube.

copyright 2017 Paul Bardotz
Route 66 Quick Lube

We ran in to a couple pulling this cool retro looking trailer.  It turns out they are from the San Francisco Bay Area, so we told them Bay Photo was one of our sponsors and the guy knew exactly who were were talking about.  We left them with a sample of Bay Photo Products.

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A Couple Traveling from the San Francisco Bay Area

And, another Tow Mater.

WILL THE REAL TOW MATER PLEASE PULL FORWARD.

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Another Tow Mater

Cool Antique Shop

We found this cool antique shop called the Hitch N’ Post.

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Antique Shop

Here’s what makes it so cool…

Yes, if you have a 1959 or 1960 El Camino, you can get a replacement door here.  They had much more, but this is just a sample.

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Need a Car Door

Inside the shop there are replica Route 66 signs, as well as old license plates.

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Inside the Shop

Route 66 Cookies

There’s a unique old drive-in that sells Route 66 Cookies.  Yes, they are cookies in the shape of a Route 66 shield.

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Route 66 Cookies

The owners made a big point to point across the street at the Conoco Station to tell us it is fake.  It’s never been a gas station, and is only decorated that way.  Again, it was a huge deal for them to point this out.

copyright 2017 db walton
Fake

November 27, 2017

Day 8 – Heading to Joplin

Day 8 – Heading to Joplin

After seeing all those Corvairs, while we’re heading to Joplin, we come across more bridges.  It’s only fair that we stop for Paul (a retired bridge engineer) since we stopped so I could see Corvairs.

copyright 2017 db walton - Joplin
A Long Bridge

 

copyright 2017 db walton - Joplin
And a Short Bridge

Finally we come to something that’s NOT a bridge…

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A Restored Phillips 66 Station

While you see lots of old service stations, you also see a lot of Phillips 66 Stations – old and new.  Phillips 66 got the 66 from Route 66.  That makes it more special.

I remember as a kid my dad liking Phillips 66 Gas Stations.  I’m not sure why, but I had no idea back then what Route 66 was, or why it was Phillips 66.

Arvilla, Missouri

I had a great aunt named Arvilla.  But that’s neither here, nor there.   We roll in to Arvilla, Missouri, and find this cute little Post Office…

 

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Arvilla, Missouri, Post Office

Many small Route 66 towns have lots to offer the sightseer.  You’ve already seen that murals are big on Route 66.  Here’s a tiny building entirely painted with a wrap-around mural…

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Mural in Arvilla

A bit further down the road were the Red Rock Apartments…

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Red Rock Apartments

Rolling Hills and Bridges

Just before we got to Joplin we hit some rolling hills with one bridge after another.  We finally stopped to take a picture of one of them.  They were all the same style, built around the same time.

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Looking North on One of the Bridges

 

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Downed Guardrail

Restored Drive In Theatre

We next came to a restored drive in theater.  I got out to take a couple of pictures, and a guy came out yelling, “Hey, you’re on private property.”

My standard response when this happens is to yell back, “I’m sorry, we’re leaving right now.”

As soon as I did his tone of voice changed and he asked, “Where are you from?”

We told him we were from Western New York.  Once we told him this he relaxed and commented that he was glad we weren’t from France.  He proceeded to tell us he doesn’t like the French tourists because they steal and urinate on his lawn. (Ewww.. .gross!)

He invited us to take a few pictures.  Sharing with us the history of how he acquired the place, he pointed out they were a family friendly place and get a lot of support from the community.

copyright 2017 db walton
Nice Screen

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Brings Back Memories

Enlight Inn

Before we got to Joplin I saw this interesting church.  Castle-like, it stood out in the Missouri farmscape.

copyright 2017 db walton
Castle Like Church

We arrived at Enlight Inn where Natalie met us.  One of the workers there, Natalie gave us a quick exterior tour and showed us to our little cottage.  She explained that Enlight Inn offers health services like massages, sauna, sensory deprivation baths and more.

copyright 2017 db walton
Natalie at Enlight Inn

We asked Natalie where we could go to eat.  We explained we didn’t want fast food or burgers.  She recommended Hackett’s Wings downtown.

We found Hackett’s and ordered wings… of course.

 

copyright 2017 db walton
Hackett Hot Wings

November 20, 2017

Day 8 – Corvairs

Make no doubt about it, Corvairs were one of the best cars ever made.  I may be a bit biased having owned two of them, but they had some unprecedented features and rivaled many other sports cars.  While it is common belief that Ralph Nader killed the Corvair when he wrote  Unsafe at Any Speed, that's only part of the story.  Nader's claims were later debunked by a 1972 Texas A&M University safety commission report for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. They found the 1960–1963 Corvair possessed no greater potential for loss of control in extreme situations than its contemporaries.

Make no doubt about it, Corvairs were one of the best cars ever made.  I may be a bit biased having owned two of them, but they had some unprecedented features and rivaled many other sports cars.  While it is common belief that Ralph Nader killed the Corvair when he wrote  Unsafe at Any Speed, that's only part of the story.  Nader's claims were later debunked by a 1972 Texas A&M University safety commission report for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. They found the 1960–1963 Corvair possessed no greater potential for loss of control in extreme situations than its contemporaries.

Day 8 – Corvairs

Make no doubt about it, Corvairs were one of the best cars ever made.  I may be a bit biased having owned two of them, but they had some unprecedented features and rivaled many other sports cars.  While it is common belief that Ralph Nader killed the Corvair when he wrote  Unsafe at Any Speed, that’s only part of the story.  Nader’s claims were later debunked by a 1972 Texas A&M University safety commission report for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. They found the 1960–1963 Corvair possessed no greater potential for loss of control in extreme situations than its contemporaries.

We’re going to stumble upon a Corvair goldmine as we drive through Missouri today.

Leaving Springfield, we find some of your usual Route 66 attractions.  While I never really get bored of them, when you’re in a rush to get from point A to B, you tend to skip things that are similar to things you’ve already seen.

Theatres

While there are many retro theaters, not all of them function as a movie house today.  This one, the Tower, is now a radio station.

copyright 2017 db walton
Tower Cinema – Now Radio Station

This place was a cross between a service station and motel.  In operation, the Modern Cabins has that look that it has seen better days.

copyright 2017 db walton
Modern Cabins

Then there are the automobile service businesses.  This one, obviously defunct, has a look of semi-abandonment.  It had an old covered up sign out front, while the garage doors were in good, nearly new, state.  We saw a lot of this along Route 66 too.

copyright 2017 db walton
Auto Repair Shop No More

Gay Parita

A play on “Gay Paris”, this old 1930s service station has a lot of Americana memorabilia.  It is one of those stops along Route 66 where you can spend a lot of time walking around, looking at things, and taking pictures.

You can’t really miss this as it is very close to the road, and quite colorful.

copyright 2017 db walton
Old Oil Truck at Gay Parita

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Looking Inside the Garage

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One of the Walls Inside the Garage

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Sinclair and Route 66 Soda Signs at Gay Parita

Corvair Goldmine

We’re leaving Gay Parita and I spot a Corvair on someone’s lawn.  I told Paul I wanted to stop and take some pictures.  As we pull off Route 66 to find a safe place to park, I see the home has this beautifully restored Monza Station Wagon – – Just like the one I used to own.  However, this one was fully restored.

The owner came out as we pulled up.  I asked permission to photograph her car, for which she was more than happy to oblige.

copyright 2017 db walton - corvairs
Having Fun with Topaz Impression 2

You can read more about Topaz Software here.

copyright 2017 db walton - corvairs
Beautifully Painted

copyright 2017 db walton - corvairs
Inside the Corvair Monza Station Wagon

copyright 2017 db walton - corvairs
The Corvair Engine

The owner then proceeded to show us their fine collection of Corvairs.  They had Spiders, Greenbriars, Monzas, and more.  Some hadn’t been restored (yet), while others were in mint condition.

This side loader pickup truck would have been the ultimate lawn care vehicle for Orange Oaks (a business a friend and I started back in the 1970s.)  Because it had this ramp you could park at the curb, lower the ramp, and roll your lawnmowers out the side.  Cool, cool, cool.

copyright 2017 db walton - corvairs
Side Loader – Owner with Paul

Well, if this was all we saw today, I’d be satisfied.  I think when it comes to Corvairs, Paul might think I’m a little crazy.

November 17, 2017

Topaz Studio on Day 8

I'm taking a break from the normal recap, and reviewing one of our sponsor's products.  Topaz Studio is rapidly becoming a favorite of mine. I've been around the block a few times.  There was a point where I grabbed up every action for Photoshop.  Then there was the phase where I wanted to do it all myself.  That got old.  Now, I've come back around and I'm looking at other imaging software.

I'm taking a break from the normal recap, and reviewing one of our sponsor's products.  Topaz Studio is rapidly becoming a favorite of mine. I've been around the block a few times.  There was a point where I grabbed up every action for Photoshop.  Then there was the phase where I wanted to do it all myself.  That got old.  Now, I've come back around and I'm looking at other imaging software.

Topaz Studio

I’m taking a break from the normal recap, and reviewing one of our sponsor’s products.  Topaz Studio is rapidly becoming a favorite of mine.

I’ve been around the block a few times.  There was a point where I grabbed up every action for Photoshop.  Then there was the phase where I wanted to do it all myself.  That got old.  Now, I’ve come back around and I’m looking at other imaging software.

Forget the Adobe Creative Cloud.  It wasn’t meant for road warriors like us.  It’s too problematic and Lightroom CC is simply too slow for my tastes.

Topaz Studio brings the Topaz software all together.  Providing thumbnail previews, you can browse through the various effects.

copyright 2017 db walton
Screen Shot of Topaz Studio – Click to Zoom In

What I Like

What I like about Topaz Studio is this… I can quickly preview various effects (left side of screen), select the one I want, and tweak it with the sliders  (right side of screen.)

There are other programs out there that do that too.  They give you a filter preview screen, but none have been as clean as this.

I also like that it has a healing brush, lens correction, masking and all your standard adjustments:  color, contrast, sharpen, blur, etc. (too many to list.)  It also supports layers.

Most of all, I don’t have to bumble around with the other Topaz plug-ins.  They are all at my fingertips in Topaz Studio.

Who Is It For?

This is for any Topaz plug-in owner.  And, it is great for the amateur photographer.  Just look on the left, click on what you like, and then do a “save as…”    For professionals, it works great as part of your workflow.  I have it set up so I can open it from ACDSee.  Ta-da!

Artistic Touch

I like the artistic touch.  I’m not a huge fan of push-button photo art.  Too often it looks too processed.  However, I think it has its place.  Take a look at both of these images.  These are straight out of Topaz (SOOT… LOL).

copyright 2017 db walton
Romantic Skies Preset in Topaz

The above is kind of cartoonish, but I could see where this sort of distortion could come in handy.

Below is the Impressionism preset results on the same image.  I like it much better than the oil paint filter in Adobe Photoshop.  For a push-button effect, given the right image you could have a neat pseudo painting.

copyright 2017 db walton
Impressionism Preset in Topaz

Processing Photos as Photos

When processing photos as photos, the presets will speed the workflow too.  Here’s the same image processed with the Basic Correction preset.

copyright 2017 db walton
Basic Correction Preset in Topaz

Black and White

The black and white presets are darn good.  You can tweak them, but here’s one SOOT using Basic Black and White Preset in Topaz Studio…

copyright 2017 db walton
Basic Black and White Preset in Topaz

 

Conclusion

I really enjoy Topaz Studio as well as all the plug-ins.  There are 17 different plug-ins if you get them all.  The cost anywhere from $29.99 up to $79.99.  That’s okay if you want to just do a few things.

If you want to do it all in the Pro Adjustments package for $227.50 (on sale right now – click here) you can get them all.   Or, you can purchase all of the plug-ins for $499.99 (click here).

You can also trial them for free.

Oh, one more thing…

If you decide to purchase, and they come out with a new release.  Well, check out their friendly upgrade policy.  Unlike one company that charges you $120/year to use their software, or others who come out with an expensive upgrade annually, Topaz Labs wants your business for life.

P.S.  Topaz Studio is actually free and comes with a few adjustments.  It’s the plug-ins and additional adjustments that cost.  Sorry, should have made that more clear, but if you visit their website it is all explained there.

November 17, 2017

Day 8 – Start of Week Two

Start of Week Two

It’s the start of week two.  Week one went quickly, and here we are starting a new week.  We’re in Springfield, Missouri, this morning.  Let’s see what Springfield has to offer.

Before we hit the road I looked at the hotel’s free breakfast.  Hmmm… eggs… sausage patties… english muffin.  It’s time for a sandwich.

copyright 2017 db walton
Free Breakfast Sandwich

Springfield, Missouri

As we’re heading out I spot this cluster of construction markers.  Let’s play a game?  Where’s Paul?

Yeah, he’s hiding in there somewhere.

I waited for this orange truck to pass before snapping the photo.  There’s a lot of orange here on Route 66… at least at this location.

copyright 2017 db walton
Construction Markers

Behind me I then notice this overgrown old motel.  There was a board there with building permits.  It appears someone is restoring it.  Cool!  Might be something to look for next time traveling Route 66.

copyright 2017 db walton
Overgrown Old Motel

Next door is an abandoned Drive-In Movie Theater.  We drove back there only to hear, “Hey, get out of here.  You’re on private property.”

“Okay, sorry.  We’re leaving right now,” I yelled back.

Paul was driving and  before we got to the street the man was out there taking pictures of us with his cell phone.

“Honestly, had we known it was private property we wouldn’t have gone back there,” I said, “We’re sorry.”

He then explained he chases off a lot of drug dealers and undesirables.  He saw that we were decent folks.  We gave him our card and told him about our trip, and he seemed okay with us.  Besides, we were leaving.

copyright 2017 db walton
Holiday Drive-in No Longer

Right after leaving we had a little mishap with the car.  We pulled over and discovered a piece of trim came off.  I snapped it back on and we were good to go again.  No harm or damage done.

Frozen Custard at Andy’s

We see this retro looking Andy’s Frozen Custard shop.  It’s close to lunchtime, but neither of us are ready for lunch so we stopped for a frozen custard.

copyright 2017 db walton
Andy’s Frozen Custard Shop

While we were there eating our frozen custard, a minivan full of young adults pulled up.  It was like watching the little car in the circus when all of the clowns pile out.  Only, this was a minivan and a bunch of young adults.

We asked where they were from.  The told us they are all on the Florida State Swim Team and came to Springfield to escape Hurricane Irma.  We asked them to pose for a group shot.

copyright 2017 db walton
Students From Florida State in Missouri to Escape Hurricane Irma

 

copyright 2017 db walton
Tatum Enjoying Frozen Custard

 

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Sharing a Frozen Custard

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Really Enjoying Her Frozen Custard

So, we leave our new friends and I see this sign for Anton’s Coffee Shop.  Doesn’t that look like an ice cream cone on their sign?  It sure does to me.

copyright 2017 db walton
More Frozen Custard?

 

November 17, 2017

Day 7 – Catching Up with Gee

Here we are at the end of our first full week.  On day 7 we run in to a man I read about before starting this journey.  He goes by Gee (because people have a difficult time with his first name).  Gee is walking all of Route 66.  He started in California and will end in Chicago.

Here we are at the end of our first full week.  On day 7 we run in to a man I read about before starting this journey.  He goes by Gee (because people have a difficult time with his first name).  Gee is walking all of Route 66.  He started in California and will end in Chicago.

Catching Up with Gee

Here we are at the end of our first full week.  On day 7 we run in to a man I read about before starting this journey.  He goes by Gee (because people have a difficult time with his first name).  Gee is walking all of Route 66.  He started in California and will end in Chicago.

copyright 2017 db walton
Gee — Walking Route 66

Our conversation with Gee was uplifting.   He’s a Navy Vet and a patriot.  He’s carrying a U.S.A. Flag and asking people to sign it as he travels across America.

copyright 2017 db walton
Paul, Gee and Me

Munger Moss

Before running in to Gee we saw the famous Munger Moss Motel.  Named after Nelly Munger (original owner) and her second husband, Emmett Moss, this motel started as a sandwich shop serving meals to Route 66 travelers in the 1930-1940s.  Today it is a 44 room and 16 efficiencies motel in Lebanon, Missouri.

 

copyright 2017 db walton
Everyone Needs a Millage Sign – They are all over Route 66

 

copyright 2017 db walton
Munger Moss Sign Restored in 2010

And, if you are staying at the Munger Moss Motel, catch a few lanes of bowling.

copyright 2017 db walton
Bowling Alley Across from the Munger Moss Motel

We also came across a couple of defunct businesses.  One was an old cafe, the other a convenience store and meat market.  Again, on Historic Route 66, but didn’t have the wherewith to keep the businesses going.

copyright 2017 db walton
Whitmor Farms No More

copyright 2017 db walton
Closed Meat Shop

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Gascozark Cafe

copyright 2017 db walton
An Old Route 66 Sign

World’s Largest Gift Shop

Or, so the sign claims that this is the World’s Largest Gift Shop.  It was closed.  We missed it by about 15 minutes.  However, the candy store nearby was open.

copyright 2017 db walton
World’s Largest Gift Shop on Route 66

In the candy store they had… of course… saltwater taffy.  (I didn’t get any.  But, keep reading to see what I did get.)

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Saltwater Taffy

I saw in the glass display case they had chocolate dipped Twinkies.  Okay.  I’d regret it if I didn’t try one, so I bought one.

It was okay.  Nothing I’d go out of my way to have again.

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Chocolate Covered Twinkie

As we motored down Route 66 I spotted another Corvair.  (Yeah, if you haven’t figured it out, I love Corvairs.)  They also had a few rust bucket roadside attractions too.

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Another Corvair

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Roadside Attraction

Well, it got dark quickly, and I saw this neon sign…

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Rest Haven Court Neon Sign

That’s it for Day 7.  We made it to Springfield, Missouri.  (Yes, there are two Springfields on Route 66 – Illinois and Missouri.)

November 13, 2017

Day 7 – Finding Uranus

Finding Uranus sounds gross when you say it aloud, but seriously... wait... who can be serious about a town named Uranus?

Finding Uranus sounds gross when you say it aloud, but seriously... wait... who can be serious about a town named Uranus?

Finding Uranus

Finding Uranus sounds gross when you say it aloud, but seriously… wait… who can be serious about a town named Uranus?

For miles before we got here we read billboard signs, “The best fudge comes from Uranus.”

With marketing like that, you have to stop and see what it is all about.  We met up with another photographer – Jax.  She showed us around Uranus (okay… it’s really hard to write this with a straight face) and introduced us to Louie.  Louie quickly showed us his latest creation – the Axe Hole, but then he was off doing something else.

About 16 years ago Louie Keen bought this place and self-proclaimed himself, “Mayor of Uranus.”

As Louie puts it, Uranus is not a town, but a destination.  His marketing gig is to play off the word Uranus.  As you can imaging, they do a lot of joking about Uranus.  This stripmall (of a sorts), features an Old West look nestled in the Ozarks of Missouri.

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Picture Yourself at Uranus

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Uranus Axe Hole

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Thank You Sign

Fudge Shop

Inside the fudge shop you find all sorts of candies, and of course, fresh homemade fudge.  I bought a pound.  Good stuff comes from Uranus.  (Smack me if I keep this up.)

I’m all set with candy for the rest of the trip.  In addition to fudge, I bought some saltwater taffy.

Other Stuff

I think Louie goes around looking for things that will add to his little town.  Take this, for example, a carnival ride named the Astro-Liner.

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Astro-Liner

What does the Astro-Liner do?  Searches for Asteroids, of course.  As you can see it is poised for some serious probing.

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Poised for Serious Probing

Moving Right Along

We followed Jax in to the next town down the road.  Waynesville is where we stopped with Jax and she introduced us to her friends at the little cafe there.  Jax treated us to lunch and we enjoyed talking to the cafe owners as well as other customers.  (This place is quite popular, yet still has a homey, comfortable feel.)

copyright 2017 db walton
New Mother and Baby

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Army Wife and Her Dog

 

Outside we visited with some of the locals.  It turns out there is an Army Base close by and many of the wives hang out here.

Everyone was friendly and let us take their pictures.  We had a great time finding out about the area and the people who live here.

 

 

 

Almost Got a Car

I love the late model Camaro.  If I had the money I’d be driving one.  So, this lady drives up in a yellow 2018 Camaro.  I yell, “Hey, your driving my car.”

She turns around, about the time I snap this picture, and says, “Oh, are you the guy I’m delivering the car to?”

copyright 2017 db walton
Brand New Camaro

 

 

 

I told her I was not, but I wish I was and we both had a good laugh.  She assured me had I gone on to say I was that she would have asked for identification.

Up Next

Monger Moss and meeting up with Gee.

November 7, 2017

Day 6 – Finding Rolla

We didn't have trouble finding Rolla.  It's a pretty good sized town.  Route 66 is tricky here because there are traffic circles (aka roundabouts) and a divided highway.

We didn't have trouble finding Rolla.  It's a pretty good sized town.  Route 66 is tricky here because there are traffic circles (aka roundabouts) and a divided highway.

Day 6 – Finding Rolla

We didn’t have trouble finding Rolla.  It’s a pretty good sized town.  Route 66 is tricky here because there are traffic circles (aka roundabouts) and a divided highway.

It is late afternoon, and so this will be the last Day 6 post.

Wash N’ Wax

This Wash N’ Wax place hasn’t seen customers for some time.  It takes money to rehabilitate these old places.  I keep thinking the tourist traffic can support it IF, and ONLY IF, the owner creates a unique environment.  If it is unique, people will stop.

copyright 2017 db walton
Wax N’ Wash

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Someone Owns It

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Derby – Closed

The other end of this town has this cool divided boulevard.  I love the trees and sidewalk down the center of Route 66.

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Route 66 a Boulevard

Used Cars and Trucks

Route 66 Motors looks like it would be a fun place to visit, however it was closed.  It could be it’s past Labor Day that is resulting in many of these places being closed.  As a result we have an obstructed view.

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Route 66 Auto – But Closed

Our Hotel in Rolla

Our hotel in Rolla is nice.  For once, our room is decorated with local photographs.  I like they have a local feel.

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Comfort Suites in Rolla

The lobby is also quite nice.  We’re going to enjoy our evening here.  In fact, I’m going to do my laundry.

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Comfort Suites in Rolla

Here’s my plug for Bay Photo Labs.  I put my camera on the tripod, and used my camera app on my tablet to take the picture.

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Showing off my Bay Photo Shirt

Tomorrow

Tomorrow we leave Rolla and head to Springfield (Missouri, not Illinois).