2013 NY to CA on Route 66, Cross Country Drive

Route 66 Day Six: Cuba MO to Carthage MO

Total distance: 346.05 km (215.0 mi) Total time: 12:26:50 / Total time: 12:26:50Moving time: 6:38:12 / Average speed: 27.80 km/h (17.3 mi/h)
Average moving speed: 52.14 km/h (32.4 mi/h) / Max speed: 132.25 km/h (82.2 mi/h)
Average pace: 2.16 min/km (3.5 min/mi) / Average moving pace: 1.15 min/km (1.9 min/mi)
Fastest pace: 0.45 min/km (0.7 min/mi)  Max elevation: 431 m (1413 ft)

Just east of St. James is one of the most impressive and fascinating stops we’ve made on this trip: The Vacuum Cleaner Museum and Factory! We expected to pop in for a few minutes of laughter but it ended up taking us nearly an hour as we were guided through the history of the vacuum by one of the most enthusiastic vacuum salesmen/historians you will ever meet. This stop is highly recommended regardless of your perceived interest in carpet cleaning.

Soon after we pressed on westward via RT66 in earnest. In this region the old road parallels the interstate the majority of the time alternating on the north and south sides. Often the road terminates with a crumble of old asphalt then an on-ramp to the interstate, then an exit ramp and back on 66. The majority of the roadside attractions have been documented but stumbling upon some small ones gives one the feeling of an explorer. Some of the most interesting items are the old bridges that span swamps/rivers/streams. Many of these iron crossings were built in the 1920s and even though they show signs of age are solid and used often by the locals.

Our evening break took us to Springfield MO and the Springfield Brewing Co. A great brewpub/restaurant. Springfield seems to be undergoing a major transformation from rundown factory town to vibrant hipster artsy community. Dozens of bars, coffee shops and vintage shops line the historic streets. In a few years this will be quite a happening town.

Farther west in a very quiet section of 66 is the Gay Parita Sinclair filling stationformally owned by Gay and Fred Mason now owned by the incredibly affable Gary Turner. If you’ve got time, Gary will tell you stories of 66 and recommend many, many places to see along the way. One of those stops is just up the street – the “ghost town” of Spencer (now being restored)

As the sun set we checked into the historic and just recently re-opened Boots Court – motor lodge. Only 5 of the 18 rooms are restored to it’s 1940s glory so book ahead for a great comfortable stay in this clean and affordable lodging that is part of history.

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