This was originally posted on August 12, 2010 as Marcus and I roadtripped across the US to our new home in Los Angeles. I will be reposting our roadtrip posts all week as we vacation in Mexico, and will be back with our best roadtripping tips next week. See you soon!
- Miles traveled: 582 miles
- Time traveling: 13 hours
- Average speed: 45 mph
- States traveled: Indiana, Illinois, Missouri
When we started planning our trip, I picked up this roadtrip guidebook from my local Borders.
It’s been a really great resource throughout our journey. It has town-by-town descriptions of several popular roadtrip routes throughout the US, including route 66, which we are traveling for much of our trip. When I first read through the attractions we would be passing, I noticed one that I knew Marcus would not want to miss.
The Cozy Dog Drive-In in Springfield, Illinois, the birthplace of the corndog. Being a huge fan of corndogs, Marcus was not disappointed.
After lunch, we attempted to jump on the historic route 66 for a bit. At this point, route 66 is basically a two-lane highway running parallel to the main interstate, but a few hundred feet to the right. It has been re-routed at every interstate entrance ramp to avoid the traffic, so you have to loop around and make a left turn to stay on it. At one of these we got confused and accidentally got back on the highway, but once we figured things out, we got back off to make it to our next destination.
Henry’s Rabbit Ranch was unfortunately a bit underwhelming. I was expecting fields filled with little fluffy bunnies merrily hopping about, but instead there were flocks of rabbits of the vehicular variety.
We did find one rabbit though:
There were supposed to be actual rabbits there (it says so in my book), but we suspected that they must’ve been taken to a cooler location. It was probably around 100˚ here. After that, we hopped (haha get it? rabbits??) back on the interstate to see the rest of the state of Illinois. It looked pretty much like this:
Marcus kept shouting excitedly, “It’s so farmy!” But I, having had more experience with farms, was less impressed. Then we went around a bend in the road, and out of nowhere, this site springs up.
We had suddenly entered St. Louis, Missouri, and were passing what I have now learned is called the Gateway to the West. It was really cool to see in person, if only from the car. We passed through some quick but serious rain that cleared up just in time for the sun to set, and it made for some really beautiful skies.
We were aiming for the city of Joplin but weren’t positive we would make it all the way there so we hadn’t booked a place to stay. I tried to use Priceline via our phones to get a reservation but apparently the internet connection wasn’t stable enough to actually book (big fail, Negotiator), so I made a slightly frantic call to Dad (a true Priceline pro) who graciously offered to negotiate a price for us and gift us the room for the night. We ended up in a way-too-nice hotel that I wish we could’ve stayed longer at. There were two pools and a spa, and they gave us complimentary beer/wine tickets when we checked in that we didn’t even use because we were already too tired. We must’ve been really tired, because I mean, who says no to free beer?! We really must not be in college anymore. There was something else calling my name:
Hotel pillows, helpfully labeled soft and firm. For real? Way too nice, Dad. Thanks, we loved it!
This is part 2 of my six-part roadtrip series! To read the next part, stop by tomorrow!