Wednesday, March 22, 2017

2 October 2016 Missouri

I really want to travel Route 66 from Santa Monica through Oklahoma. The Oklahoma to Chicago portion isn't a great priority for me. Maybe its the thought of being in the southwest that interests me. Maybe in my mind I expect the remaining bits in the southwest to be more quirky. Today's travels started with the Route 66 State Park in Missouri. At one end of the park there is a visitor center. The park used to be accessed across the old Route 66 bridge over the Meramec River. The bridge decking was removed about ten years ago so now all that remains to tie this to the old route is the steel girders. We did stop in to see the visitor center (souvenir shop) before making our way to another entrance to the park and a few geocache searches. What we saw of the park seems to be fading away with old 66.

Old path of Route 66 over the Meramec

There was an old Sinclair station in the Cleveland Flats when I was young, but it is rare to see them in my travels.

With it being fall, I wasn't sure what we would see, but I hoped to visit a remaining prairie area on this trip. Tucker Prairie offered us a fall walk on the prairie and even a geocache at the far end. The tall prairie gentian was past its prime but still in bloom and plentiful. It was joined by a few other asters and late summer wildflowers showing their last color. It would be great to see at another time, but I enjoyed the visit. The cache may have been one of the most painful 200 foot journeys we have made, but we eventually reached the ammo can.

Our last big stop of the day was in Fulton, Missouri. This historic location was the spot where Winston Churchill and President Harry Truman traveled. The visit included a memorable speech by Churchill called the Sinews of Peace or the Iron Curtain speech. For us, it was the third time we have been brought to a piece of the Berlin Wall by geocaching. One would hope this wall and its failure would help us understand a new wall is not the answer.

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