Route 66 Caravan

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Route 66 Caravan Road Log:
June 09, 2003


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Truckin' Down Route 66

Route 66 on the Way to Carthage Route 66 goes through the mining town of Carterville after leaving Web City. Beyond Carterville Route 66 passes through some mighty scenic country. Tommy Pike and his wife Glenda of the Missouri Route 66 Association were guiding me through the twists and turns of old Route 66 on our way to Carthage and I'm glad they were. I think I just might have gotten lost if they weren't!
          

This old Route 66 bridge outside of Carthage is peaceful now. It's hard to believe this was the major east-west highway of a nation once.

Old Route 66 Bridge

 

Carthage, Missouri

Carthage Boots Motel
The old Boots Motor Court in Carthage is a holdout from the days of Route 66.

Carthage, Missouri is a distinctive old Route 66 town. There's a lot of the old Mother Road left here too. Originally Carthage was founded in 1842. Have you noticed that the farther east the Caravan travels the older the towns get? During the Civil War guerrilla rebels attacked the town and burned the courthouse.
          
Maybe that was a blessing in disguise because the rebuilt courthouse is one of the most beautiful I've ever seen in my opinion. As Route 66 winds its way towards Carthage the tower of this imposing structure can be seen from miles away.

Carthage Bank
This bank was built from an old Route 66 diner. The graceful curved lines still speak of another day on Route 66.

        

Carthage Courthouse

Carthage Courthouse Detail

The Carthage Courthouse is a real beauty. This courthouse is the cornerstone for the town plaza that is alive with businesses including many fine antique shops. If you come through the area don't miss this great piece of Americana.

 

66 Drive-In

During the hey-day of Route 66 there were countless drive-ins in operation along the old highway. I still have found memories of many a magical summer evening spent at the drive-in with my family. That was a special time in my life. I feel very bad that I can't pass those times on to my children. The drive-in has become a thing of the past. One more icon of simpler times that has given way to our new high-tech fast paced life in America today. Except in Carthage, Missouri thanks to the efforts of the Goodman family.
66 Drive-In

66 Drive-In in Carthage

          

Jim along with the Goodman family, Austin, Mark, Dixie and Maegan dedicate the well-earned Roadside Attraction sign at the 66 Drive-In in Carthage.

66 Drive-In's Goodman Family

  Mark and Dixie Goodman looked around one day and noticed something from their childhood was missing from the new American landscape. The drive-in movie theaters had all but disappeared. They decided to do something about this sorry state of affairs so they bought the old 66 Drive-In in Carthage. Through their efforts and a lot of hard work they brought this old icon back to life. The 66 Drive-In is the last of the drive-ins to bear the Route 66 name. Today people from as far away as Chicago make the drive to Carthage to enjoy those hot summer nights with their family at the 66 Drive-In. Mega-thanks go out to the Goodman family, for indeed it is a family affair. Mark runs the projector and Dixie runs the snack bar along with their children Maegan and Austin (another daughter helps too but she wasn't at the dedication).

66 Drive-In Attraction Sign

 

Spencer, Missouri

Old Route 66 Businesses in Spencer Our trip from Carthage through the countryside on Route 66 was awesome. The Caravan went through some of the most picturesque country I've ever seen on our way to Springfield. As I commented later to Tommy and Glenda Pike, our guides, this is "Calendar Picture" country. One little side trip took us to Spencer, Missouri. There's not much left of Spencer but memories of Route 66.
        

These old businesses stand silent now in Spencer. A short distance down Route 66 from here is a very nice old steel truss bridge. This is the kind of place you can stop and absorb the atmosphere of simpler times ~ that is if you don't have to catch up with "pedal to the metal" Jim Conkle in the Route 66 Caravan RV!

Spencer Bridge

 


West 66
Previous Log
Go West down the Mother Road

Road Log pages read like a book:

Follow the Route 66 Caravan
down the Mother Road ~
select the Route 66 direction
you would like to go.

East 66
Springfield's Steak & Shake
Go East on the Mother Road

 

 

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