August 1st, 2021

Wow…it’s already August. Another fast summer. Last night we had thunderstorms here, the likes of which I have not seen in many years – I moved from the Midwest 25 years ago this year – and we don’t really get those types of storms where I live in WA. Winds, lightning, torrential rains…a real blast from the past. Fun and interesting to watch but nothing I really miss.

It was an awesome day today however. It finally cooled down and was in the low 80s today. That meant it was cool enough to leave the dogs out, and that meant I could leave the house finally. Road trip!!!

Yep…The Mother Road!!!

I put Addy in the car seat and we headed out to drive a stretch of Route 66. I was going to catch it at Strafford, MO and head into Springfield from there.

The drive was really beautiful, going through the dense trees and winding backcountry roads, across many low-water crossings and bridges going over beautiful streams. And wild turkeys!

Bet they won’t be thinking “gobble gobble” come November! I will be though.

I doubled back to take this picture as the Trail of Tears is a part of my family’s history on my mom’s side. It isn’t necessary to get into all the details or comment on those events other than I had Cherokee relatives who were forced to relocate and walked this very trail.

We got to Strafford and took a quick look around. There were a few old buildings we saw and this was probably the one that stood out most to me (sorry about the reflection!).

One part I drove was the route from 1926-1928 until it was relocated west out of Strafford; this part of the route went south out of Strafford then west. I decided not to backtrack to see the other leg on this trip but in the future I will.

We headed west on this section through the countryside and rolling hills toward Springfield. As I drove it really made me think about the countless people that made this drive back in the day. It had to have been quite the journey and it really got me excited even more about travel. Imagine how that must have been to see all those things for the first time and be able to travel to the ocean from halfway across the country. It also made me think about the classic movie “The Grapes of Wrath” and the horrible things those people went through.

As we got into Springfield I saw another sign that said Route 66 followed the Trail of Tears for a couple of miles into Springfield. I could not get pictures of that, or some of the other stuff I wanted to get pictures of – I was driving and in some places there was nowhere to pull over. I am certain I will be back that way again and hope to get out and walk around town and be able to spend more time exploring.

I did get a few pictures though.

We did not go all the way through Springfield on Route 66 so I will just have to pick up where I left off someday. This is the longest section I have been on along with driving through Albuquerque, NM. The route is still on my bucket list so it is pretty cool to see this stuff. I may not necessarily need to see every inch of it in the cities but I am wanting to see more of the other stuff along the way. I may not do it all at once either but doing it piecemeal is fine; I still get to see it.

Today’s awesome adventure really got my travel Jones going. I am even more excited to go somewhere now that I did this drive. Plus, I saw so many interesting places to eat that have been around for many decades. They should have good food by now!

My trailer would fit right in with the spirit of this road. I hope to be able to do that soon but then again there are the old-school interesting motels and “motor lodges” along the way and those could be even more fun.

I do like history quite a bit but there is a difference between liking history and liking the history that you discover (and there’s plenty to not like).

It is very interesting (at least to me) to see where we have come from and how we have gotten to where we are, but it sure as hell doesn’t mean I want to live in the past. It is called “the past” for a reason. Learn from it, but move on and leave it where it belongs…in the past.

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