Route 66: Cuba, MO to Springfield, IL
Day 7 – 2234 Miles from Home
CUBA, MO to SPRINGFIELD, IL – 251 Miles
Nothing like putting on damp jeans, boots, and gloves and climbing on the bike on a cool morning! Brrrr!!!
But I’m telling you, it was … What adjective haven’t I used? Amazing? Fantastic? Spectacular? The Illinois countryside defies description. And they absolutely win the prize for signage and for helping the tourist make the most of the Mother Road. The signs for the different alignments actually have dates listed for when that section was active, and the Route 66 businesses have state-issued guides free to the public, laying out the Illinois route and attractions.
We left Cuba Missouri bright and early and damp. Brian left the Motor Palace mark on the pavilion where our motorcycles slept for the night (don’t worry… He wasn’t tagging, they encourage that!) and we hit the road.
We wanted to avoid spending two hours navigating Route 66 through St Louis, so we popped onto the Interstate and looped around the city. Oh. My. Word! At least from the freeway, the river side of the city is like something out of dystopian film! Old brick buildings and weathered pane glass, stacked in layers. I know for mid-west and east coasters it’s the norm, but for a west coaster like me, I was in awe as I whizzed past at 70mph. And I swear, crossing the Mississippi, I got a little teary. The feats of mankind truly are incredible.
Back off the Interstate onto the Mother Road, we hopped over to Henry’s Rabbit Ranch, where Mr. Henry had actual rabbits, like Big Red here…
And the big riding rabbit ala Jackrabbit Trading post in Arizona.
And the very best one… This BRICK alignment near Auburn! 1.4 miles built in 1931.
Just off Route 66 near Chatham, we found the Sugar Creek Covered Bridge built in 1880, no longer open to vehicular travel. Stunningly lovely, especially with the nearly deafening sounds of cicadas and frogs and the green moss-covered Sugar Creek running below.
After nearly eleven hours on the bikes and only 250 miles, we called it a night in Springfield. If there’s a cool Route 66 section of this town, we sure couldn’t find it! Sadly, we had to stay in a chain hotel. Boo!
Time to hit our final leg of Route 66 into Chicago!
Until next time,
Oh! And here’s a little video of the day so you can hear what I hear and see the kind of roads we’re traveling!