Sunday, July 7, 2013

Lincoln Highway 100th Anniversary Tour

The Trip Home

The trip home was pleasant, but somewhat anti-climactic. We spent three days taking a roundabout route from Kearney, Nebraska to Olathe, Kansas where we spent the first night. From Olathe we followed the Jefferson Highway south where we intersected Route 66 near Riverton, Kansas. We then headed northeast, following Route 66 to Lebanon, Missouri where we spent the second night. The next day we finished our Route 66 - Missouri trip with a "frozen concrete" at Ted Drewe's like we always do.

At this point we weren't sure where we were going, we just knew that we have to be back in Brevard by the end of the following day. Sharon plugged our current location and destination into the GPS and instructed it to find us a way home without taking any Interstate highways. The route led us through some very scenic towns in Illinois and Kentucky. By the time we reached Tennessee it was getting late so we spent the night in the second Lebanon in two nights. In the meantime we had made a decision to have lunch with Sharon's daughter Olivia in Chattanooga, Tennessee, so that was the direction we headed in the morning. We had a very nice lunch with Olivia, then followed US-64 back home. It rained almost non-stop throughout the day, so we were glad to finally reach Brevard.

Here are a few pictures of the final three days of travel.

The drive through Nebraska involved many miles of cornfields and very straight roads, but it was pleasant and relaxing nonetheless. We even had the scenery broken up by an occasional strange looking house. OK, this is actually the only strange looking house we saw, but we would have enjoyed seeing more...

By the time we got close to Kansas, the roads became a bit more interesting with some hills and curves. Kansas was a very enjoyable ride as we followed the Jefferson Highway south. The Jefferson celebrates it's centennial in three years, so maybe a trip from Winnipeg to New Orleans will be in the works before too long. The bridge below is a triple span Marsh arch bridge. There were several built in Kansas and elsewhere, but far fewer remain today.

After connecting with Route 66 we stopped for lunch in Galena, Kansas. We then stopped a place that used to be called "Four Women on the Route" but has recently changed its name. I had to stop and get a picture of the new, freshly painted name and chat with Melba, "the mouth of the south".

Our next stop in Carthage, Missouri involved a new sign and name change as well. One of my favorite motels on Route 66 is the Boots Motel...was the Boots Motel. They just finished restoring the neon sign out in front and restored the name back to its original Boots Court moniker. The sign looks great in the daylight and I only wish we could have stuck around to see it illuminated at night. We could only stay a few minutes but it was nice saying hello to our friend Ron Hart.

Our next stop was on a quiet bridge near the town of Spencer. 

We spent the night at the famous Munger Moss Motel in Lebanon, Missouri. When it got dark they lit their massive sign and Sharon and I spent 20 minutes taking pictures. This sign was one of the main reasons I purchased a digital SLR camera because the point-and-shoots do a lousy job with neon. So I was excited and happy to get back here to take a bunch of pictures.

Our last stop before Ted Drewe's was another one of my favorites; John's Modern Cabins. I shoot bunches of pictures here every time I come, and each time I see the buildings in worse shape. This time I wandered around through the grass, watching carefully for snakes. I apparently didn't do such a good job watching for ticks though, because that night we found one embedded in my belly. Sharon covered the tick with an oil concoction she carries, the intent of which is to smother the tick and get it to extract itself. The Center for Disease Control says this doesn't work, but Sharon said it would. We watched in amazement as the tick backed completely out of my skin and she snatched it away with tweezers. I think my future shots at John's Modern Cabins are going to have to be from the road.

So in summary, we had a great time. Our final tally was 3,887 miles, which is actually the shortest of the major trips we have taken in the last three years. The Monte Carlo was virtually flawless. I changed the spark plugs in a hotel parking lot on our trip home; something I intended to do but ran out of time before we left. The car had started to run rough but after the new plugs were installed it ran better than ever.

In the beginning we weren't sure about traveling with a tour group, but in the end we were very pleased with how everything turned out. I would like to travel the other half of the Lincoln Highway at some point; I think Sharon wants to as well, but not before a trip to the beach and Las Vegas. We'll see what happens. There are lots of other road trips on the horizon as well, but for now I think that we will stick to some shorter ones.


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