Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Day 58 Summer 2010 Park to Park Road Trip

What a downpour, not just for a few minutes, but all day.  Somehow we got really lucky and got the car loaded this morning in Joplin MO moments before it started to rain, and when we arrived at our destination in Cuba MO it stopped raining.  However, between those two moments in time, for the rest of the day this is what we drove through.

6579 I-44 btwn Joplin & Paris Springs MO6580 I-44 btwn Joplin & Paris Springs MO

We stopped about 1/2 way through our day to visit our Route 66 friend Gary Turner at his Gay Parita MO Sinclair Gas Station.  We first met Gary 2 years ago on our Route 66 Road Trip and we have kept in contact off and on through postal mail because Gary does not have email or internet.  We visited for an hour with Gary and his wife Lena on their covered porch as the rain poured down around us.  I had wanted to take photos of the improvements and changes that Gary has made to his station over the last 2 years, but the weather was not co-operating.  Since our visit in 2008, Gary has added neon lighting to his gas station and has built a second building which houses the souvenir t-shirts, hats, books etc that he sells. 

This is the only photo that I was able to take while we stood in the shelter of the overhanging roof at the station.

6581 Gary Turner Route 66 Gay Parita Sinclair Station Paris Springs MO

One of the things that Gary told us about is the new visitor / rest center on I-44 about 30 miles East of Springfield.  Newly built in 2009 it has been built with a Route 66 Theme.  Even the picnic area has shelters over the tables that are made to look like popular Route 66 business store fronts.

6584 I-44 Missouri Route 66 Welcome Center near Conway MO6599  I-44 Missouri Route 66 Welcome Center near Conway MO6596  I-44 Missouri Route 66 Welcome Center near Conway MO

It is a shame that it rained today, and we were not able to take more photos, but all things considered, we have had a rain free summer up until today, so that is pretty good to have been able to avoid it for so long.  The car got washed for free and most of the bugs got blasted off and are gone from the grill and hood thanks to the heavy downpour.

Tomorrow we are going to meet with Marcia Wilson of the Route 66 Fudge Shop here in Cuba MO.  We have placed an order for fudge to bring back home with us.

To see the rest of todays photos, you can see them on my FLICKR site.

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