I had planned to head up to Chicago and visit my Son and his family when it dawned on me that a little history ride at the same time might be fun. Boy was it ever. I liked it so much when I returned home I took a second ride out West and made it as far as Santa Rosa, NM before running out of time. Here are a few of the pictures from my ride hope those from my generation at least will enjoy it. Jumped on the route in Joplin, Mo and headed North East. First real land mark was in Carthage, Mo. An old drive in still in business. As I rode along the old two lane each little town I came to was promoting the route for any tourist business. I was glad to stop and look at them all. How many of you remember when gas was 15 cents a gallon!! The old gas stations along the route were one of my goals. I used to work in them as my part time job and so I loved seeing them again like a page out of my past. Halltown, Mo was pretty cool, this is an old Mercantile store. Some great old bridges on the route north as well. Some of the old places had been fixed up nicely. Stopped at this old bar for a look see. Didn't stay long, it was filled with cigarette smoke...yuck..I'm outta here. Hit St. Louis and rode down on the river front under the arch. Statue of Louis & Clark and their dog. Another interesting landmark leaving St. Louis was the The Chain of Rocks Bridge Though no driving is allowed it's used by pedestrians and bicycle riders. I headed on NE and saw this hack on the road amongst the corn fields. The state of Illinois has done a great job preserving the old road. Not long after that another old service station appeared. In rural country for sure, saw several farm tractors and corn pickers on the road. Here another old gas station An old Standard Oil station that is on the National Historic Register. It was open and manned, very interesting with all the old tools of the time still on display. Complete with metal ceiling. Even had an old camper from back in the day parked next to it. Nice light bulbs... Next up is Dwight, Ill. with it's neat 50's diner and old service station. Right across the street was another old service station complete with a neat old guy that was eager to explain all the history. I love it. Inside was an old steam powered fire truck. Saw these as I was rummaging around in the station too. From there I headed on into North Chicago and pulled into my Son's place in light rain. Fun couple of days. More later. After riding Route 66 from Joplin, Mo to Chicago and enjoying it so much I decided I am going to have to finish the trek out west. Today however I just had a few hours so headed up to Galena to start the trip West off. Here are a few details and pictures. Coming into Galena Where I was planning on visiting the Four Women On the Route which was once an old Kan O TX gas station. There I found several very interesting people and things. I ended up spending over an hour there. This is Melba Rigg one of the owners and quite the character. Loved her passion for the Route and she was loaded with info. She proudly refers to herself as "Melba the mouth". I promise you she can talk faster than you can listen or comprehend. Funny as heck. Here she is giv'n the pitch.....hang on it comes fast and hard A few more shots of the inside While there a couple on a BMW "K" bike rode on through, boy did they miss out. I remember my Dad had one of these old TV's, put off so much radiation he lost all his hair:huh Fortunately I didn't lose mine (yet) I'm sure most on this thread have taken their kids to see the movie "Cars", remember this guy? Ol Melba tells us that the old tow truck that inspired this character was sitting right outside! So I had to get in for the photo op. They say it still runs but she doesn't let anyone drive it but herself! While there we all got to cutting up with Melba, the two guys on the left are from the UK, the two on the right from Quebec, Canada. She insisted I get in on the action too. I'm the young good look'n one Wasn't long and in comes a guy by the name of Joe Bouffet. He's 82 years young and has several old Model T Fords and a ton of information about the area. Very interesting guy. He brought an old magazine with him too, said is has quite the collection. Proceeded to show me how to fix the fuel starvation on an old Model T or Model A not sure which. The gas was gravity fed. He can restore radiators too. Both Melba and Joe told me to stop by an old Railroad dept museum before I got out of town and the new diner across the street was about the only place to eat in town to stop there too. Sure enough here it is. It was closed today though so I had to get a few pictures looking in the windows. I walked around back.........seems like a pretty safe area.... ADV qualified too...... After that I headed on over to Norma's. Food was just ok, but hey they were just having their Grand Opening today. After lunch I saddled up and headed on down Route 66 toward Baxter Springs. Came up on the Rainbow Bridge It is the only remaining Marsh Arch Bridge still on route 66. Very interesting story too. Little while later and I'm on main street Baxter Springs (which I'm told with much pride by the locals was the 1ST Cowtown in KS)...BoooHisss Dodge City. Stopped to check out this little cafe. Some Corvette club was there in force.. Then I headed on over the the local Phillips 66 Station and Route 66 official information center. Had a great visit with the lovely old couple running the place. He said he worked in this station when he was 14. I didn't ask but he has to be in his 80's now. Really nice folks. Yeah my names on there...can you find it Look real close at this guys boots, he can turn his foot around backwards.....for real. He's from Baxter Springs apparently and they said was in the place earlier that morning. He was instrumental in the movie Cars too and they call him Crazy leg Walker. Because of this guys connection to the area and the old Dump truck "Tow Mater" he is the reason you only see Tow Mater backing up in the movie....amazing what goes on behind the scenes!! The Baxter and Galena area is a huge Zinc/Lead mining area and they have a 20,000 SF museum there in Baxter Springs. I stopped in for a look see. Amazing place. They said an old mine was set up on the lower level so I headed on down stairs to look at it. First thing I see is the old "Miners Jail":huh Sure nuff, back in the corner is a mine mock up. It's behind glass so has a reflection in the Picher. (Pun intended..) After that I headed on back to the wonderful state of Arkansas where our new slogan is "GO HOGS.......BEAT SOMEBODY" You all have a good one and till next time, ride safe.