Putting the Spring in Springfield Of all the Springfields I could have visited, the one in Missouri ended up being a great choice. In this update we eat in a quonset hut, walk with Wild Bill, frolic with butterflies and finish our sentenc. (Sorry I ran out of space.) (A full discussion of why I chose this Springfield will be included at the conclusion of this post) Thursday, June 20th, 2019 Joplin, Missouri I was still basking in the comprehensive hospitality of my friends Adam and Natalie. We decided to do a day trip to take care of place 71 of 92, Springfield. I left a little earlier than my support vehicle and had a leisurely ride down old Route 66. Nice to know you can still get your De Soto fixed along the way! I doubt there will ever be another traveler who takes such a roundabout way to ride Route 66. I did Chicago in 2017, flew through St. Louis in 2018 and will be chipping away at sections of it all throughout Chapter 4. Springfield touts itself as the “Birthplace of Route 66.” Indeed it is where the highway first received its numerical designation in 1926. This road was a major thoroughfare for those traveling west during the Dust Bowl years. It continued to be a prominent route until it was eventually bypassed by interstates in the 1980s. Tourism has revived this route and it is now perhaps the most well-known highway to non-Americans. It was patched onto my friend Pablo’s riding jacket in Buenos Aires: I saw multiple signs for it in the biker clubhouses of Brazil: (I’ve been waiting to post these pictures for a long time!) Brazilians seemed especially drawn to the mystique of this road. I often had questions about if I had ridden on it. My first stop was the history museum which is located in the town square. I was welcomed very warmly here and everyone was very interested in my story. The museum is actually under major renovations so only a fraction was available to go through. I’ll just have to come back. My new friend, Don, walked me out into the square and showed me the site where “Wild Bill” Hickock shot Davis Tutt in 1865. The disagreement began over a gambling debt and Tutt shot first from the other side of the square. Hickock returned fire to here: Lucky shot? Maybe. But it’s probably never wise to fire on someone whose first name is “Wild.” There was a lot of history about Springfield and Route 66 which will be interspersed through the rest of this post. The old theater is still in great conditions and plays a film on Route 66 history. After my visit, I felt well informed about other things to see and do while I was there. During the 1950s the Ozark Jubilee, which aired from Springfield, was one of the most popular TV programs in the US. Johnny Cash was a performer on the show in 1956. Hank Snow was actually the most prominent country music star who didn’t perform on the show. He gave his sole allegiance to the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. This seems like a very “Hank Snow” thing to do.