Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Rolla, MO to Lake of the Ozarks State Park

Well, today was a bit easy. Slept in a little later than usual, had breakfast, and packed the bike. First stop at the Totem Pole Trading Post, home of the oldest continually running store on old Rte 66. A block from the Motel! Needed gas, but all the pumps were “bagged”, indicating no gas.

Talked with the owner, a Mr. Jones, who indicated that he was recently out of the gas business and beginning to think about retirement. He had run the place for 44 years and his children have no interest in running it, so he’s thinking of selling everything but the name. Then open a small bait shop with that name and stop working 7 days a week. Sad, but those are the times.

Talked with him about old Rte. 66. He gave me some directions and advice, so I headed out for gas. Found it with no trouble up the street.

Then southwest on old 66. For the most part, it runs parallel to I-44, looking like a service road. One telltale sign is a distinctive curb, sloping up at a 30 or so degree angle, said to help keep the cars in the road.

I wanted to see Devils Elbow, a local attraction on the Big Piney river. At Devils Elbow, there’s an old steel bridge that’s now in service, but getting pretty ratty. On first attempt I missed the turn to go to the bridge. After a few miles of searching and backtracking, I found the turn to the OLD old Rte 66. Discovered that the road had been rerouted several times and the bridge was on the original route (since bypassed).

The bridge was pretty neat, and just as I had read on the Internet. I imagine it will be closed for the next generation.

Decided to have lunch at the Devils Elbow BBQ and Inn. Looked like an old beer joint, but decided to try it anyway. The owner and a couple workers were there, and very friendly, asking what I was riding and where I was coming from. Decided to have a beer and a BBQ sandwich. Both were good! Dangling from the ceiling in the bar area were braziers of all colors and styles. Some with names and dates written on them with magic markers. Also, lining the ceiling were dollar bills with people’s names on them. It was that type of place.

After lunch, I took a few pictures of the immediate area and headed on.

Decided to ride up to Lake of the Ozarks State Park, to see what it looked like and to maybe find a camping spot for the night.

Rode to the park, found a site, and set up camp early. It’s beautiful in the park. Big lake, lots of woods. Nice showers and toilets. Very nice!

After setting up camp, decided to cool off in the lake. Didn’t turn out just as I wanted, but it was not bad. The bottom was too full of rocks, so I waded knee deep, sat on a rock and splashed myself wet all over. Felt sooo good!

Then sat in my chair to dry off before going to dinner. Decided to ride into Osage Beach area for dinner (about 10 miles away). Once there, decided to ride to see the big dam that created the lakes. It was old, but does the job of holding the water back. Found Casablanca Bar on the main drag and had a good steak dinner and a beer.

Then back to the campground for a shower and change of clothes for tomorrow. Saw 16 deer on the way to the campsite! The place is running over with deer!

Rode appx 140 miles today but had a very good day.

Tomorrow, on south and west on Rte. 66 thru Springfield to Branson, where I will drink a beer with Stacy and Clay. Then on towards Joplin.

More tomorrow….

1 comment:

Adrian said...

Sounds like an easygoin' day!