Branson, Pressed Pennies and Route 66
May 20, 2016
Restless for a ride… The weather’s been weird this spring with lots of rain. But, it looked promising for an overnight ride into Missouri with a side objective of smashing pennies for my IBA Pressed Penny Insanity. I left early and headed towards Hot Springs for a few souvenir crushed pennies to add to my collection of 100 over the year from twenty states. The ride north out of Hot Springs was an immediate change in roads and scenery. The hills and trees added both challenge and beauty to the route.
I rode by the Hollis Country Store and turned back to the 1930’s vintage gas station to see if there was anything for lunch. Connie said she would fix up a turkey sandwich for me. I went outside to enjoy the quiet of the lonely road and the tasty sandwich and was immediately joined by a very friendly cat that only wanted my attention.
The roller coaster road through Arkansas was a joy. I entered Branson and was not too impressed by the traffic. I collected a group of elongated pennies to add to the collection I needed for the year and started thinking about dinner.
Branson Landing is pretty darn nice. The wait staff and food at the Black Oak Grill was great. I dropped by Waxy O’Shea’s Pub for a bit of live entertainment and headed back to the hotel.
May 20, 2016
The next morning I headed out through the back roads of Missouri towards Kansas.
Joplin Truck Stop is overwhelming with the size and stuff crammed inside. I grabbed a pressed penny from the Iron Skillet, a bit of food and gas and headed toward Kansas.
I encountered Route 66 once again at Baxter Springs. The SACS 66 store in downtown Baxter Springs was an interesting stop and the proprietors were very friendly.
Of course, anywhere I find a business with the name “Weston”, I have to grab the moment.
I dropped into Oklahoma following Route 66 and made a stop at the only remaining 9-foot wide section of the road south of Miami.
At Afton Station in Oklahoma, there is a great collection of old Packards and other memorabilia from earlier days. I met Maureen, a twenty-something from New Zealand traveling for 5 weeks in the USA. We traded stories of journeys for a bit, and I mentioned my crazy trip of collected pressed pennies from 20 states. She had no idea of what a pressed penny was, so I went back into the station and showed her the machine and how to get the smashed penny from it. I’m sure she will be tuned into this bit of Americana as she travels on.
The return home was a bit bland past this old trestle bridge. But it was a nice journey of a couple of days.