The drive from Ft. Leonard Wood to Clarksville blew our minds! Our gracious host in Ft. Leonard Wood took us out to a local restaurant the night before that is built inside an old cave.
The Cave has been used for decades as a meeting spot and was a SpeakEasy back in the 1920’s. There’s no official documents but most believe that Al Capone actually drank there. They were never shut down because the part of the cavern that housed the still is in a tiny little pocket. The story goes that the Sheriff was such a big man that he could never fit back there and thus never found it.
I’ll tell you what, the owner gave Chris the go ahead to crawl back there and take a look if he wanted and he barely fit. We don’t know who they had working back there in the ’20s but they must have been living on gin and dreams if they were skinnier than me.
The whole area outside of the Fort is laced through by historic Route 66. Our favorite stop was the local biker bar, also from the ’20s, called the Elbow. (Talk about American history, this was our second spot to eat that came from the roaring ’20s) The Elbow has cold beer, thick charm, and a spicy burger that will make you feel like a new man (or woman). There are so many deals for veterans that it’s hard to keep track of. We showed up on Free Food Thursday though and got the chance to hit the buffet line free of charge. The people who hang out there were amazing. They took us right under their wing and we felt like family in no time.
Still, if I was riding anything other than a Harley I might not park right in front…
Get your Kicks!
It was hard to leave this all but the call of the Road Rally and the purr of our Saab were pulling us out onto the road.
The great thing about I-44 and Route 66 (the two parallel one another for a good long way) is the novelty stops that have been strung out through the Heartland of America. One of our best stops was in Missouri just off Exit 203. We got to see the World’s Largest Rocking Chair. For us, the legend that has built up about stops like this makes them even more interesting than they would be if they were just enormous household items in the flat land. While a two-story rocking chair is a site to see, the real thrill comes from the spirit of it all. As we paced around the chair we were apart of the American dialogue, we were writing our story in the history of our country. Nothing could ever replace a memory like the thick Missouri air, the smell of county dust, and the crisp taste of a local root beer as we leaned on the hood of our Saab in the shadow of the world’s largest rocking chair.
That was only our first stop along the way. Shying away from the Interstate we were trying to stay on the local highways. Along one of these routes we encountered the greatest stop of them all:
The tiny town of Metropolis, IL has a huge heart. Also an enormous statue of Superman.
The safest community in the Midwest
Great local gym
The whole town is filled with Superman kitsch, from T Shirts, to statues, to kryptonite enhanced weapons (for the diabolically minded.) Now here is a town that embodies truth, justice, and the American way. Everybody should take out their Rand McNally and mark this little gem down, it is worth the visit. You’ll be able to get there faster than a speeding bullet, you’ll find it more powerful than a locomotive, there a several large buildings in a single town.