Monday, June 27, 2011

Kickin' It On Route 66

The Munger Moss Motel in Lebanon is very cool.

Ever since I got my new car (2010 Ford Fusion) I've really been enjoying driving more and more. Which is a real bonus because I put a lot of miles on my car each week for work, mostly burning up highway to Rolla, Salem and Lake of the Ozarks area.

I also happen to live five miles from Route 66. 

So it occurred to me recently that it might be really fun to drive all of Route 66 sometime by myself and just have a big road trip. Since I won't likely have enough vacation time built back up for that kind of lazy trip until next summer and Bryon is planning a fishing trip out west with the boys sometime next summer as well, I think I'll wait and go then.

I was able to whet my appetite a bit and partake in a few miles of it last week one day as I was heading to Rolla for work. I had stopped by the Munger Moss Motel in Lebanon last month on a whim just because I was curious asked to see a room. It was much nicer than I had anticipated. I would probably have not picked a motel like the Munger Moss because my first impression of it was that it would be dirty or seedy but it was actually very cute and nice.

I guess it proves that SOMETIMES you can't judge a book by it's cover. Although, I often do.

While I was there checking things out I also checked out their office/gift shop and bought Jerry McClanahan's Route 66 guidebook . It gives you step by step directions for finding the old road and staying on track, tells you the old sites and roadside attractions to be on the look out for and has a scavenger hunt to keep you alert.

So I started from my house, hit CC and headed down the Mother Road for work. You just can't beat that.

A few memorable sites I snapped phone pictures of include...

Devil's Elbow which was named after a devil of a bend of the Piney River.

The devil bend is beneath that old iron bridge.
Right around Devil's Elbow is some of the remaining four lane Route 66. You'll see that it's not very well maintained anymore and it was pretty bumpy but the cool thing is you can't go very fast anyway because of the curves and the number of tiny barely there towns it goes through now. I think the grass just gave it all the more character.

I really wanted to stop here at the Elbow Inn but since there was only one motorcycle there and it was WAAAAAAYYYYY off the beaten path, I passed this time.

All the times I've been to Newburg and by Doolittle and I had never actually gone through the town of Doolittle. I hadn't missed much but I'm still happy to know that now I've been there.
An old garage at Doolittle
I figured this must be for lazy hoarders.
I missed a great picture of a big set of bleachers that overlooked a giant rambling valley. That was it. Just a big valley. I guess that was the evening entertainment.

In Rolla, I've been by Zeno's and eaten there several times but never stayed at the motel. I finally went into the Totem Pole and bought a keyring. Route 66 of course.

In Waynesville there are two drive-in restaurants. One is closed right now but the other one is a chromeilicious dream. I'm definitely going to have to have lunch there one day.
Back in Lebanon, the old Bell Restaurant is closed now, as well as Wrink's Market.

And this sign was out by the I-44 Speedway... there was no cafe, fried chicken OR pies. The sign was just out in the middle of nowhere.
Not bad for a summer day trip. There was a lot to see in those 85 miles. I can't imagine how much there is to see in the entire 2,448 miles. When I go, I think I'll just leave from CC five miles from my house and head west to Los Angeles.

Maybe Bryon and I can do the Marshfield to Chicago section together another time.

It sure sounds like fun to me.

Oh Honey!

Well it looks like I'm going to have some honey this year... FINALLY! Woo Hoo!

I finally went out to check on my bees yesterday in the blistering heat. I kept putting it off and putting it off but finally got worried enough about it to don the bee attire and take a peek. I was pleasantly surprised to see a whole super full of honey just waiting for me to harvest and an AMAZING number of bees. That hive seems so strong right now.

Last year I decided I wasn't going to treat them anymore for mites with those Apistan chemical strips or use anything at all and I would just let the chips fall where they may. I had stripped out the comb and cleaned the entire hive down to the bare wood before I got this latest package of bees two springs ago so I could start over fresh and clean.

After I hived the bees two springs ago I fed them some sugar what when I remembered to and basically just let them have their way, sink or swim, or in this case fly.

They made it through the winter and apparently the queen did too, so this spring I put an empty super with comb on top of their hive body and left one super of honey for the bees and thankfully they went to work making me some tasty sweetness.

I did put together another super and added it to the hive in the hopes they might be so inclined to continue to make honey into the fall. That hive is SO FULL of bees. I really don't want them to swarm.

I don't know if my queen will make it another year or not or if the bees will survive this winter but so far they seem to be doing better without my help than with, so more power to them.

I'll probably wait until September and then pull off the honey and put it into my homemade extractor.

I've become more and more interested in Top Bar and Warre hives lately. I think I might like to add one of those to the mix this winter and order another package of bees in the spring.

Nothing gets a girl more pumped up about beekeeping like harvesting the sweet spoils of a victory... even if they are few and far between.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Snakes. Why'd it have to be snakes?

I do not like snakes. At all. My personal snake motto is that the only good snake is one with a shovel in its head... that someone else put there.

I have lots of scary snake encounter memories. I won't regale you with them all. Suffice it to say they are many and horrific. No I've never actually been bitten by a snake and it's probably a good thing. I would most likely just faint right onto the thing and it would eat me alive bit by bit.

I've run over them with feet, bikes, mowers and cars.

I do not like them. Even the ones that are small and supposedly harmless or that eat mice and other bothersome rodents etc. I would much rather have the bothersome "pests" than the snake. Every time.

So last night Grace was acting suspiciously and said she had to look for something in my room as she walked by obviously hiding something behind her back. I asked her what she was looking for. After a full minute of consideration she said, Pansy's toy. Uh, okay.... nothing to see here.

I stayed up ridiculously late puttering around my office and when I finally went to bed I found the book in the photo above lying across my underwear drawers.

I went into her room at nearly midnight to kiss her goodnight and woke her up to tell her I had found her snake book in a surprising place. She just smiled sleepily and asked if I had screamed. I told her I didn't scream but it did make me jump.

She just rolled over smirking and went back to sleep secure in the glow of a job well done.

Snakes. Why'd it have to be snakes?

Indie, that is a very good question.

Monday, June 13, 2011

No Training Wheels

Grandpa Rice bought Grace a cool new bike and we just hadn't had time to get her to the park to learn to ride it without training wheels. Finally Saturday night we took her. She had tried around our yard a few times and it had ended in tears because she just couldn't make it go on the grass but the pavement was a whole different story. That's one advantage city kids have over country kids. Riding bikes and skateboards is a whole different challenge in the country.

When I was a kid, we had a gravel road about a mile and a half long in front of our house and it didn't get paved until after I went to college. Of course, my city friends didn't get to catch frogs in a pond in their back yard either. You have to take the good with the bad I suppose.

That didn't stop me from praying for asphalt though.

Now as an adult I realize the best treasures are usually found at the end of a gravel road.