Day 3: November 3, 2016
Familiar, Mostly

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Last night I had visions of checking into the Carlin Villa Motel then driving over to the Ariston for Dinner. The Ariston has long been a favorite of mine and the Carlin Villa has quickly become one. But the heavy weather that had been moving in as I drove caught up with me here and the pouring rain convinced me to forego the half-hour drive to the Ariston. That gave me a reason to try out the nearby Crabby's Supper Club. Crabby's is just across the road and would normally be a walk-to place but I drove over in order to say somewhat dry. I learned that it's a very good place to eat though, as the name implies, it's only open in the evening. I took these pictures as I headed out in the rain-free morning.

I expected it to be too early for Rich to be at Henry's Rabbit Ranch and it was. I snapped a picture, left a note, and moved on down the road.

An now comes a whole set of drive-bys. There's the Bel-Air Drive-In & Lunar Cafe in Mitchell, Illinois, the west end of the Chain of Rocks Bridge, and the Gateway Arch & Old Courthouse in Saint Louis, Missouri.

Next came a real breakfast at a real Saint Louis institution with a counter that's held up a lot of elbows and coffee cups over the years. The Eat-Rite has been around since the mid-1930s. The relatively new Gateway Arch can be seen in the background of the rearview shot.

Even when it's breakfast, a meal at one Saint Louis institution deserves dessert at another.

There doesn't appear to be much going on at the old Gardenway Motel but they did leave a light on for me.

There are lots of defunct motels in this part of Missouri but most are crumbling or buried under collections of junk. Shamrock Court, near Sullivan, looks like it could reopen tomorrow. The last time I stopped at the Circle Inn Malt Shop Cincinnati's American Sign Museum had just acquired a sign like the one atop the shop. I learned there were some on going electric issues with the sign and today I stopped in to see how things were going. Business wise it looked like things were going great and when I asked about the sign the owner laughed and said it was still on the list. "It's number twenty-three on a list of about two hundred."

I did a drive-by at the wonderfully restored Wagon Wheel Motel and paused briefly in the parking lot of the closed Fanning Outpost. The chair out front was once the world's largest rocker but it lost the title in 2015. The Outpost closed in August of this year. There are no indications that the two events were related. At the Mule Trading Post I not only paused in the lot but actually went in for the first time ever. Ii's an interesting place but I didn't see anything I needed.

It's not really feasible to just drive by this place nor would it be exactly honorable. Once you could drive right in front of John's Modern Cabins on US-66. Now the cabins are slowly returning to the earth. Once again there was a happy answer to the question in my mind as I pull up. Yes, the sign, increasingly faded, is still there.

Passing through the dramatic Hooker Cut means that the Elbow Inn and the Devil's Elbow Bridge are just around the corner. The Inn is known for both its BBQ and its ceiling decorations.

It started with just a gentleman's club but Uranus, Missouri, is now home the several businesses including a fudge factory. You do, of course, have to have a certain sense of humor to appreciate the place and it's not likely that some of the advertising will be appearing in church bulletins.

Dean, a friend who recently moved from Indianapolis to Albuquerque and frequently travels between the two, has said some very nice things about Hoppers Pub in Waynesville and I got to verify some of them today. It wasn't the right time for me to eat but I did enjoy the friendly (and knowledgeable) staff and one of the sixty-six beers on tap. It's a draft only place (Which I think is great!) and, as you might guess, the sixty-six number is not an accident.

All day long the sky said November but the thermometer said September. The temperature stayed near 70 with not so much as a glimpse of the sun. Although I would have welcomed a little sunshine for photos it was a very pleasant day for driving and I was still doing that as the day ended in Lebanon, Missouri, at the Munger Moss Motel.

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