Joplin MO

So sorry to hear about the terrible tornado and devastation in Joplin, MO. It is a lovely town. My heart goes out to all those suffering. It must be horrible to deal with that. However it is a gift to be alive, and things can be replaced.

I stayed in Joplin on my cross country trip 6 years ago in 2005. I remember Joplin and liked the town very much. I was wandering up Route 66 when I could, sometimes taking detours. I stayed in Joplin which was in my Route 66 guide book. This is a town with a downtown in need of some boost, like many cities. It had a nice feel. At this point in my trip I was trying to stay in the least expensive but still clean and not-seedy motels. However I had determined to not stay in any motel with the word Econo or Budget or anything like that. Didn’t have to be mom and pop, but cool. Like the Blue Swallow in Tucumcari, NM, another famous Route 66 landmark.

So I tried this motel in Joplin. It was clean enough, and there were other motels along the way, didnt’ seem like a seedy area. But it was the worst motel / motel room I stayed in. It was late however, so I just stayed there for the night and made the best of it. Seemed like it was a “long stay” motel that rents by the week. It was probably $25 or $20 so what did I expect? It was a game I was playing to stay in the cheapest motel I could find that I could handle. But the mirror was cracked and stuff like that. the shower was clean at least, as were the sheets. But after that I didn’t skimp on motels. I tried to find good deals but not demeaning places.

The next morning I walked around the downtown a bit and went into a shop and even bought some earrings. Which ones are they? do I still have them? I liked their downtown a lot. It had a cool 30s feel. I think this area had wealth from mining maybe in the 1800s then it petered out… or maybe was a stop on a railroad, a place to change trains somehow?

From there I went to see Laura Ingalls Wilder home in Mansfield, MO. Then stayed the next night in Jefferson City, MO, which I liked too. Never realized the Ozarks are real hills! the highway went up and down and up and down.

Jefferson City MO to Traer Iowa (where grandmother was from), where I stayed for 3 days. My gr-gr-grandfather settled near there in 1854 and my great-grandparents and grandmother were born there. After that no more meandering, just kept on to Rochester in 2 days. Stayed in Indiana for 1 night, can’t remember the town, it was just to sleep. Then next day to Rochester to see my mom (it was around Mother’s Day) and have been in Rochester or Plattsburgh ever since.

Another town I went through that looked really cool was Galena, IL.

However I lost so many pics from this trip – real film in a camera and the film got exposed to light so no pictures. Next trip I am going to take pictures.

Future trip: Drive Route 20 across the U.S. from Boston to Astoria, OR.

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