Stop 3-Springfield, MO

Stop 3-Springfield, MO

There was a storm brewing on the horizon, but we were determined to make the most out of our Springfield stop.

The Beginning

Leaving St. Louis, the day started out beautifully.  We woke up early and got a quick morning workout in at Planet Fitness.  And, we got to take a wonderful shower in the Planet Fitness locker rooms, which is admittedly the real reason we purchased a membership.

We decided to hit the road as soon as possible since we knew there were some dangerous storms coming our way.  We’ll bring those storms up a little later, so keep reading.

For the most part, our drive southwest to Springfield was great.  We decided to make a pit stop at Route 66 State Park, which has an amazing visitor/information center.  If you ever plan to embark on a Route 66 road trip, we highly recommend making this place a must-stop along the way!

Here, friendly park employees (shout out to Debra!) design a Route 66 packet for you that includes all the goodies you will pass through on your route.  Plus, there is a great exhibit inside that you can stroll through to learn a little Route 66 history.  It definitely makes you wish time machines were a real thing.

The Middle

After visiting the State Park, we couldn’t resist driving on the old route through the Missouri Ozarks.  For the most part, the road is well-paved keeping it easy on the van. Whether you’re on the Interstate, or Route 66, the bluffs throughout Central Missouri are beautiful to drive through.  There are also a number of caves and caverns that you can visit.

Getting closer to Springfield, we could see the storms approaching.  We check our handy-dandy weather app, which tells us severe thunderstorms are heading right for us.  These t-storms also came with a tornado watch. This was a little unnerving when we (who are from Wisconsin and Minnesota) are entering Tornado Allie.

Despite the eerie-looking clouds, we made it to our destination with only a little rain coming down on us.  Turns out, Springfield makes a pretty cool stop along any road trip.  There’s quite a few things to do.  With all the rain, it was hard to find time to do much, but in-between spurts of heavy rainfall, we managed to walk a while through Nathanael-Greene Park.  This park is relatively large, and features the Springfield-Greene County Botanical Center, a bunch of different plant and flower gardens, and a small lake (Lake Drummund) to walk around.  If you are really interested, and don’t feel up for walking, you can get a park tour riding on the Solar Tram Service.

Seeing more storms coming, we decided to head indoors by getting some grub.  We went to a place called Grad School, which had a number of awards hung up on the walls.  This place had a cool atmosphere and great service.  You can see their menu here.

The End

It was as we were finishing dinner that the worst of what was coming our way storm-wise hit.  Downtown Springfield isn’t the place you want to be during a flash-flood.  But, we made it out of the flood area safe and sound, and gave the under-belly of our van a good clean (a bit of rust may have came off too…oops).  We have spent the remainder of the night keeping up to date with the radar and watching the outstanding lightening show.  We should be in the clear soon.

On the bright-side, it should be a beautiful day tomorrow as we venture further south to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma!  Stay tuned!

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