I found myself in Springfield a little differently than I have found myself in most of the cities and towns I have visited. Most of them have been at random. This was one of the few that was actually planned. Most people plan weeks in advance. When I say it was planned, it was done so a few days in advance.
Welcome to Springfield, MO
Last weekend, there came a comment on one of the pictures that I had posted from my stay in Little Rock. A cute native of Little Rock, liked what I had said about the city and told me Springfield, MO was worthy visit. That was all it took.
We had planned on heading west through the Ozarks, but Mother Nature flipped the hot button again and 100 plus temps canceled that. The heat, lack of water, and the mountains that would be taunting us on that journey were too much to handle. I wish I could say that we were able to, but some things are out of our control.
Springfield Globetrekkin Team
What we gave up in terms of natural beauty in the Ozarks, we gained in new friendships, a temporary Globetrekkin’ staff, and some slap your mamma pancakes.
In Springfield, the team consisted of Marc Maness; host and navigator, Teressa Bledsoe: media cosultant, and Rebecca Moore: inspiration, through and through.
Marc and I share similar hobbies. Both of us like riding and excercise. Neither of us have ever been big “gym people”. We prefer the solo highs. Marc’s weapon of chice has been the bike for years and it’s nothing for him to get out on the road after work and knock out 30-40 miles before dinner.
Marc sat down with me and an atlas and helped us plan out the next leg of the journey. What we are dealing with is the hottest/driest summer in the last 50 years. Getting through it doesn’t take guts, stamina, or physical strength. It takes wits. We mapped out a route that I could travel at night and still hit stores for food and water that are open into the wee hours of the night.
We came up with HWY 13 N out of Springfield, HWY 54 W West at Collins, MO to Wichita,KS and HWY 50 W from Wichita, KS to Pueblo, CO. For the next 650 miles, we’ll have adequate places to rest and big shoulders to ride on without worrying about getting clipped by anymore cars.
The Media COnsultant
Marc’s co-worker is Teresa Bledsoe. Teresa is head of media relations with the school district. Teresa put in a few calls for me and got me hooked up with KOLR 10, a CBS affiliate.
Joe Morgan, from KOLR, sent one of his mobile reporters, Dustin, out to the house and they sliced together an awesome piece on Globetrekkin.
At 36 years old, I think I have seen my share of adversities in life. I’ve been run through the ringer multiple times, most at my own doing. I think I can handle pretty much anything I dish up.
Rebecca Moore taught me a lot more about life, how precious it is, and not only how to deal with it, but how to drop kick it in the nuts and walk away laughing.
Rebecca is 29 years old. She works at a hospital as a liason between patients and and the bedside manners that Doctors still haven’t mastered. A year ago she was in a car wreck. What seemed at first to be an incovenience, turned into a future she might not have had the chance of experiencing.
X-rays after the accident revealed a tumor. One operation wasn’t enough to knock out the beast and she had to undergo further treatment. One year later she is cancer free. If you can take all that and keep a positive attitude during the process, then hats off to you. Hats off to you, Rebecca!
Get You Some Springfield, Missouri
Due to my limited time here, I was not able to get out and experience much of Springfield. With what little time I had, Marc, Teresa, and Rebecca made it count.
After our media session on Friday, Marc and Teressa took me over to Aunt Martha’s Pancake House. Eat your heart out Waffle House. You got jack on Willy Nelson’s preferred batter house (insert stoner joke).
Aunt Martha’s was founded in 1959 and has been serving up southern style home cooking ever since. They’re open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but have become world famous for their chocolate, banana, blueberry, gingerbread, apple and other flavored pancakes.
I went for two regular pancakes, which I drowned with enough warm maple syrup to feed a field of fire ants. When I asked what the favorites were, I got, “The peanut butter, and blueberry. Oh and the Georgia Buckwheat. The Gingerbread are really popular, too. I guess it depends. It seems like every once in a while they shift in popularity.”
The results are in and basically you can’t go wrong. If you’re diggin’ flapjacks, there’s only one place to stop in Springfield, MO. Tell’em Willy sent you.
Bass Pro Shop
After breakfast, we took a drive through the parking lot of the “granddaddy” of all Bass Pro Shops. This is where the mega outdoor store got its start. The owner has taken over a museum started by George H. Bush and Jimmy Carter that lost funding and was about to go under. He is revamping it with a completion date set around the end of the year. Based on what Marc and Teresa told me, it’s going to rival the prestige of the Natural History Museum in D.C.
Also on the same grounds of the museum and orignal store are a set of classrooms for fifth graders. Each year forty lucky applicants are chosen out of hundreds to particpate in a year of science and nature based education at the facilty, which includes field trips and weekly experiments. Bass Pro Shops instantly make school cool again!
Also in the downtowna area are Mother’s Brewing, the Springfield Cardinals minor league baseball stadium, and Route 66.
Traveling through town, you’ll notice historic markers referencing number 66. Some of the original hotels are still in business, drawing customers from all over the world that are looking to relive a bit of the historic highway.
Outside of Springfield there are plenty of things to keep you busy. The Ozarks are just a few hours drive away and there are a handful of parks even closer. When the fall hits and the weather is, hopefully, more hospitable, check out Busiek State Forest, Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield, and Table Rock Lake.