Route 66 Road Trip: Hanging out in Cuba & the Devil’s Elbow!

By the time we finished up at the Route 66 State Park it was getting pretty late in the afternoon, and we didn’t have time for many more stops. Taking this into consideration, MaMa decided we should head to Cuba! No, not the Cuba that’s 90 miles south of Key West, Fla. in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, but the Cuba that is a destination spot on Route 66! Two of the reasons why it is a popular stop, the Wagon Wheel Motel & Missouri Hick BBQ restaurant, are right next door to each other, which made it a no-brainer when deciding where we should go next.

Route 66 will take you to Cuba!
Route 66 will take you to Cuba!

The Wagon Wheel Motel is the oldest continuously operating motel on all of Route 66. It was built in 1935 by Robert & Margaret Mathis, and consisted of a cafe, filling station (which was operated for a time by the Standard Oil Co.), and cabins.

The Wagon Wheel Motel still looks like it did in the 1930's!
The Wagon Wheel Motel still looks like it did in the 1930’s!

There is also an iconic sign that lights up on Neon at night, to help guide travelers to their destination! We were there during the day, so unfortunately we didn’t get to see the sign all lit up, but it still looked pretty cool!

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Pop and Levi in front of the iconic Wagon Wheel Motel sign.

We toured the grounds of the hotel and enjoyed the ambiance and feeling of being back in a different era! I even found a pumpkin that looked just like me! MaMa and I found a place to sit and relax, and Levi found a foreboding “NO Vacancy” sign the he made look even scarier! He also found the old Standard Oil station, which is no longer open for business as a filling station, but still sports the old sign.

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Just a couple of cute, little, white pumpkins.
A relaxing spot to sit and pretend like it was 1935.
A relaxing spot to sit and pretend like it was 1935.
Don't even TRY to get a room from Levi Pitboxer!
Don’t even TRY to get a room from Levi Pitboxer!
Standard Oil no longer sold here.
Standard Oil no longer sold here.

After having a good look around the hotel, we decided to go next door and check out Missouri Hick Bar-B-Q. It was getting close to dinner time, and we were all a little hungry from our busy day of Route 66 adventures. We hadn’t even considered eating there and figured we would have a quick look around and then eat fast food again that night, but MaMa noticed they had benches on a front porch, and decided to go inside and ask what their policy was for dogs.

We got MaMa all tangled up!
We got MaMa all tangled up!

As luck would have it, they allowed dogs to sit out on their front porch, so MaMa and Pop were able to have a proper meal, instead of one all wrapped up to go! They got the pulled pork sandwiches, which are served with the sauce on the side, so Levi and I also got to try some. Oh boy, it sure was exciting eating at an excellent restaurant and trying some of the local cuisine. I could get used to that! I was very well behaved and sat on a chair next to MaMa waiting patiently for a taste. We got lots of curious looks from fellow diners entering the restaurant. They probably didn’t see too many dogs eating there! But Levi and I give it two paws up!

Tempting me with a delicious morsel!
Tempting me with a delicious morsel!
"Oh YUM that is good!"
“Oh YUM that is good!”

By the time we finished dinner, daylight was waning and we only had time for one more stop. There is an unincorporated town in the Ozarks right on Route 66 that MaMa had read a lot about, and with a name like Devils Elbow, we just had to make it the last stop on our two day tour of the Mother Road. We had to drive about 45 minutes to get there from Cuba, but considering it is in one of the most beautiful parts of Missouri, we didn’t mind going a little out of our way. We arrived with just enough light left in the sky to snap a few pictures that don’t in any way do the area justice! And if you’re wondering how a town could get such an unusual name, it is named after a particularly bad bend in the Big Piney River that was a “Devil of an Elbow” for lumberjacks who used to float logs down the river, which would often get stuck at that point.

Imagine getting mail postmarked with "Devil's Elbow"?
Imagine getting mail postmarked with “Devils Elbow”?
The Ozarks are such a beautiful part of the U.S.
The Ozarks are such a beautiful part of the U.S.
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There was just enough light left to snap a couple pictures of the Big Piney River and rock cliffs in Devils Elbow.

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After another fun but exhausting day on Route 66, we were ready to head to our hotel, the Rustic Motel in Rolla Mo. It wasn’t the most glamorous of accommodations, but we were too tired to care. Being adventurous road trippers is tiring business, and we were all ready for a good night’s sleep. We had the return home ahead of us the next day, and since we never knew just where exactly the road would lead us to, we wanted to be well rested and ready for anything!

Sharing a bed with Levi, the bed hog!
Sharing a bed with Levi, the bed hog!

 

 

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