Murals, Memories, a Museum, and More in Missouri

June 26, 2018 (by Angela)

It was a marvelous third weekend of adventure in our Missouri home on the roam. The weather finally decided to act more like late spring or early summer, so being out and about was pleasant. Jim and I started our weekend escapade with brunch Friday morning at a really good local restaurant located just off of Route 66 in Cuba, Missouri. Shelly’s Route 66 Cafe was busy, but with the amazing weather, we were actually happy to eat outside. The food was good and the portions large. Had I realized (or thought to ask), I’d not have been unable to eat half of the pancakes I ordered along with eggs and hash browns.

Jim and I drove the entire Route 66 in July 2014 – actually, I think we headed out of Nashville for Chicago at the very end of June. From Chicago, we drove the whole route to Santa Monica in a Mustang. When making a mega trip like that, including the return to Nashville, Tennessee, in a total of 16 days, there’s not much time for stopping and truly exploring. Friday, we took the time to explore Cuba beyond the murals and the giant rocking chair we had seen in 2014. As he and I drove around, we came across a museum, so we parked and went in.

The Crawford County Historical Society and Museum is one of the best laid out, best organized, and most well-rounded small museums we have ever visited. Entrance is free, but donations are accepted. Once there, you can tour 3 floors of history and memorabilia. One room serves as a resource for genealogy research, and in front of the building is a lovely memorial to those who died in service to the country from Crawford County. It is well worth getting off I-44 to spend a morning or afternoon here. (Click on photos, or hover cursor over them, to see captions.)

Next, we drove to main street and parked, so we could visit the Cuba Bakery and Deli. We grabbed a drink, bought a few items to take home and for gifts, and enjoyed a bit of time there before we explored down Route 66 and the streets one block off of 66 in each direction looking for the murals. What we didn’t know in 2014 but have since learned is that these famous murals only got their start in 2001. They are well-done and interesting. The community seems to add a new mural each year. I’ll only show a few, so you’ll have fun finding the others when you visit Cuba, Missouri.

Our last two stops in our day-time exploration was to once again visit the giant rocking chair located a few miles west of the town on Route 66 at the Fanning Outpost and to visit a new sculpture group that was not in Cuba in 2014. Visiting the rocking chair, as with the murals, was a trip down memory lane. We each had our picture made, more or less, like the photos we made on our Route 66 trip in 2014. The sculpture group, Trail of the Osage, is still a work in progress, crafted by a father and son team of artists, Glen and Curtis Tutterrow. It highlights the fact that before Route 66 and before I-44, this travel route was the Trail of the Osage. If you are traveling west on I-44, you have to look carefully because the visitor’s center blocks the view from that direction.

After checking on Chewie and taking a nap, Jim, Chewie, and I wrapped up our day in Cuba with an evening at the Cuba 19 Drive-In Theater. We all had a good time. Chewie was totally engaged until the last hour or so of the double feature. Puppy dogs get tired, too. It made for a very late night since the movies could not begin until it got dark enough, and here we were going on the day after the summer solstice.

Saturday, we didn’t get moving very early due to our late night. Heading out just before lunch, Jim and I made a stop at Missouri Hick BBQ to get lunch to go. It was only a short drive to Onondaga Cave State Park where we had our lunch at a picnic shelter before purchasing tickets to enjoy a tour of the cave. Unfortunately, the battery on the camera was running low, so only a few photos are good enough to share. It was an interesting tour. We like cave tours, especially when it is hot outside.

What can I say? We had a magnificent weekend filled with memories, murals, a museum, and more. I love our adventures in our home on the roam.


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