Route 66 looks a lot like this, for miles and miles west of Springfield. It’s an easy route to follow, and thankfully, completely Interstate free, so you can kick back and enjoy going up and over every one of those hills in the road, passing rural homes and farms along the way.
As you drive through the wide spot in the road known as Halltown, watch for Whitehall Mercantile. In EZ-66, Jerry McClanahan says it’s a great place for antiques. I believe it, since the entire building itself looks ancient. The store was closed when I drove by.
After another 20 minutes or so of driving, I found a lop-sided barn that proved picturesque, as the sun started to set.
Through this area, Rte. 96 is a quick, straight road. In places, it appears that old Route 66 was routed along what are now frontage roads. If you’re a purist, grab your guidebook and try to follow every square inch, but be aware, you can see the old road from the new road, so you won’t miss anything if you stay on Rte. 96.
Note: This trip was first published in 2008.