8-Ball Water Tower, Drive across Missouri


Is there anything worse than awakening in a motel room, in the middle of a trip, looking outside, and seeing a grey, rainy day?  Sure, there’s world hunger and terrorism, but gloomy weather has to rate near the top of the list.  Day 8 of my trip began in a rainstorm, which quickly became a record-setter for Missouri.  For the first half of the day, from Kansas City (which tried to hold its St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the middle of this deluge) to Jefferson City, Missouri, it poured, and I drove slowly.

No kidding, this is what it looked like, as I crossed half the state.  If there was anything interesting to see, I couldn’t see it.  I could barely make out the road in front of me.

From the southern edge of Kansas City, I followed US 50 east.  US 50 starts as part of KC’s beltway, but soon breaks free of interstate status, and dwindles down to 2 or 4 lanes, all the way to the state capitol in Jefferson City.

Tipton, Missouri: World’s Largest Billiards Ball

After that dashboard picture, the only photo I took was of the interesting (or ugly?) 8-ball water tower in Tipton, Missouri.  It turns out, this water tower is proclaimed to be the world’s largest billiards ball.  It was originally painted this way, when the water tower serviced a pool table manufacturing plant in Tipton.  The plant eventually shut down, and the town’s signature 8-ball was repainted.  Some 20 years passed, and the town’s residents decided they wanted the 8-ball back, so in 1999, they painted the water tower again, restoring the landmark.

Note: This trip was first published in 2008.

1 comment

  1. Willow 28 October, 2021 at 13:57 Reply

    If you drive though Tipton, you will see many 8-balls that both the city as well as private businesses have displayed. They are very proud of their billiards.

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