Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Some pics (and kicks) from Route 66


On our way back from Ken's mom's place in Springfield, Missouri, we stopped in Lebanon for a few pictures. Lebanon is the home of the Munger Moss Motel, and I've heard that it is well-maintained; our friend Laurel knows the owner, and assures me that it is a fine establishment and a great place to stay! It has an interesting history, and you can read about it on their website. I think the story of the creation of their pool is a neat one! There's also a gorgeous picture of the famous sign all lit up at night. It's a beauty!

Just from our quick look-see, the Munger Moss really is beautifully maintained. The red brick looks brand new, and the grounds look clean and well-cared for! Old motels, not just along Route 66, often get rundown and end up quite seedy and creepy. There were several in Illinois that Shane and I would have loved to stay at back in 2001, but after a drive-by, we realized it was not a very good idea at all! Even the beautiful Coral Court in St. Louis, which had an amazing architectural design, ended up a "no-tell motel." (I still want to write about the Coral Court, and how sad I am that it was demolished. Stay tuned.) Anyhoo, it's a pleasure to see one of Route 66's iconic motels so lovingly maintained, and alive and well!

Doesn't the sign look similar to the Holiday Inn signs? I don't know who designed the Munger Moss sign, but it came well before the Holiday Inn signs. Copycats! I'm including a larger picture here, because the slideshow is fairly tiny. Note that at the bottom of the classic googie sign is one of those yellow rental signs that says, "The Mother Road lives forever here." My caption for the picture is that it lives forever in our hearts, not just at the Munger Moss! (Also note that they offer free TV! Sweeeet!)

I was also pleased to see a few other old motels right around the Munger Moss, including the Forest Manor and the Holiday Motel. Those didn't look quite as well maintained, but I'm always happy when I get to see an old courtyard motel and some great signage, no matter how rundown! I had also totally forgotten that Wrink's Market is in Lebanon, so I had a moment of excitement when Ken said, "Look at the old market," and when I looked up, I said, "It's Wrink's! I've read about it!"

Ohhh man, I love the history of it all, and the way it fires my imagination! Does anyone have a clue as to why this fascinates me (and others) so? What is the lure of Route 66? What brings people from all over the world to travel what is left of the Road? All good questions, and I'll soon ponder my obsession passion while our brief foray is still fresh in my mind.


  1. that motel looks very interesting. We have several old motels in my city with signs similar to that one. XO

  2. Munger Moss did look extremely well maintained. I hope we can find some similar ones in 2010 :o)

  3. Did you go into Wrink's Market? Mr. Wrinks died, but his son Terry now has the place and has made some great improvements without spoiling the retro feel of it. He has a great little cafe in the back which serves good sandwiches. Put it on your list of "must sees" for 2010!

    I enjoyed your pic show of Lebanon. Did you see Bell's Restaurant, just down the hill from the Munger Moss? Paul McCartney stopped there on his Route 66 trip this summer.

  4. The mystique of "Route 66" has to be the whole cross-country experience. Not to mention the glimpses of small-town America that so many don't get the opportunity to experience, now they just jump on the expressway, or a jet. It's all about the destination, not the journey anymore.

    :) Leigh

  5. Hi Beth,
    How nostalgic ... I'd love to see the hotel (I could take or leave the snow though ...). Sounds like you had a nice trip.

  6. I just realized that Boca Raton, Florida does not have one Motel in the entire city! I recall living when living up in New England and they still have plenty Motels.


  7. Just finished catching up on your blog entries. Your travels brings back memories of days gone by and quick motel jaunts without reservations. Can't do that today.

  8. What great history. And SNOW !! Great, great pictures. I would love to see more ! was there a link about the place, let me go back and look. I want to read about the pool you mentioned.

  9. Ahh, well done. Makes you think..."I remember when...". But then, I'm old! LOL

  10. It looks like a very interesting place...

  11. There's nothing like the vintage hotels you may come across in your travel but one thing to remember ~ watch out for the desk clerk! Have a happy one!

  12. I would have to say I think I would drive past that motel without stopping. It kind of looks creepy to me. I must watch too many wierd movies!!!

    I've watched a number of shows on the Travel Channel about Route 66 and have always found it so interesting.

  13. I used to have a picture of myself standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona...and it happened also to be Rte. 66. I wish I knew where it was.


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