The outside temperature was 3 degrees as I got into my car. On my way out of Springfield, Illinois I drove to the Lincoln family mausoleum, located in Oak Ridge Cemetery, where I gave silent thanks to Abe Lincoln. Back on Route 66 I discovered that it was still snow-covered and slick in places, which prompted me to switch back-and-forth between I-55.

Crossing the Mississippi river and seeing the Gateway Arch of St. Louis tickled me.

I decided not to stop and see the Meramec Caverns—this despite the fact that I remember seeing signs beckoning everyone to visit for as long as I can remember.

I drove along a section of the Cherokee Trail of Tears from Rolla to Springfield—the infamous forced march by U.S. troops of Cherokee families in the mid-1800’s during which many died. Trail of tears, indeed.

Dust bowl days

By the time I arrived in Springfield, Missouri the temperature had raised from 3 degrees to 30 degrees. Definitely an improvement.

--Larry Spears [Sunday, Jan. 10, 2010]