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Old 02-11-2005, 05:34 PM   #1
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Inside Springfield - 2005 International Rally

From time to time, as I think of it and get the time, I am going to post some inside knowledge of Springfield, Mo., host of the 2005 WBCCI International Rally. I will try and get some information posted about local sites of interest, places to eat, shopping, that sort of thing. I thought I’d begin with

Getting around.

Springfield is a typical Midwestern grid city. All streets and most highways run north-south, east-west. Figure 10-12 miles across either way.

Main east-west streets and highways are (starting in the north and working south) I-44, Kearney, Chestnut Expressway, St. Louis, Sunshine, Battlefield, and James River Expressway. Main north-south streets are (starting in the west and working east) West Bypass, Kansas Ave., Campbell Ave., National Ave., Glenstone Ave., and Highway 65 Bypass.

James River Expressway starts at US 60 and 65 south of town and terminates at I-44 about 15 miles west of Springfield. It is also known as US highway 360.

Almost any directions in Springfield can be given from those six north-south streets and seven east-west streets. All street numbers originate downtown, so all addresses are block numbers north, south, east, or west of downtown. Downtown is more or less the geographic center of town. So an address of, say, 1800 E. Something Street is going to be 18 blocks east of a north-south line running through the center of Springfield.

Airport: N.W. Springfield, straight west on Kearney. Main hotel district: I-44 and Glenstone, north Springfield (but motel/hotels are located all around and in the city). Main shopping district: Glenstone and Battlefield south to Glenstone and James River Expressway, southeast Springfield. Rally campground: Kearney just east of US 65, northeast Springfield. The convention center is about six blocks east of downtown on St. Louis St., eight blocks south of Chestnut Expressway and 12 blocks west of Glenstone.

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Old 02-11-2005, 06:30 PM   #2
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Bass Pro Shops

Isn't Springfield the origin of Bass Pro Shops?
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Old 02-11-2005, 06:58 PM   #3
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Yes, Driftwood, there is a Santa Claus.... oh I mean a Bass Pro Shop. In fact the mother of them all is in Springfield and a mega wildlife "zoo" and aquarium attached. You will arrive in Springfield at the height of the fishing season at Table Rock Lake, so be prepared for crowds.

Unfortunately we will not be able to attend the Rally, because "Moby" won't be livable by then,......unless I find a lottery ticket in a parking lot, a rich relative dies, or some other unforeseen miracle happens.

Enjoy the experience.
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Old 02-11-2005, 07:37 PM   #4
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Unhappy shoping

DW is a dedicated thrift store junkie . We plan on going to Springfield in March so I got this from the on line phone book and programed each into my GPS. I will be visiting Bass Pro

BLIND MISSOURI COUNCIL-THRIFT 417-831-1488
1445 W KEARNEY ST
SPRINGFIELD, MO 65803
LYONS THRIFT STORE 417-866-7779
2120 W KEARNEY ST
SPRINGFIELD, MO 65803
DISABLED AMERICAN VETERANS 417-831-2441
1711 N GLENSTONE AVE
SPRINGFIELD, MO 65803
MISSOURI COUNCIL OF THE BLIND 417-831-3896
1445 W KEARNEY ST
SPRINGFIELD, MO 65803
SPRINGFIELD VICTORY MISSION 417-831-6395
206 E COMMERCIAL ST
SPRINGFIELD, MO 65803
SALVATION ARMY 417-831-6587
431 W WALNUT ST
SPRINGFIELD, MO 65806
HARMONY'S CLOSET 417-864-4260
1135 E COMMERCIAL ST
SPRINGFIELD, MO 65803
SALVATION ARMY 417-869-5490
1737 S CAMPBELL AVE
SPRINGFIELD, MO 65807
GOOD BUY SHOPPE 417-889-7512
1818 S ROGERS AVE
SPRINGFIELD, MO 65804

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Old 02-11-2005, 10:48 PM   #5
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Inside Springfield - 2005 International Rally

One of my "must stops" in the Springfield area is Lambert's Cafe II. Actually they are located in Ozark, Missouri - - at the intersection of Highway 65 and CC. The food is very good Southern Style, and the younger generation will enjoy eating in an atmosphere where the servers actually throw the dinner rolls to the patrons. The website for the Springfield location can be found at:

http://www.throwedrolls.com/ozark.html

The original Lambert's Cafe is located in Sikeston, Missouri on US 62 (Malone Street) - - just a short distance off one of the main routes (US 60) to Springfield. There is ample parking as well as accommodations for RV parking. They have recently moved into a new location less than a mile from the previous location and with the extra room, the wait time during rush periods may be reduced. The website for the Sikeston location can be found at:

http://www.throwedrolls.com/sikeston.html

My travels take me from far Southern Illinois to Northwest Kansas on a regular basis. Often, I will stop for an early lunch at Lambert's in Sikeston with dinner at the Ozark location in the early evening.

Kevin
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Old 02-19-2005, 04:53 PM   #6
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Civil War Grounds

J54Mark,

Are there biking trails to and around the Civil War site off James River Freeway?

Thanks for the post, "Inside Springfield", I have visited relatives in Springfield at least once-a-year, it seems that when venture out on my own, I get off-course so your post helps!
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Old 02-19-2005, 05:14 PM   #7
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You refer, I think, to the Wilson Creek Battlefield. There are no nearby bike paths, but the roads south and east of the park offer excellent, if hilly, cycling. The park itself has hiking, horse, and bike paths. The bike path is a marked lane on the paved road in the park. It is a five mile loop and offers one particularly challenging hill.

I may post an offer to provide a guided tour of the battlefield. If I do so decide it will be in a separate post.

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Old 02-19-2005, 05:23 PM   #8
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need a guide

Mark can you tell me where the rally site is going to be in Springfield? I've asked WBBCI office & was told it would be in the next Blue Beret, but it wasn't, so I'm still in the dark. Seems I end up there a lot. We will be coming into town from the North or Northeast, if that helps. For some strange reason I'd prefer to know where I'm going before I get there. Appreciate any info.
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Old 02-19-2005, 05:44 PM   #9
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My understanding is that the campground will be on some land owned by City Utilities across from the industrial park, about 1/2 mile or so east of US 65, on East Kearney, the first exit south of I44. I also understand the convention activity will be at the Springfield Convention Center about five blocks east of downtown on St. Louis St.

But I am not a WBCCI member, and have no firsthand knowledge of any of this.

Mark
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Old 02-22-2005, 05:33 PM   #10
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For an online insight into the Springfield area see 417 Magazine at: http://www.417mag.com/ . Registration is required (free), but all they want is an email address.

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Old 02-22-2005, 05:34 PM   #11
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WHERE TO EAT

Springfield has one of the highest ratios of restaurants to population to be found anywhere in the US. In addition, the Greene County heath department really does take restaurant inspections seriously. The effect of all this is that I doubt that there is a really terrible place to eat anywhere in the city, and a great many places where it is possible to eat a quite decent meal at a very reasonable price.

If you like Ruby Tuesday’s, Olive Garden, or Outback Steakhouse where you live, you will like them here as well; all places below are local operations. Second, I will ignore addresses for the sake of brevity. If you have an interest you can call and get directions.

Notes: We dine early. If you absolutely have to have a seat on a Friday or Saturday night plan on eating at 5:00 pm. Popular places are full by 6:00. Some of the places mentioned are rather small so reservations may be required for a large party, even on weeknights. I don’t think coat and tie is required at any location below.

$$$ issues. Expect large supper entrees. On the rare occasions when my wife and I dine out we usually buy an appetizer, maybe a salad apiece, and split an entree. It is always enough to eat, usually all we CAN eat, and seldom runs up a tab of $25. Example: Our favorite place is Mexican Villa, our order is always the burrito enchilada style, split for two. With all the home made chips and salsa we can eat the ticket comes to $8.50, and I can barely waddle to the car.

There is no significance to the listing order below.

Fine dinning:
Upscale:
Bijan’s Sea and Grill (best seafood), Clary’s American Grill (best general menu), Gilardi’s Ristoranti (Italian. My special occasion restaurant and the only place in town I will bother with dessert), Arde’s (Mediterranean).

Not quite so upscale:
Chardonnay (continental); Ocean Zen (Pacific Rim - yuppie, but very good); Metropolitan Grill, Mr. Yen’s (Chinese, huge menu, huge place); Avanzaro’s (Italian); Nakato (Japanese, entertainment by Chefs); Ziggies (broad menu, family dinning, several locations).

Ethnic:
Mexican Villa (Try the original location on S. National, or the one on South Campbell); Celito Linda (possibly the most authentic Mexican); Maria’s (Mexican, highly regarded, but I’ve not been there), Thai House (best Thai), Thai Peppers, Tong’s Thai,

Pizza:
South Avenue Pizza Company; New York Pizzeria; DaVinci’s (I THINK my favorite, maybe); McSalty’s (an old local favorite. If your cholesterol count is running low, order the Bear Pie).

Breakfast:
Anton’s Café (Old time coffee shop. Famous omelettes); Belgium Waffle and Pancake House (packing ‘em in every day); Aunt Martha’s Pancake House (Another local favorite. Willie Nelson once worked as a dishwasher here).

Others:
Galloway Station (Interesting bar/eatery on a very popular bike/hike trail); Nearly Famous Deli and Pasta (Great salads, varied menu, always good, occasionally rises to excellence); Nona’s Italian Café (The seafood lasagna may be my choice for a last meal, should the occasion arise); Argentine Steakhouse (Said to be best local steaks. I don’t know, I grill steaks at home); Hemmingways (Inside Bass Pro. Seafood, of course, but other items as well. Usually ok. Waterfall makes conversation difficult); Riverside Inn (Actually in Ozark. Hard to describe. Upscale, unique setting on the Finley River. Their best item is fried chicken).

For the Kids:
The Incredible Pizza Company. It is, too. Go cart track, bumper cars, games, games, games, all indoors. Pizza said to be decent. Maybe Lambert's ("Home of Throw'd Rolls"), actually in Ozark. People pack it in by the busload (literally), two hour waits are not unheard of in summer. To me, it has all the disadvantages of a cafeteria food fight, but without the charm. I’d far rather eat at Cracker Barrel.

Notable omissions:
Note the lack of BBQ places. None really stand out; pitty. Bakeries, same problem. We have Pannera Bread, of course.

I am sure I have left out some excellent choices. PM me if you want any more particulars.

Mark
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Old 02-23-2005, 05:12 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j54mark
You refer, I think, to the Wilson Creek Battlefield. There are no nearby bike paths, but the roads south and east of the park offer excellent, if hilly, cycling. The park itself has hiking, horse, and bike paths. The bike path is a marked lane on the paved road in the park. It is a five mile loop and offers one particularly challenging hill.

I may post an offer to provide a guided tour of the battlefield. If I do so decide it will be in a separate post.

Mark
Thank you Mark for the great local infomation, you've done alot of research! I'm printing these notes to put in a file for the Airstream!
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Old 04-06-2005, 11:07 PM   #13
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Many roads lead to Springfield

I comment here on only those roads within the last 200-300 miles of Springfield, Mo., for those bent on traveling here for the International, or any other reason.

From the north, Des Moines: Do not be fooled by the map - US 65 is a long, slow trip. Take I-35 to Kansas City, I-435, then US 71, Mo. 7, and Mo. 13. Four lane all but maybe 10 miles, and even that is good road.

From the Northeast, Quad Cities area. No really good choices. Dodge over to US 63, then US 54 to US 65. Or Drop down to St. Louis and catch I-44, then down.

From the east northeast, St. Louis: I-44.

From the east southeast, Nashville, Paducah: US 60. Four lane from junction with US 63 on west.

From the southeast, Memphis: I-55 to US 63 to US 60. Some real twisty parts where you enter the Ozarks in north Ark.

From the South, Little Rock: US I-40 to US 65. Some tight, steep parts Marshall to Springdale.

From the South southwest: No easy choices. Some very scenic roads, however. For best travel time, pick up US 71 north, now 4 lane from Fort Smith north, to I-44.

From the Southwest, Dallas: US 69, US 75, I-44. All or nearly all four lane now. Toll road on I-44 to Mo. border.

From the west southwest, Oklahoma City: I-44. Toll roads from OK City to Tulsa, another in Tulsa (or go straight through to miss toll), and yet another to Mo. state line. Or pick up old Route 66 if you have all day.

From the west, Wichita: There is a fairly new highway, US 400, which was assembled from several existing roads. Pretty decent road now. Just before you cross the state line it becomes KS 57, then Mo. 171. Continue to Mo. 96 and on to I-44.

From the West or Northwest: South from Kansas City, US 71, Mo. 7, and Mo. 13 as noted above.

PM with any questions. Safe travels,

Mark
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Old 04-06-2005, 11:29 PM   #14
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I'll work up some things to see and do on the way into Springfield in a couple of weeks or so.

Mark
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