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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Going back to Pulaski County MO

Downtown Waynesville

Last year I had the good fortune to visit Pulaski County several times. The last time - in the fall - we conducted a "history crawl" for writers to learn and write about the places and stories they saw.

I'm headed back there on June 11-12 to launch an anthology created out of the event. But that's not all. Every time I go, I fall more in love with the area and its people. If you've never stopped there, you're missing some of the most fun-loving folks you'll ever meet.

Elbow Inn
The famous Elbow Inn on the original Route 66 suffered damage in the recent flood, but true to small-town camaraderie, many are helping to get it back up and running. The same is true for other businesses in the area.

Trail of Tears Memorial
What are some of my favorite spots? I always visit Roubidoux Trail of Tears National Historic Site and say a prayer for those relocated from their homes all those years ago. I also spend some time pondering the effects of the Civil War in Missouri.

Old Stagecoach Stop Museum
The rest of the history is fun stuff. I love taking a trip on Route 66 and revisiting a time when America was growing and fast cars enabled average citizens to see their country. Thirty-three miles of the route crosses Pulaski County. It's still my goal to drive the entire route but the last few years I've been traveling pieces in Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas.

Digging even deeper into history, I like to visit the Old Stagecoach Stop and learn about pioneer days. Check out my previous article on the museum at History lovers will also want to visit the museum complex at Ft. Leonard Wood.

The eras of transportation determined the welfare of the cities and the residents. Pulaski County has a history from Indian trails, the old "wire" road in the days of the telegraph, a stagecoach route and more.

Cellar 66 wine
Do you love old books? In the courtroom on the second floor of the 1903 Pulaski County Courthouse, rows of ledgers record the lives and property of those who lived in the county. They are the type of find that those interested in genealogy would love to get their hands on, Also, a highlight has been my visits to the rare books section of the library at Ft Leonard Wood.

Of course I love to eat and the county offers plenty of options from down-home country cookin' and a Route 66 Diner to a variety of ethnic foods. Thirsty? Stop for a beer at Hoppers or have a glass of wine at Cellar 66, both on the Waynesville Square. With a steady stream of visitors to Ft. Leonard Wood, the area has stepped up to the plate with restaurants and hotels.

But maybe best of all is the God-given gift of nature. Smack dab in the middle of the Ozarks, the country offers some of the clearest water you'll find. It's a camping, canoeing and fishing haven - or is that heaven?  Check out for more information.

Next time you're traveling through Missouri, put Pulaski County on your "gotta visit" list. Stop at the tourism bureau in St Robert (just off I-44) and introduce yourself. They'll be happy to meet you.

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